Everybody knows that Christmas is the season of goodwill and charity, but unfortunately it doesn’t always extend to the way we shop for our Christmas presents. And who can blame us? I mean, “ethical Christmas gifts” – they don’t sound very glamorous do they?
Luckily, there are plenty of great gifts out there this year that will not only bring a smile to their recipient, they’re guaranteed to give you a case of the warm and fuzzies too as you’ll have helped make a difference to some well-deserving causes in the process.
Presenting the HungryCityHippy Ethical Christmas Gift Guide 2016
1. The posh tipple: Snow Leopard Vodka, £33 – This premium vodka brand was created by Stephen Sparrow, an ex-drinks industry expert and passionate conservationist who had heard about the snow leopard’s plight during a trip to the Himalayas. Shocked at learning there were less than 5,000 left in the wild, he came back and founded the Snow Leopard Trust UK – and then created this premium vodka to help fund its projects, with 15% off all profits going directly to the charity. Stephen has set a global goal to raise a million dollars annually for snow leopard conservation by 2025. The vodka has a earthy, nutty taste thanks to being made with spelt grain, and is available to order online, and from Waitrose. Oh, and Vivienne Westwood uses it at all of her parties, darling.
2. The Christmas toy: John Lewis, £12 – This year’s John Lewis ad features Buster the Boxer having a wail of a time on a trampoline with some of his fox & badger friends. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of John Lewis’s Buster the Boxer and Otto the Fox soft toys will go to the Wildlife Trust – a charity who are dedicated to the protection of nature. Right up my street!
3. The Christmas day shirt, People Tree, £78 -Through partnering with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in the developing world People Tree have reconnected the consumer and the maker at a time when it looked like globalisation and outsourcing had permanently severed the link. This 100% cotton corduroy organic shirt has a breast pocket and shaped hem with a slim-cut collar and would layer up nicely for a crisp, Christmas day walk.
4. The statement necklace: Cool Earth Circle jewellery, £25 – Cool Earth are a charity who protect vast swathes of rainforest by working with the indigenous communities who live on the land. This handcrafted necklace is made from seeds harvested from the rainforest by the women of ‘Urakuza’ village – their organic jewellery is a sustainable source of income to support their families. This collar necklace is a traditional Awajún design with a circular loop detail that sits neatly on the collarbone.
5. The new cookbook: Thug Kitchen, £19 – Cookbooks have become HUGE business over the last few years, with every celebrity chef bringing out a new tome to tie in with the holiday season. Much as I love him, give Jamie Oliver a miss this year, and instead, buy your mates a copy of Thug Kitchen Party Grub, the foul mouthed vegan cookbook that encourages us all to “Eat like you give a f*ck“. This time, the book is aimed at ‘social motherf*ckers’ – in other words, those of us who like to entertain. No, it doesn’t have any charity connection, but with the environmental impacts of eating less meat being common knowledge, cooking & eating more like this, and less like this in 2017, can only be a good thing.
6. The enamel mug: WWF, £9.99 – Everyone loves an enamel mug, FACT. Give yours an ethical upgrade and a cute tiger print – it’s super lightweight, and designed exclusively for the charity by Matt Wood. All of the profits from the sale of the mug will go towards tiger conservation, which if you’ve seen the emotional new xmas ad, will make you feel better.
7. The beauty gift: NYR Bee Lovely Body Butter, £23 – It’s no secret that I love Neals Yard – I am a regional consultant for them in fact! Their deliciously softening and bee-utifully scented body butter is one of my faves. Moisturising organic honey and orange essential oil will leave skin soft, silky and fragranced – and through sales of the ‘Bee Lovely’ range, Neals Yard donate £10,000 a year to projects that Help Save the Bees.
8. The scatter pillow, Society6, £16.50 – This piggy-print pillow cover is made from 100% spun polyester poplin fabric, and is individually cut and sewn by hand. The cover measures 16″ x 16″, features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper for ease of care. A portion of the profits from the sale of this item goes to Compassion in World Farming, a charity which fights to improve living conditions for farm animals all over the world.
9. The new tote bag, Rubber Killer UK, £69 – Rubber is an amazing material, but it’s also one of the biggest, and most problematic sources of waste worldwide, because it is incredibly long lasting. Great news for us when we’re driving around in our cars, but bad news for the earth when we’re done with it and ends up in landfill for thousands of years. Enter, Rubber Killer UK; a company who specialise in making gorgeous hardwearing bags and accessories from reclaimed and recycled rubber tyres and bicycle inner tubes – how cool is that!?