Christmas is fast approaching and with it, the ever looming pressure of gift giving. Gift giving is undoubtedly an often stressful element of what should be a joyful and relaxing time. But whether you come from a gifts for everybody family or you are a firm believer of the Kris Kringle only rule, I think it’s time for everybody to stop burning through their pockets and start shopping with their brains.
In the hyper-consumption of the 21st century, it pays in every sense of the word to think before you shop – looking at where things come from, what they’re made out of and where the end money goes is a major part of what it means to be ethically conscious. It’s not a way of being reserved for dreads and hemp (let’s be real hemp is one of the softest most breathable fabrics around!) It’s a real choice everyone can make in small ways that will make a real difference for our future.
#1 Buy Undies, Give Undies
In the spirit of cliché Christmas gifts, Buy Undies, Give Undies is a men’s undies project that anyone should be happy to get involved with. Similarly, to Toms shoes one-for-one, at BUGU the money from every pair of men’s undies bought is donated straight into communities in Vanuatu and Africa for the purchase of materials and wages to make brand new undies for the local school children right there in their community. It gives industry and for some children, gives them the first brand new item of clothing they may have ever had! You can buy one pair for your brother, buy a pack of three for your dad or get a 12 month undie subscription for your partner (in which you get three pairs, three times annually.) Plus, they come with super cute packaging. Who doesn’t want to know their bum saves lives?
#2 Honeybee Wraps
The next item on my list is all about supporting small business and reducing waste. Named after the small workers that help maintain one third of what we as humans eat, the honey bee. Each of these wraps are handmade in Byron Bay, NSW and are a lovely alternative for using plastic in the kitchen. They’re a perfect present for a friend who’s recently moved into a place of their own, or your mum will love the cute patterns and colours of the organic cotton they’re made from. They last up to 12 months with proper care, so if you’re lucky they might return the favour for you next year.
#3 Orange Oranges
Orange Oranges, sell a wide range of vegan, cruelty-free accessories out of their Brisbane HQ. With products ranging from jewellery to shoes, my favourite collection would have to be their bags and wallets. They have men’s, women’s and genderless bags- plus wallets and iPad cases to match! All their products are ethical and cruelty-free made from vegan leather, though you wouldn’t know it to look at them. Matt and Nat is one particular brand of notable finery. The craftsman ship is exquisite and well worth the higher price range. These products are definitely an investment, but who doesn’t love a new bag for Christmas?
#4 Paperworks Inc
Paperworks Inc is an organisation with community at its heart. Based in Canberra, ATC. Paperworks Inc are working to create inclusion through art – ‘building a community across all boundaries’. They hand make paper from all kinds of recycled materials, even old jeans that would ordinarily just be thrown away. They have a small range, but there was one thing in particular that grabbed my eye as the perfect gift – Seed Tiles. These beautifully packaged little packets have flower and veggie seeds embedded into recycled paper and cut into little ‘tiles’. This makes them great for old hands, little hands and just plain old hands. Seeds can be fiddly things at the best of time but Paperwork’s Seed Tiles make them fun and practical. Maybe they’re the gift perfect to encourage your roommate to spruce up the front balcony?
#5 Happy Skin Care
Happy Skin Care is an Australian cruelty free, vegan skin care brand with a huge range of products appropriate for all skin types. With 10% of every order (before profits) going straight into Australian charities (there’s a list on their website!) this Aussie brand is all about giving the best. They have products for everything anyone you know might need. The brand is run by a are super friendly husband and wife team, so get in touch if you have any questions. With fun names to boot (I’m looking at you Pig in Mud) Happy Skin Care is going to make you a gift giving genius.
Image source: Matt and Nat.