All I can think about right now is creating a terrarium.
We’ll get to that, though, because it’s included in my Christmas/Holiday Gift Guide/Wish List Of Things I Quite Fancy For Myself. With the festive season now fully upon us, some of us may be feeling a pressure (brought about, no doubt, by the capitalist, consumerist society in which we live) to buy gifts for one another. Christmas is as good a time as any to take a break from your commitment to spending less money on things, but gift-buying can be a great opportunity to be more mindful of what you’re buying, which is why I’ve thrown a few ethically produced products into the mix, along with some good old-fashioned experiences.
Without much further ado, here are my humble suggestions for the obligatory secret santa, the difficult relative or perhaps even a little treat for yourself:
1// Skerton Hand Coffee Grinder, Hario – £35
Who doesn’t like coffee? Or, at least, appreciate its impeccable ability to wake us up and get the old bowels going? (Sorry not sorry). Grinding one’s own coffee beans, rather than buying already ground coffee, is a necessary rung on the caffeine enthusiast’s ladder, and this affordable, UK-made hand grinder can make that dream a reality.
2// Bud Necklaces, Choolips – £70
They may carry a pretty hefty price tag, but these beautiful necklaces – made using Ghanaian fabrics left over from Choolips’ fashion line – are hand crafted by an Italian jeweller in her London studio. Just reading about collaborators Esotic’s manufacturing process makes me want to teleport back to mid-21st century Milan and train to be a jeweller who specialises in restoring antique pearl necklaces. And I don’t even like pearls. Anyhow, just buy someone you love one of these necklaces!
3// Cissi socks, Monki – £5
Let’s get meta, and use socks as a stocking filler this Christmas. French-speaking cats wearing turquoise glasses, asking you how you are, are as safe a bet as any. And these adorable socks are straight from the coolest of Swedish high street stores, with eco credentials that make H&M want to sob into the folds of their token organic cotton range.
4// iPhone 5 case, Monki – £3
Perfect for the colleague you’ve been assigned for your office’s secret santa (provided they use an iPhone). Another kooky Monki piece, steeped in Scandinavian awesomeness. And half price, to boot.
5// Terrarium Design School Experience, The Indytute – £68
I stumbled across this experience gift on notonthehighstreet.com and instantly pictured myself at one of Botanique Boutique’s cool classes in East London, learning how to create a miniature garden inside a glass container. The plant, container and accessories are all included with this unusual experience which would suit a green-fingered friend, an in-law, or just about anyone. I’m so taken by the idea myself I may just be buying a ticket in the new year.
6// Prince Charles Cinema Annual Membership – £10
For your cool friend, workmate or fellow London-dwelling citizen, a membership to the city’s best cinema is a no-brainer, especially when they come as cheaply as this one does. Prince Charles Cinema hosts a number of fun events, from sing-a-longs to themed movie marathons – and keep their prices low by showing a selection of movies a little later than the big players.
7// Radiant Beauty Collection, Liz Earle – £55
This natural, cruelty-free brand is a firm favourite of mine, and this gift set includes the essentials for your natural, cruelty-free skincare regime. Skincare is a lovely and easy way to introduce someone you care about to a more conscious way of taking care of themselves, as there are a lot of ethical and cf options. Liz Earle is my tried and tested favourite!
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So what do you think? Would you like to be given these gifts, or do you have some other ideas for brilliant and useful ethical gifts? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Holidays, one and all.