In this week’s blog, On Purpose Associate Charlotte Sewell (April 14) looks at how we can Christmas shop to support busines
ses with a difference.
There’s something unpleasant about the frenzy Christmas shopping can induce; the fear of making bad choices and the worry you might be contributing to next year’s land fill. But while Black Friday hypnotises and horrifies us, exciting ventures and original business propositions are shaking things up, offering increasingly appealing ways to Christmas shop in a more conscious style that celebrates creative thinking, well paid producers, beautiful design, and low impact manufacture.
Thanks to those in the know, there are a whole hoard of guides to help you find thoughtful presents and support businesses you believe in. Here are a selection of some of my favourites:
Lostshapes is the brainchild of Anna Brindle. She prints her shirts and sweatshirts from her garage in Somerset and is discerning about her suppliers, working with ethically traded, organic and 90% reduced CO2 cotton.
Artbox ‘s vibrant recycled leather covered notebooks are made in Britain with high grade recyled paper.
For sturdy and stunning design, Kent- based Elvis and Kresse are fairly stand-out. Their punchy red creations are made from recycled fire hose that’s bomb proof (or seems it) and beautiful.
–Bennett and Bates make beautiful homeware textiles. They’re sticklers for sustainability, ensuring their packaging, stationery and labelling is recycled, reusable or biodegradable and only work companies
who pay fairly. Explore for all your teatowel and cushion needs.
If you’re on the hunt for low impact sportswear, look no further than small Welsh-based Howies
Lost Property of London takes salvaged fabric and transforms it into beautiful bags. Each piece is made in London, using traditional techniques and vegetable tanned leather.
Apparently it’s possible to make baubles out of beeswax. For remarkable tree decorations and a whole hoard of ethical offerings, visit ethical department store Liv.
When it comes to wrapping paper, it’s definitely worth checking out top trending Indiegogo campaign, Wrap Up. Devised by my fabulous fellow On Purpose Associates, this project captures limited edition illustrations by top designers, prints them on recycled paper and uses the sales proceeds to pay for Christmas dinners for residents at Caritas Anchor House, a homeless social action charity.