It used to be difficult to think of what to give to people want to live in more ethical ways, or to find desirable eco-friendly presents. Fortunately that’s no longer the case, and here are our pick of recycled, Fair Trade and environmentally-friendly gifts.
Environmental designers Elvis & Kresse make accessories from reclaimed fire hose. This year they teamed up with leather bag and accessory designer Bill Amberg to create the Tooley tote that tops Chantal’s Christmas list. This bag gets its name from The Tooley Street Fire near London Bridge, a two-week fire in 1861 that led to the creation of London’s modern Fire Bridgade.
Most of us have everything we need to survive and more. So why not donate a present to somebody less well-off? Lack of clean water and sanitation is a major problem in the developing world, and a Water Aid gift is a step in the right direction. Try Good Gifts for a wider choice of causes, or give a young homeless person a better Christmas with Centrepoint.
The Grenada Chocolate Company makes all of its chocolate on the caribbean island of Grenada, keeping as much of the final value of the chocolate as possible within the community that farms the cocoa. Local cocoa farmers are part of a co-operative that owns shares in the business, run from a small solar-powered factory near Hermitage.
The GCC works using an entirely new model of farming cocoa and making chocolate, traded as fairly as possible, and you can buy it from us here.
Nkuku is an environmentally-aware company specialising in beautiful fair-trade homewares. We love these giant antique recycled glass baubles, which come in various sizes up to 25cm.
Cut own on food miles by growing your own. Allotinabox sells grow-your-own seed boxes and quarterly seed subscriptions, including kits for urban gardening. Don’t have a garden? Grow your plants in the recycled box your seeds came in.
Our new jute shopping bag has just touched down in Rococo shops. Carbon-offset and made for us by an company that carefully audits worker conditions, the bag is a sturdy and environmentally-friendly mix of jute and cotton. You can’t get it online just yet, but it’s just £7.50 in our shops and is currently free when you spend £75.
Many people think of energy use primarily in terms of heat and light, and don’t consider the environmental consequences of their water use. The Eco Kettle was the first kettle to be awarded the Energy Savings Trust’s Recommended mark and looks significantly better than early eco-kettles.
Moving on to the garden, we mentioned these insect homes a few weeks ago. Providing essential habitats for threatened bees and other important insects, these lovely boxes from WudWerx are crafted by hand in Edinburgh.
If you can’t walk to work, the most – eco friendly method of commuting is cycling, but if you travel any distance you’ll want outerwear that’s waterproof, windproof and breathable with reflective strips. Step in Veleco, who raised money to produce their clothes on Kickstarter earlier this year.
Veleco claim to be the world’s first eco-friendly Fair Trade cycle clothing brand and use recycled and natural materials whenever possible: each Re:Cycle jacket was once 12 plastic bottles.
Green and Blue is a small sustainable design company and workshop on Cornwall’s north coast. Their clay birdballs make perfect homes for nesting small birds, who are protected from passing squirrels and cats by the hanging design. Green and Blue also make simple, modern bird feeders.
Posh Salvage, the new collection from Emily Readett-Bayley’s Posh Graffiti, makes beautiful homewares out of wood salvaged from Indonesian rivers and unprocessed wild rattan harvested and made by rainforest villagers, providing alternative employment to loggers and a financial replacement for damaging palm oil plantations.
Finally, we have a small number left of our own Gru Grococo chocolate bars. The beans in this 66% cocoa single-estate bar come from our own cocoa farm in Grenada. They were made into bars by the Grenada Chocolate Company before being shipped to the UK in a wooden sailing ship with no motor, making it the UK’s first carbon-neutral chocolate bar. 100% of the profits from this bar go back to the chocolate producers.