‘Tis the season. For winter warmers, cosy nights in, classic holiday movies, and of course, giving gifts. It’s still only November, but I’m already in the festive mood, my decorations are up and I’ve been streaming Christmas music for a good couple of weeks now. I love giving gifts, even outside of special occasions, so naturally I loooovee Christmas shopping.
There’s something just so wonderful about planning out gifts and selecting the perfect something for someone you love. But holidays like Christmas often present a challenge to people, like myself, who try hard to be conscious and ethical consumers. The end of November brings us Black Friday and Cyber Monday, more Christmas advertising, and all of the consumer pressure that comes along with them. While the festive season is known for unsustainable buying and excess, it’s very possible to have an ethical Christmas and still do it in style. If you are going to buy new this Christmas but still want your purchases to align with your beliefs and the conscious consumer habits that you’re building, choose to shop small and shop independent this Christmas.
It’s been a few years since I started my slow living journey and started making more intentional steps towards conscious and ethical consumerism. This year in particular has taught me how important it is for the things I buy to align with my values as much as they possibly can. And with independent businesses being hit particularly hard by the ongoing pandemic, I’ve put a lot more effort into finding unique presents and decorations from independent (and Black-owned) businesses this Christmas. Sancho’s, a Black owned independent retailer based in Exeter, UK embodies so well the sort of business that I want to support with my hard-earned cash and so I’m very pleased to be collaborating with them on this post. Not only do I love their incredible range of sustainable fashion, jewellery and home goods, but I am also such a fan of their commitment to anti-racism and social justice.
Keep reading for 5 tips for a conscious and ethical Christmas, and my top 5 picks for ethical gifting from Sancho’s shop.
- Be thoughtful
Make sure your gifts, no matter what they are, are thoughtful and will be valued by the person receiving them. Don’t be afraid to ask outright what your loved one would like. It’s not something that we’re used to asking but it’s a simple way to ensure that you’re giving them something that they will truly cherish, like this Layered Chain Necklace that I’m pretty sure I’m going to wear every day for the rest of my life
2. Share your passions
I’m passionate about supporting the UK Black economy and so many of the gifts I’ll be giving this year are from Black-owned businesses. And for people that I don’t know all that well, I’ve chosen to give them a gift card for a Black-owned store so that they can choose something that they will love and shop Black owned at the same time. For example, if you’re passionate about zero waste and want to share that with your friends, why not give them something that will help them live a more sustainable lifestyle in the New Year? Like this set of Organic Mesh Bags they can use to ditch single-use plastic bags.
3. Choose a gift that will last
Give the gift of sustainable fashion. Trends come and go, but classic pieces never go out of style and can be worn year in and year out. Go with something they can style a multitude of different ways like this 100% Organic Cotton top. Or, for the friend who loves statement pieces, this eye-catching jumpsuit from Suite 13.
4. Choose a gift that keeps on giving
There’s always the temptation when you’re not sure what to get someone, to go the novelty route. But so often, those novelty gifts get consigned to the back of a cupboard once Christmas day is over, never to be seen again. So why not pick out something fun and different that still adds value? My favourite pick from the Sancho’s shop are these incredibly cool Grow Bars. From chillies to edible flowers, they are such unique presents and watching them grow will be so satisfying. Add to cart!
5. Give a moment or experience
We could all use a moment of calm, especially at Christmas. Treat someone to a relaxing moment for self-care with this Ginger & Mandarin Vegan Soap. The packaging is gorgeous, plus it’s handmade and Zero Waste, which is a win for ethical gifting! There are 5-star reviews across the range which includes other lovely scents such as Frankincense, Lemongrass & Patchouli, and Oatmylk. How do you choose just one?
Having an ethical Christmas doesn’t have to be hard. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to use your buying power to make a difference. By choosing to shop small, to shop Black owned or to shop independent, not only will you be supporting your local economy but you’ll find unique presents that you won’t get anywhere else.