By Lucy Munday
It’s that time of year again and if you’re anything like me you will be looking guiltily at the wrapping paper and apologising to trees. Christmas may be the time for indulging but that doesn’t mean you need to apologise for it, especially with such awesome brands like these to give you some festive inspiration.
The Ojoba Collective
Do you like to slather yourself in organic body butters knowing exactly what went into them? Do you regularly wish that you had a shopping basket weaved just for you? Well, your Christmas wishes might come true.
Based in Ghana,this women’s cooperative sustainably produces and hand processes shea butter and baobab oil with the aim of alleviating extreme poverty and empowering women in rural Africa through the regular work provided by the shea butter refinement, as well as access to micro-financing projects and literacy classes. You can buy their moisturisers and also hand weaved baskets online at http://www.ojobacollective.com/
House of Marley
It’s time to get up, stand up, like a buffalo soldier and stir it up with some environmentally friendly audio products. Well, people get ready, because now you can satisfy your soul and get jamming with the clarity of sound found in these fantastic high quality earphones and headphones made from recycled materials by House of Marley. They also make watches in the same way so you don’t have to wait in vain. House of Marley is available online at http://www.thehouseofmarley.com/
If you are looking to deck out your special person this holiday season, why not do it with a garment that gives back. Each week Sevenly chooses a different charity to design for and promote with their creative tees. Previous causes have included The Invisible Girl Project, Autism Speaks, education and meal provision for orphans in Africa, The Mocha Club and many others. You can now even get a Causebox for Christmas full of socially conscious goodies all for $49.95. Just go to their online shop at www.sevenly.org
We’ve all done it: made chutney, jams, honeycomb, maybe even rolled our own truffles as economical Christmas gifts thinking ‘it’s the thought that counts’. Damian Magista at Bee Local artisan honey of Portland, knows this to be true. His ethical production methods of honey turn standard production on its head by providing varied opportunities for bees to forage; stopping the transportation of his bees to pollinate one section of crop; and offering an unrefined, and also award winning, genuinely organic honey to the consumer.
With the frightening idea that bees could soon become a very endangered species, more brands like this need our backing. You can find out more about Bee Local and purchase honey gift packs, honey dippers, different flavours of honey specific to a region and also their ‘Keep Bees or Die’ T-shirt from http://shop.beelocal.com/
Books, books, books, I love a good book for some cosy winter reading curled up in a window seat with a warm open fire licking at my feet. With its reputation for using paper, the publishing industry is not widely known for being at all sustainable. Chelsea Green publishers however, are trying to change all that by creating books about sustainability in sustainable ways. From books on forest farming, recipes, feminist writing and social justice, to children’s books on composting fantasties about Gaia, there is an incredible range. They print on recycled paper and are a founding member of the Green Press Initiative. Visit their bookstore online for some green reading at http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore
Shop Ethica is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin online fashion brand. You shop for ethically created current fashion products that warm your heart and will keep out the cold this Christmas. Think ASOS or Etsy with the added tag guarantees of fair trade, vegan, handcrafted and sustainable for boots, clothes, jewellery and accessories with the opportunity to get to know the designers and stories behind the pieces. Shop Ethica can be shopped online at http://www.shopethica.com/