Gifts that give back
It’s Christmas, so it’s time to help people, the planet and our precious environment. By Karen Pasquali Jones.
Published 10 Jul 2017
May the Porg be with you
Fancy some out-of-this-world stellar sneakers that tick all the ethical boxes? These unisex, vegan Porg hi-tops, in organic cotton with a Fairtrade rubber sole, are extra comfy, with a removable inner sole made from coconut husk and natural latex. And just in case you’re not a Star Wars superfan, Porgs are like a flying puffin that appeared in The Last Jedi and captured everyone’s hearts – and now feet. £69; lo-tops, £59, po-zu.com
Colourful and unique, this birdhouse has been hand made from recycled sweet wrappers. It can be hung up in your garden and has a varnished exterior to keep any birds who visit it warm and dry. It’s sourced by Oxfam – a label that shows it’s ethical, sustainable and is helping end poverty worldwide. £12.99, from Oxfam shops and oxfam.org.uk
It’s raining gifts!
…we hope, with these fabulously fun and Fairtrade brass cloud and umbrella earrings, hand made by women in the Flowering Desert Project in Tamil Nadu, India. The project offers training and fairly paid work for women, often giving them a status in their society for the first time. £10 per pair, museumoflondonshop.co.uk
My little unicorn
Make this Christmas truly magical with a unicorn friend who’s as ethical as she is beautiful. Created by a free-from-plastic company, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), in sustainable or recycled paper or card, it’s a perfect stocking filler. £9.99 clockwork soldiershop.co.uk
The ultimate festive toy, this Fairtrade Ark is hand made in sustainable rubberwood from exhausted rubber plantations and carved by artisans in Sri Lanka. It has a slide-out ramp for the animals to march in – two by two, of course! For 3 years upwards, £76.99, borngifted.co.uk
Forget Rudolph – this is the reindeer everyone will want. Carved by workers at Gospel House Handicrafts, a Fairtrade organisation in Sri Lanka revered for world-class woodcraft, and whitewashed by artists in an Indian Fairtrade cooperative, it comes flat-packed, but that’s part of the fun! £14, traidcraftshop.co.uk
Support the good (green) life in Italy and treat your dearest foodie to a very special present – adopting an olive tree. Tended by producers in Liguria, Le Marche, Abruzzo and Sicily, the sustainable groves use traditional farming practices. The Nudo Adopt gifts start from £39, nudoadopt.com
A helping hand for the homeless
While Christmas is full of festive cheer for most of us, there are 18,000 young people at risk of homelessness facing a difficult, lonely and isolating time. Why not buy them a Christmas Dinner so they can share a meal with others being helped by Centrepoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. The More Than A Christmas Dinner costs £10. centrepoint.org.uk/morethanagift