Image for Ethical gifts: 25 purposeful presents to give this Christmas

Ethical gifts: 25 purposeful presents to give this Christmas

Buy the change you want to see in the world this Christmas, with the help of these ethical gifts that are driving positive change for people and planet

Buy the change you want to see in the world this Christmas, with the help of these ethical gifts that are driving positive change for people and planet

Ethical gifts to give this Christmas
A cookery class with migrant chefs

Migrateful runs cookery classes led by migrant chefs who are struggling to integrate and access employment, due to legal and linguistic barriers. The experience of learning to make authentic recipes from around the world, sharing food and meeting new people makes for a purposeful present. £20 online and £43.71 in person; 

Image: Migrateful

Ethical Christmas gifts
Corkyogis yoga mats

For every yoga mat that it sells, Corkyogis donates 10 per cent of profits to Destiny Reflection, a charity that supports survivors of sex slavery and human trafficking in Kolkata, India. The natural, eco-friendly cork mats have great grip, even during strenuous sessions. Complete the gift by adding a sari yoga mat bag made by women and girls in Kolkata. £65; 

Image: Corkyogis

Good news - HIV jabs were approved for use in Britain
Sponsor a vaccine for someone in need

Gift wrap a Covid vaccine for someone in a lower income country this winter by donating on behalf of a loved one through Go Give One. Created by the WHO Foundation, the campaign prioritises those who need them the most in countries that cannot afford them, making this a potentially life-saving gift. From £4;

Image: Towfiqu Barbhuiya

Positive News magazine
Positive News magazine gift subscription

Uplift someone this Christmas, with a gift subscription to Positive News magazine. Each issue features inspiring stories about what’s going right in the world, brought together in a certified carbon neutral magazine. Your recipient will receive the magazine throughout the year, as well as a copy of the current issue at Christmas and access to the digital edition. £30;

Image: Positive News

Ethical gifts
Khesht wall art 

Available from refugee-run online shop Anqa Collective, these beautiful wall hangings are inspired by traditional Iranian patterns, and are printed with water-based ink on organic cotton. Ideal for the home interior design enthusiast in your life, these ethical gifts are made to order and come with their own wooden frames. £46.89; 

Image: Anqa Collective

Ethical gifts for Christmas
Ethical football, hand stitched in Africa

Alive and Kicking make hand stitched, professional standard leather footballs. Each ball has a striking design, which has been handprinted. Buying an Alive and Kicking ball will directly support ethical jobs and the delivery of health education in disadvantaged communities in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. £15-25;

Image: Alive and Kicking 

When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamín Labatut

Shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize, Benjamín Labatut’s When We Cease to Understand the World uses a blend of fiction and historical fact to explore the stories of great minds who expanded our own notions of what is possible, including Fritz Haber, Alexander Grothendieck, Werner Heisenberg and Albert Einstein. £8.99;

Image: Pushkin Press

Fair Trade tote bag

Neema Crafts helps transform the lives of more than 120 people with disabilities in the rural Iringa region of Tanzania. These Fair Trade, screen-printed tote bags with rope handles and a wooden toggle are made using sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. £25;

Image: Nema Crafts

Recycled rubber coasters

Bringing the principles of the circular economy to rubber waste are these geometric coasters, which are made out of old tyre inner tubes from lorries and buses. Sourced from Indonesia, the coasters are hand cut and heat resistant, so the recipient won’t have to worry about ring marks on the furniture again. £15;

Image: Paguro

Ethical gifts
Ceramic planters

These stoneware planters make ideal ethical gifts for botanists. Produced by Habulous, a positive impact homeware brand, they are all handmade by designer Nicky Edmunds in her Dartmoor studio, and packaged using vegan and recycled materials. £22.50;

Image: Habulous

Finisterre RNLI fisherman beanie

Made from super soft merino wool, this classic fisherman’s rib beanie will keep heads warm this winter. It’s finished with the RNLI logo and 10 per cent of profits go to the charity that saves lives at sea. Additionally, for every purchase over the Black Friday weekend, £2.50 will be donated to the The Wetsuit Project, which helps to provide and alter wetsuits in then name of equal access to the ocean for everyone. £30;

Image: Finisterre

Ethical gifts
Brew Tea Co. tasting bundle

This tasting bundle includes five best-selling black teas, from English breakfast to Darjeeling. Made from rolled whole leaves and blended in Manchester, Brew Tea Co. believes only the best will do. They work with Ethical Tea Partnership Growers and are Rainforest Alliance Certified. Packaging is plastic-free and tea bags are compostable. £30;

Image: Brew Tasting Co.

Christmas ethical gifts
Pala sunglasses

There are 1.2 billion people worldwide with poor vision, simply because they are unable to receive basic surgery or access glasses. Pala Eyewear, which says it keeps its impact on the planet low and its impact on people high, funds eye care projects across Africa. Their stylish, sustainable eyewear is hand made in a family run workshop in Italy. £110;

Image: Pala Eyewear

Connect card game

Designed to foster closeness between couples, Connect uses the structure of a card game to help lovers clear the air, rekindle their affection for each other and bring fun back into their relationship. A deceptively simple game with potentially enormous benefits, from The School of Life. £22;

Image: The School Of Life

Masala chai kit

Pay homage to the ingredients of India and support producers there with this Masala chai tea kit from Amala Chai, which donates 5 per cent of each sale to support rural farming initiatives in Kerala. Ideal ethical gifts, inside you’ll find 60g of black Aassam tea and 25g of cardamom masala: a perfectly balanced blend of cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger powder, and cinnamon. £9.50;

Image: Amala Chai

Ruby Moon leggings

The world’s only completely circular, not-for-profit swim and activewear brand makes these soft, stretchy sports leggings using regenerated nylon from ocean waste, such as fishing nets. Each purchase helps provide finance to a female entrepreneur through Lend With Care, which empowers women with micro loans. £79;

Image: Ruby Moon

Tarangear Maasai blankets

Affectionately known as the ‘African blanket’, this vibrant, handmade textile is worn by the Maasai people of East Africa and makes the perfect travel companion or outdoor throw. In addition to employing local artisans, Tarangear donates 10 per cent from each sale to support wildlife conservation efforts in Tanzania. £27;

Image: Tarangear

Easy José coffee

Easy José is a specialty coffee roaster that is leading the industry through its ethical and sustainable sourcing model. Their coffee is made by the indigenous Mayni people, who are committed to protecting the rainforest. From £8.50;

Image: Nathan Dumlao

Recycled notebook from Vent

Stationery obsessives will love these stylish notebooks, made in the UK from 100 per cent recycled paper and card. Proceeds from this notebook go towards the Ambassador for Change Programme, which provides pencils to communities that need them. Meanwhile, 10 per cent from every item sold goes to supporting children’s education projects worldwide. £7.99;

Image: Vent

Authentic House candles

This jasmine and honeysuckle candle evokes the scent of summertime, which is certain to cheer up any grey winter day. Each of Authentic House’s candles are handmade in the UK from a blend of coconut and soy wax and decorated with petals. They are vegan, paraffin, phthalate and palm free, and a tree is planted with every order. £12

Image: Authentic House

Elephant Branded Wild Laptop Case

Made out of recycled rice bags by villagers in Cambodia, these cases will not only keep your laptop safe in transit but for each one sold, Elephant Branded hand delivers a stationery pack to a child in Africa or Asia. Designed for 13 and 15 inch Apple MacBooks. £39.99;

Image: Elephant Branded

Ethical gifts for men
Pachamama men’s condor jacket

Throw it back to the 90s with this retro zip jacket featuring bold condor motifs, which is handmade in Nepal from 100 per cent wool. Pachamama has been Fair Trade since 1990, and donates 10 per cent of all profits to Net4kids, a charity supporting underprivileged children. £75;

Image: Pachamama

We Are All Birds of Uganda, by Hafsa Zayyan

Hafsa Zayyan – co-winner of the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize – has been described as one of the most exciting young novelists of today. Moving between 1960s Uganda and present day London, her latest release, We Are All Birds of Uganda, explores racial tensions, generational divides and what it means to belong. £14.99; 

Image: Penguin

Ethical gifts for the home
Felt cactus

Finally a houseplant you can’t kill. It looks great, doesn’t need water and is surprisingly soft. Hand-felted in Nepal and Fair Trade certified, it’s made with all natural and biodegradable materials and dyes. By buying Felt So Good products you help fund fairly paid work in Nepal, and help protect and promote ancient techniques and skills. £19.95;

Image: Felt So Good

Handmade baubles 

These hand-painted ceramic baubles are designed by refugees and make great stocking fillers. There are four styles to choose from including one particularly dazzling design by Karim from Kuwait. He wanted to show that life isn’t just about sadness – brightness and happiness are never too far away. £15;

Image: Cotswold Bauble Company
Main image: Getty

Positive News may earn a small commission from some of the links in this article, but our ethical gifts selection has been made independently. Any commission we earn from affiliate links to these ethical gifts helps to fund our inspiring journalism.

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