That time of year has arrived. If you’re anything like me, you leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute, until a sense of panic starts to set in and I finally put pen to paper and make the gifting list.
As I get older wiser with age, I’ve found my attitude to gift buying is getting easier. Where before I would worry if the recipient would re-gift/like/love my gift, I now buy things with a different purpose. I have become a little more selfish and like to make sure any chosen item meets ‘my’ criteria list first. Although I always hope my gift will be welcomed, it gives me great joy to know that I am sharing a little bit of conscious consumerism through this process.
So here are my criteria for gift buying:
Is the gift made under ethical and fair-trading conditions?
Is the gift well made with no harmful substances, fake scents or polluting ingredients?
Does the business it comes from follow sustainable practices?
Does the gift keep on giving?
So, with those questions in mind, here are a few gift suggestions for Christmas 2017 that might help you get inspired to buy ethically this Christmas.
Kris Kringles and acquaintances
I love supporting KIVA. KIVA unites through lending to alleviate poverty. By lending as little as $25 on KIVA, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realise their potential. Money is repaid in full and every dollar you lend goes to funding loans. You can choose from a wide selection of countries, industries and purposes.
Women: Bling that feels good
There is something special in giving hand-made items that are fully traceable. A connection between the maker and the jewellery piece is precious and significantly adds to the experience of wearing it - not to mention the styling and uniqueness of textures and colours. This is why we love what we do at Finders and Makers. All our products are ethically hand-made, by businesses that are run by women, or employ a significant number of women. Yes, we are biased, and I am sure you will agree when you experience our products.
Men: Comfy basics that are sure to please
I know how fussy guys can be about their underwear. I’ve heard complaints about the fabric, the elastic or the cut. This is why I’m loving the super comfy type you can get at Buy Undies Give Undies. They have annual subscriptions with deliveries of fresh undies for your guy 3 times a year. An awesome concept which also supports the supply of undies to children in developing nations. A great gift that gives twofold.
Teens: Cool is the only way
How do you avoid eye-rolling when gifting teens? Perhaps the mob at Etiko can help. They are an Australian family owned business that has the respect and promotion of human rights at its core. Producing a cool range of men’s and women’s casual clothing pieces, they only source from fair trade certified makers. This ensures workers use sustainably sourced materials and their economic and social development is supported. Plus, all the designs are created and printed in Melbourne.
Children: Let their imaginations run wild
With so much digital influence all around us, it’s great to know we can find beautifully hand-made toys that encourage imagination without screens. Every product you’ll find at A Little Good is created in a developing country, mostly by marginalised women and made by hand, on fair trade and ethical fabrication principles. The business strives to ensure safe work conditions and fair wages are paid to the workers they collaborate with. These earnings are instrumental in supporting the regional economy and raising awareness about social issues such as local poverty, and environmental damage.
Even though it’s the silly season, we can turn shopping for a gift into a conscious purchase with social impact.
Happy shopping everyone!
Until next time,
Photo credits in order of appearance:
Cathryn Lavery, Edward Cisneros, Ben-o-Bro, Brooke Cagle, Daiga Ellaby