As part of my conscious Christmas series this year, I wanted to take a look at some of the smaller brands out there who care. There are so many small businesses that make incredible products but have a strong ethos and sense of responsibility, it’s not all about profit.
Yes, you could get those 3 for 2 beauty sets from boots which are great value for money but at what cost? There are many things to consider when purchasing gifts this Christmas. Is it vegan? Is it cruelty-free? Is it ethically sourced? Will it help out a small business?
It’s the most wasteful time of the year
These are all very good questions and ones we should be asking more. We need to be more conscious consumers.
I created this list of 10 really great businesses who have the perfect Christmas gifts for those with a conscience. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Soap Folk
A fabulous soap company in the stroud valleys that not only make amazing and beautiful soaps but they have great ethics too! They make soap and skincare products using natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced, farmed without herbicides or GM ingredients and in ways which protect wildlife and biodiversity.
- Ingredients are processed with low impact methods and arrive minimally packaged with maximum recyclable content.
- They work hard to avoid wasted product.
- They repurpose as much as possible. Soap scraps are turned into samples & old containers become mixing bowls etc.
- COSMOS packaging standards (minimising the amount of material used, maximising the amount of material that can be reused or recycled, and using materials with recycled content where possible).
- FSC certified paper wraps, which helps to extend shelf life and avoid waste.
- The lather that goes down the drain does so with minimal impact on our water and aquatic life.
- Soap too small to use can be put on the compost heap or in the food scraps collection. Products are biodegradable.
2. Huski Home
A family-run company that creates biodegradable coffee cups and other home items made from rice husk. The products are not only useful, eco friendly but also very visually appealing.
- Rice husks are a by-product of mass production that would otherwise be discarded, but Huski uses them to create their products.
- Reusable items cut down on the plastic crisis we are facing and is a huge step for trying to save the planet.
A hummus company that uses surplus veg that would otherwise go to waste. Founded on a passionate commitment to reducing food waste.
ChicP was created to counteract against this waste taking the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community, our natural resources shaping our health habits for the better.
- 40% of British crops are rejected because of their shape or size.
- 1/3 of the food we produce in the UK is never eaten.
- 600,000 tonnes of food is wasted in restaurants per year.
- 300,000 tonnes of food wasted by supermarkets per year.
The adult population adds a staggering 7 million tonnes on the top of that. The list goes on…
4. Jacqueline & Edward
Jacqueline & Edward is a family run business in Wetherby, North Yorkshire. Originally founded five years ago, the ultimate artisan, Mark hand makes ethically sourced natural gold wedding bands and jewellery from his home studio.
Jacqueline and Edward have launched their brand new Tree for a Tree campaign this Christmas which will help regenerate the Caledonian Forests in Scotland. I think this is such a fantastic campaign and the necklaces are really lovely. Such a lovely Christmas gift.
This unique, handcrafted Christmas tree pendant is made using ethically sourced precious metals. With every purchase, people will be supporting the ‘Tree for a Tree’ initiative to help preserve the beautiful world we live in. What that means is for every pendant bought a tree is planted via the Trees for Life partnership.
5. Elliot Footwear
Since launching in September ’18 the approach of Elliott is to incorporate initiatives that reduce waste and reverse the rising air pollution:
- A pair of Elliott’s reverse the carbon footprint with a climate positive offset of 1 tonne of CO2.
The brand started out of a need for minimalist bags and wallets that were not overtly branded, eco-friendly, vegan, without luxury markups but the same quality as high end brands.
- Their goal is to create better fashion, implement efficient supply chains and use and create more sustainable materials.
7. Organic Basics
Underwear, activewear and apparel made in organic and recycled materials.
- They handpick each fabric based on its environmental footprint and lifetime durability. Only Class A and B fibres. That means natural, renewable, recycled, biodegradable and or low-impact textiles only.
- They use GOTS certified organic cotton. Hand-picked, chemical free organic cotton that’s widely regarded as some of the softest and durable cotton in the world. The GOTS standard also guarantees that the people that made this are paid living wages and treated like humans.
- Factories re free of child labour and forced labour, their workers are surrounded in a safe working space, paid a living wage, offered employee perks like free lunch and childcare – and are treated with respect at all times.
8. UpCircle (fka Optiat)
Natural, sustainable, vegan & cruelty-free skincare. Reused, repurposed, reloved: they transform ingredients that would otherwise be discarded.
You can enjoy the benefits of nature – and do the planet some good, too!
- They use leftover natural ingredients like coffee grounds, bringing them back to life as beauty products your skin will love.
- 100% natural, 100% brilliant.
9. Sweet & Kind
They sell lovely vegan sweet gifts, wedding and party favours that are 100% vegan, delicious and earth friendly.
- You won’t find any dairy, gelatin, honey or bone-char refined sugar in any of their sweets.
- They use compostable cellophane bags, recycled glass jars, reused and recycled boxes.
10. Ahimsa Collective
A luxury accessories label, intent on producing products with no harm and using sustainable materials.
Origin: Sanskrit ~ from ‘a’ meaning non/without + ‘himsa’ meaning violence/harm. Noun: Ahimsa “Respect for all living things and avoidance of harm towards others” (in the Hindu, Buddhist & Jainist tradition).
- They are part of a new generation of change agents and thinkers.
- They focus on both environmental and social responsibility.
- They operate as a luxury fashion label; while inciting change.
- They aim to not only reduce the fashion industry’s footprint, but attempt to reverse it.
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I hope you enjoyed this list and found it useful. Let’s all take little steps to care for our environment and live more consciously this Christmas!
Let me know what you think in the comments or tweet me @veganbabelife
Thanks for reading!