Image for Positive presents: the best ethical gifts to give this Christmas

Positive presents: the best ethical gifts to give this Christmas

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

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

Christmas ethical gift guide
Jollie’s socks

They are perennially one of the most common gifts found under the Christmas tree. And for every pair of brightly-coloured, joy-affirming socks it sells, Jollie’s donates another pair to a homeless shelter. As well as creating organic, pesticide-free toe warmers, the company, commendably but unenviably, recycles stinky old pairs too. £10;

Image: Jollie’s 

Ethical gifts include bamboo underwear
Bamboo underwear

Bam sells pants you’d be happy to show off. Made using sustainably-managed bamboo grass, which absorbs five times more CO2 from the air than the equivalent amount of hardwood trees, their Hipster Fitted Bamboo Boxers have saved 164.5 litres of water compared with traditional cotton pants. From £15; 

Image: Bam

Glow knitwear is an ethical gift
Glow knitwear

Created for cyclists and runners to be seen in the dark, Glow’s bright, funky collection of sustainable hats, snoods and headbands are made from a unique glass fibre wool, which makes them light-reflective. But what really makes Glow stand out is the fact that they are hand-knitted using traditional slow fashion techniques by black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women who have faced barriers in getting into work. From £20; 

Image: Glow

Christmas ethical gift guide 2020
Sapiens Human History card game

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a game for the family to get stuck into. Cue Sapiens, a playfully-illustrated card game, based on Happy Families and made from recycled cardboard, which provides an educational romp through the major historical periods of the human race. Buy from Amnesty, which sells a range of ethical gifts, to support their work. £13.95;

Image: Londji

Positive News gift subscription

Make someone’s year by buying them a subscription to Positive News magazine. They’ll receive all four uplifting issues in 2021, plus a copy of the current issue at Christmas, as well as a gift certificate and access to the digital edition. Be quick, though – time is running out to get a free copy of Positive News to give at Christmas when you order a gift subscription. Offer ends 16 December and stock is limited. £30;

Ethical gifts
A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough

“We moved from being a part of nature to being apart from nature,” writes naturalist David Attenborough in a startling book that he has described as a witness statement. Solutions to saving the natural world feature inside, but require immediate action. From £18.60;

Image: Penguin

New Daughters of Africa edited by Margaret Busby

A generation on from the first Daughters of Africa anthology, Margaret Busby has also edited its follow-up. This vital collection of underrepresented voices has contributions from Margo Jefferson, Nawal El Saadawi, Zadie Smith and 200 other women writers of African descent. Buy online via This Is Book Love, the “multicultural book carnival” that shares inclusive children’s books with schools and community centres. £30;

Image: Myriad

How to Be Hopeful by Bernadette Russell

How to Be Hopeful isn’t so much a book but a modern-day toolkit for letting more hope and optimism into our lives. Filled with helpful tips, this thoughtfully researched tome jumps into cup-half-full philosophy as well. A balm for turbulent times. £12.99;

Image: Elliott & Thompson

Little Ruffle and the World Beyond by Jodie Jackson

Designed to instil optimism and self-empowerment in children aged three years and older, this wonderfully illustrated book follows Little Ruffle, a fearful nestling, as her mother takes her on a journey to find beauty and kindness in the world. From £6.99; 

Image: Jodie Jackson

Avallen Calvados

This award-winning calvados – an apple brandy with a floral honeysuckle nose, distilled in Normandy – aims to be the world’s most sustainable spirit. It’s organic, locally sourced, responsibly packaged and uses some of its profits to help boost biodiversity. £35;

Image: Avallen

Ethical gift guide 2020
Vintage Roots wine

Raise a toast to this fantastic, 100 per cent organic vintner. Offering one of the largest collections of eco-friendly wines on the web, its handpicked cellar is full of vegan, vegetarian, low- or no-sulphur wines, as well as some choice beers and spirits too. From £4.50;

Image: Jeff Siepman

Ethical gift guide 2020
Toast Ale

To raise awareness about the detrimental impact of our food systems, craft brewery Toast Ale – which makes beer with surplus bread instead of virgin barley – has created some limited-edition brews to coincide with next year’s COP26 climate summit. Banding with fellow B Corp brands, a 6.2 per cent stout brewed with Divine Chocolate kicks off the series. All profits go to the charity Feedback. From £28 for 12 bottles;

Image: Patrick Fore

Ethical gifts
Apostle coffee

For coffee that won’t keep you up all night, buy organic beans from carbon-negative Apostle, the off-grid roasters in Shropshire who use producers committed to biodiverse farming, reforestation and waste reduction. All Apostle packaging is compostable too. From £6.99;

Image: Apostle

Ethical gift guide 2020
Ethical chocolate

There are a number of do-good chocolatiers making melt-in-the-mouth magic: Tony’s, purveyors of chunky bars of chocolate, uses traceable cocoa beans and guarantees a fair pricing for farmers; Fairtrade Divine Chocolate, a social enterprise making piously-named but devilishly delectable treats using low impact methods, shares its profits with cocoa producers; and Seed & Bean, the sustainable British chocolate-makers whose Fairtrade delights are created from organic ingredients and use 100 per cent recyclable packaging. From £1.49

Image: Ablo Merchan Montes

The Singing Leaf organic tea gift set

This lovely tea gift set includes two bags of tea, two tea samples, a basket infuser, reusable cotton tea bags, plus bamboo spoon and tea tongs. It evokes the mindful ethos of The Singing Leaf, a small-batch loose leaf tea brand that creates herbal infusions from organic, wild-foraged ingredients. All of their packaging is biodegradable. £25; 

Image: The Singing Leaf

Ethical gifts
Choose Love gifts for refugees

From warm winter clothes and trauma counselling to phone credit for unaccompanied children, Choose Love sends ethical gifts directly to refugees and displaced people in more than 130 locations across the world. From £5;

Image: Choose Love

Ethical gifts
In Kind Direct gifts for vulnerable people

Supporting those in need, In Kind Direct distributes hand wash, period products, cleaning supplies and tea to the most vulnerable alongside uplifting gifts such as toys and toiletries at Christmas. Donate either products or money for their distribution. From £1; 

Image: In Kind Direct

Planting trees for carbon offsetting
Treedom trees

With tree planting integral to the survival of the planet, Treedom should feature on every list of ethical gifts. The website allows you to plant a tree remotely and follow its progress online, whilst directly financing the farmer who will nurture it. Choose what you want to plant – cacao, banana and limited edition trees for Christmas are among the saplings available – and you’ll also see the amount of CO2 it will absorb. From €14.90 (£13.20);

Image: Treedom

Ethical gift guide 2020

The only ethical gifts worth throwing away this year are Seedboms: biodegradable, biodiversity projectiles made of organic peat-free compost and non-GMO seeds that grows into wildflowers to sustain bees, butterflies and other important insects. From £3.95; 

Image: Kabloom

Ethical gift guide 2020
WakeCup zero waste starter Kit

Possibly the simplest way to eliminate plastic from your everyday, WakeCup’s zero waste starter kits contain vegan backpacks and bamboo coffee cups, bottles and straws. They also donate 10 per cent of their profits to the Marine Conservation Society. From £35; 

Image: WakeCup

Ethical gifts for Christmas
Arthouse Unlimited mugs

Illustrated by a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities, the designs on Arthouse Unlimited’s bone china mugs are triumphant expressions of creativity. From £11;

Image: GH

Floral Street perfumes

Floral Street’s sustainably-sourced fragrances smell even sweeter when you realise they are vegan and cruelty free. The first in the industry to use 100 per cent compostable boxes, Floral Street’s customers can refill their empty bottles at the brand’s London store. From £9; 

Image: Floral Street

Positive News ethical gift guide 2020
Bala Sport’s Fairtrade football

Formerly the official match ball for the Homeless World Cup, the workers who make Bala Sport’s Fairtrade footballs are given a decent whack too: a 10 per cent premium on top of their fair pay. Profits help fund social development schemes. From £9.60;

Image: Bala Sport
Main image: Kira auf der Heide

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

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