Ethical gifts are becoming more popular as people are becoming more conscious of what they buy and use. I’ve been thinking about Christmas shopping, and how many people this year will be looking to make more careful purchases that have a positive impact on the world around them.
For example, here at Milina London, we source only natural materials to make our jewellery, which minimises environmental impact and carbon emissions. We also use recycled metals where possible.
We work directly with local artisans in the UK, Mexico, and India to keep traditional jewellery-making methods alive. This ensures sustainability, fair working practices, traceability and greater control over the quality of our products, also leading to zero to minimal wastage. The outer packaging (cardboard boxes) that we present our jewellery in is made from recycled cardboard and is also recyclable.
You may be looking for ethical gifts for one of your eco-conscious friends or family members, or you may be trying to make your purchases more ethical. Whatever the reason, I’ve put together a list of ten ideas for ethical Christmas gifts.
1. Handcrafted locket
Lockets are a truly magical gift to give at Christmas because they are so personal. When you give a locket to someone, you can include a photo of you and that person or a meaningful keepsake which they can carry around with them. Our lockets are simple and classic, meaning they suit different styles!
2. Clothes from a retailer who prioritises sustainability
There are many great brands producing clothing that is made sustainably. In some cases, the clothes are made entirely out of recycled materials but have as much style (and probably more durability) than other clothes on the market. As well as clothes, you can also find bags and accessories that are made in this way.
A great example is Dilli Grey, who sell ethical homewares and clothing. Their clothes are handmade by artisans in India and are made in limited quantities to ensure zero wastage at the end of each season.
3. Men’s beaded bracelet
Jewellery isn’t necessarily the first thought when buying a gift for a man in your life, but with men’s jewellery becoming more popular, a bracelet can be a fantastic ethical gift option. It’s best to find something that has been made with love and care, rather than something that has been mass-produced, as this is the more ethical and sustainable option and it’s more special and unique! Our wooden and stainless steel bead bracelet is a great option.
4. Responsibly-sourced coffee and tea sets
For hot drink lovers, coffee and tea sets are always a welcome gift at Christmas, so why not make it an ethical purchase? Some coffee producers focus on sourcing their beans directly from the farmers, making sure they are paid a fair wage for their products. Coffee brands who source their beans in this way also have greater control over the quality of the product, which means you’ll be getting a better brew!
5. Food and confectionery
Most of us love chocolate, especially at Christmas! We traditionally give confectionery as a gift, but you can make this an ethical choice by purchasing from companies that responsibly source their ingredients and ensure traceability. As well as confectionery, consider gifting ethical and natural foodstuffs by local producers, such as condiments and preserves.
6. Sustainably-sourced gemstone ring
A sterling silver ring that can be worn every day is a great option for an ethical gift, because it’s long-lasting and will be treasured forever by the recipient. Even better if you can add a gemstone to it for a bit of sparkle. We have a whole range of silver and gold-plated gemstone rings in different cuts and colours. You can choose the style that truly reflects the personality of your loved one!
7. Ethical trainers
If you’re looking to give an ethical Christmas gift to the sporty or outdoorsy person in your life, then you could look at buying some ethical footwear. Ethical trainers can be made entirely from recycled materials like plastic waste, tyres, eucalyptus trees, and pineapple plant leaves, or sustainable materials like merino wool and organic cotton.
8. Artisan-made gold and diamond earrings
What better way to celebrate someone truly special in your life than with diamonds? Here at Milina London, we sustainably source the highest-quality materials that go into each piece of handmade fine jewellery. Take a look at our Indian Ocean Collection to see the gorgeous gold and diamond earrings we have available.
9. Handmade crafts
Handmade crafts come in many forms, from textiles such as throws, cushion covers and table covers to ceramics, wooden or metal sculptures, and much more. By buying handmade crafts, you are supporting local craftspeople to continue their trade. You can buy these gifts directly from the crafters at local markets or on their websites, and they can also be purchased through ethical gift websites or charities.
10. Natural candles and scents
Candles and diffusers are classic Christmas gifts that are sure to please, but these are not always made with the best ingredients. You should choose handmade products that have been made with natural ingredients, such as the candles and diffusers by Laura Thomas. This fantastic brand have also made their packaging from recycled coffee cups and even the ink is eco-solvent and not harmful to the environment.
Hopefully my guide to ethical Christmas gifts has given you some inspiration going into the festive period. Making ethical choices in your purchasing habits is a fantastic way to make a positive environmental impact, and your ethical gift-giving could inspire the behaviour in others.