We’ve all heard the term “vote with your dollar”, and if you haven’t… well, you have now. Christmas is one of the best times to do just that. Vote with your dollar and shop ethically this festive season!
Yes, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is fast approaching, and if you’re like me then you’re loving it. The second October hits and the air gets just that bit colder, I’m beginning to get into festive-mode. But this year I’ve been dreading it slightly, as I’m aiming to make it my most ethical Christmas yet!
So when I’ve not been writing university essays, I’ve been searching high and low for the best ethical and sustainable businesses to do my shopping with. Make sure you bookmark this post so when the time comes, you know where to find your ethical gifts this year!
*This post contains gifted items. For more information about how I declare gifted and/or sponsored posts, please see my disclaimer.*
I was lucky enough to get sent this beautiful box of travel soaps from Soap Folk via Rare Beauty Co. in the past couple of weeks! Based in the Stroud Valleys of Gloucestershire, Soap Folk is a small business run by the lovely Fiona. She built the business from the ground up at a time where she felt as though she lost sight of who she was. And the rest is history!
This little box contains six of their soaps in a handy travel size. You may have seen me unbox this over on my Instagram. Of the six scents, my favourite is definitely Milk & Honey – although Peppermint is a close second! Their website describes them as being “perfect for guest soaps and for travel”.
In an effort to reduce waste, Soap Folk repurpose their offcuts to create these adorable minis. Each mini soap is approximately 25g – that’s a quarter of their full size soaps. They estimate that one mini should last at least a week with regular (daily) use.
Priced at just £8 these strike me as a great ‘Secret Santa’ gift, or even a stocking filler.
Handcrafted in the UK, Katie Cardew produces homeware featuring whimsical illustrations. From art prints and postcards to oven gloves and placemats, there’s something for everyone!
When she says “handcrafted in the UK” she means it. Prints are produced from home/her studio in Northamptonshire, mugs are made in Stoke-on-Trent, fabrics made in Lancashire, and everything else is all sourced from within a 10-mile radius. Cutting down on carbon emissions and supporting the local economy – what’s not to love?
“Buy once, buy well.”
Established in 2015, Jemma has been transforming her colourful illustrations into prints, stickers, pins, calendars, and much more for almost 6 years! Based in Plymouth, she brings a little sunshine with her wherever she goes. Her illustrative style is easily recognisable and loved by many.
If you know someone who loves colourful crafts as much as she (and I) do, then she’s your go-to gal! I know I’ll be treating myself to a few of the stickers from her shop this Christmas.
“Fuck Fast Fashion”. The tagline adopted by Emily Evans, founder of Zola Amour in Brighton. Together with her mother, the two produce high quality organic and sustainable fashion that say ‘fuck you’ to fast fashion. They source 80% of their fabric are knitted in the UK and they even use organic cotton thread to stitch their garments. For those unaware, it’s about x5 the cost to use organic cotton than it is the polyester thread alternative.
They take a ‘no bullshit’ approach to ethical fashion, and aren’t here for our culture of throwaway fashion.
“Fuck Fast Fashion is a sentiment I 100% stand behind. I’m sorry if this offends you, but fast fashion offends us.”
A fellow blogger, Zoe’s shop first came to my attention over on Twitter. By day she’s a blogger and youtuber, covering everything from makeup looks and reviews to monthly roundups and Q&A’s. But she also runs her own shop on her website too!
All of her prints are one of a kind, handmade, and produced using recycled paper. My personal favourites are the wooden slice paintings. They’re so cute and would make the perfect Christmas decoration.
DML Paintings is owned and run by Danielle, a 20-something year old based in Orlando, Florida. Her paintings are vibrant, whimsical, and quite frankly – absolutely stunning. She also offers a custom painting service, where you can design an artwork that’s personal to you.
There’s also a deal on whereby the sale of every pink painting will see 20% of profits donated to breast cancer charities.
We all know someone who dotes on their four-legged friend(s). So why not purchase something they’re bound to get joy out of? Critter Crafting offers hand-crocheted pet blankets, coasters, and blankets. Each pet blanket is approx. 12-14 inches in size, and can be draped over cat trees, chairs, or pet carriers.
A portion of each sale with Critter Crafting gets donated to an animal charity. A few of their favourites include Operation Catnip, Helping Hands Pet Rescue, and Gainesville no-kill pet rescue.
If that’s not enough, you should check out their Instagram for adorable kitty snapshots!
I often find practical gifts are the most appreciated. Sometimes those gifts are things people wouldn’t usually purchase for themselves. Ille Illustre’s captivating designs are put together at the Scottish borders. Each one is 100% cotton 8oz Half Panama and is shipped in 100% biodegradable packaging.
Check their website to see the range of designs they have available. My favourite is design number 3 with a monochrome cactus print.
Searching for the ideal gift for your vegan loved ones? Look no further!
Inspired by veganism, The Punky Bunny offer a wide range of eco-friendly gifts, prints, and cards. I’ve followed their owner, Emma, on Twitter for quite a while and even purchased their ‘compassion’ keyring previously. From mugs and pins to prints and phone cases, they really cater to the masses.
“Not preachy, not political, just positive vegan vibes.”
Each month, 10% of all profits are donated to the Brockswood Animal Sanctuary in the West Midlands (UK).
I don’t know about you, but it isn’t Christmas without a few “smellies” thrown in! By smellies, I mean bath products, perfumes, soaps etc. Even better if they’re all-natural and cruelty free. Pampered Hippie offer handmade, plant-based bath and body products to help you relax and unwind this festive season. Because sometimes you just need a little break.
Each bath bomb is handcrafted with essential oils, and even have a little crystal inside. There’s currently a variety of zodiac bath bombs available, all with information sheets on how the crystals interact with your sign. Definitely makes a change from the usual Lush bath bomb selection!
In addition to bath bombs, salts, and body lotions, they also offer a range of jewellery and migraine roller bottles.
To save this post going on forever (and trust me, I could) I’ve listed all the small ethical businesses I could find below. They’ve been organised by category to guarantee a better browsing experience. Think I’ve missed any off the list? Get in touch with your recommendations either in the comments or by social media!
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.