Best sustainable gifts for Christmas 2021: Our guide to this year’s top eco-friendly presents

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 (Unsplash)
(Unsplash)

This year, we’re dreaming of a green Christmas.

Roughly 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging (the approximate weight of 800,000 reindeers) will be generated during the festive period in the UK. So it’s never been more important to consider making more eco-conscious choices in our gift-giving.

It wasn’t long ago that you’d be hard-pressed to find many sustainable and eco-friendly gift options on the market. The festive season is commonly associated with a riotous use of gaudy single-use plastic and drunken reckless consumption. But the tide is turning as we’re collectively becoming more aware of our environmental impact. A recent study suggested that 72 per cent of us were keen to reduce our plastic waste this Christmas, and brands are catching up.

This year, the iconic London destination St. Pancras has even launched a sustainable shopping initiative in support of the UK’s Peatlands. Every purchase, from picking up a daily coffee on the commute, to snapping up some Christmas gifts will contribute to the restoration of the Gameshope Loch peatlands in Scotland. The UK Peatlands store around three times more carbon than our forests do, and every four sales at the station will help to prevent one kg of carbon being released into the atmosphere.

Opting for an eco-friendly gift for your special someone doesn’t have to mean scrimping on style either. From beautifully packaged and biodegradable beauty products made with carefully selected and sustainably sourced ingredients, to colourful backpacks and pencil cases made from plastic bottle waste, it’s never been easier to find the perfect gift that doesn’t hurt the planet.

Mindful gift-giving this year couldn’t be more simple with our edit of the best sustainable gifts to put under the (responsibly sourced) tree.

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Jewellery Making Kit

This is an on-trend gift idea that’s perfect for crafty teenagers or adults. Each kit contains vintage bead packs that have been repurposed from costume jewellery from the 1940s-1980s. A variety of gem beads, resin and glass, along with a set of alphabet beads are included to make extra-special personalised jewellery.

The sets also include tools, wires and instructions.

Buy now £39.99, TOTL TomFoolery

Engel backpack

A fun and colourful backpack for the kids. These bright and cheerful backpacks are made out of 100 per cent recycled materials such as plastic waste and bottle caps. There’s also a range of matching pencil cases available from £12.50 to co-ordinate in style.

Buy now £40.00, Kidly

La Bouche Rouge The Brown Nudes Lipstick Set

La Bouche Rouge is a brand that creates environmentally minded luxury cosmetics. Their signature lipstick range come packaged in recyclable stainless steel which are designed to be popped into their stylish refillable leather cases.

This set includes two shades of rose-tones nudes and a gorgeous pink leather case. The case can be used for life with any of their lipstick refills and are entirely plastic-free. The lipsticks themselves are also free from microplastics, parabens and silicones.

Buy now £126.00, Cult Beauty

One Ocean Beauty Hydrating Algae Oil

This Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil is a sustainable choice in more ways than one. Packaged in 100 per cent recyclable packaging, this multitasker is packed full of nutrients such as sea-lettuce, algae, and chlorophyll that work to reduce tissue damage and combat oxidative stress. Essential oils like coconut, almond, sesame and Vitamin E rehydrate and moisturise hair and skin.

One Ocean Beauty is focused on marine sustainability initiatives and have partnered with ocean conservation advocacy group Oceana. Instead of harvesting plants from the ocean, the brand uses a ‘lab-controlled bio-fermentation process’ to reproduce the active ingredients of algae, kelp and seaweed for its marine-based formulas.

Buy now £59.00, Net-a-Porter

Light Speaker

Tech brand Transparent aim to make electronics that are ‘forever upgradable’.

Extending the lifetimes of electronics goods are so important for addressing climate change and helping to conserve natural resources. Transparent are committed to eco-friendly practices and have announced a partnership with the Keep Electrical and Electronic Products (KEEP) project, a traceability system that allows you to follow the life cycles of your electronic products.

The Light Speaker has a modular audio design with long-lasting materials glass and aluminium that, as well as looking chic and offering 360 degree sound, let you repair and upgrade over time. The in-built bass-and-light element creates a natural, flickering effect that replicates real flames. It can be paired using Bluetooth and, with 10 hours of battery time and full portability, it’s an ideal companion on camping trips. Or even for recreating the ambience of a tiny bonfire from the comfort of your own home.

Buy now £270.00, Transparent

Ethical Oak Chopping & Serving Board Set

This set of serving boards will make the perfect gift for the ethically conscious culinary wizard in your life. Handmade by Bristol-based furniture and homeware artisans Konk!, the boards are made using sustainably sourced European oak. With the brands focus on excellent quality and craftsmanship, they’re also made to last.

Buy now £50.00, Wearth London

Floral Street Santal Candle

Floral Street is an independent, sustainable fragrance label. Their eco-friendly candles are consciously made from a soy wax blend and housed in reusable and recyclable glass. This Santal scent is created from vanilla beans and Texas cederwood for a spicy and woody mood-boosting shot of winter warmth.

Buy now £34.00, Floral Street

Tata Harper Green Beauty Heroes Set

This three-step regimen from Tata Harper will exfoliate, hydrate and brighten your complexion. The natural skincare brand use 100 per cent non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients in its formulas. Each product in Tata Harper’s skincare range is sustainably made from her Vermont farm. Every packaging detail from the glass bottles, to recyclable bio-base sugarcane plastic is in line with the brand’s eco-minded ethos. Even the soy ink lettering on her sustainably sourced carton paper is biodegradable.

Buy now £57.00, Net-a-Porter

Kyoot Vegan Chocolate Happiness Bundle

Kooyt’s vegan chocolate is 100 per cent organic, gluten-free and vegan. What’s more, there are only three to six ingredients included in each of its 70 per cent cacao formulas. If you’re looking for a sustainable chocolate for a stocking filler or small gift, look no further. Kyoot contains absolutely no ‘nasties’, i.e palm oil, or GMOs, and its outer packaging is fully recyclable including the sticker, and inner wrapper.

This Happiness Bundle includes two bars of each of its three flavours: Original, Crunchy Salted Caramel (our favourite) and Vanilla Quinoa Pops.

Kyoot was also recently selected as the winner of the Soho Chance award for consumer food products, beating 500+ other applicants.

Buy now £19.50, Kyoot

MOTHER Denim x Carolyn Murphy Upcycled Quilted Jacket

This jacket from sustainable clothing brand MOTHER is part of a limited-edition capsule made of upcycled materials with actress and environmental advocate Carolyn Murphy. The 14-piece collection uses pre- and post-consumer waste including vintage finds, rag house deadstock and the brand’s own damages and overstock.

An homage to vintage Americana, this jacket is made from repurposed patchwork quilts with unique colours and designs - meaning each jacket is one-of-a-kind.

The collaboration will also donate $50,000 from its sales to the Sierra Club to help support its work in protecting the 30 per cent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

Buy now £394.00, MOTHER Denim

Sana Jardin Berber Blonde Eau de Parfum

Give someone the gift of bottled summer with Sana Jardin’s Berber Blonde Eau de Parfum. It’s notes of orange blossom, neroli oil and musk are uplifting and joyful, something everyone will be needing come January.

Adding to its feel-good credentials, it follows an ethical business model. Former social worker Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed founded Sana Jardin to empower female workers by providing fair wages and teaching business skills to the Moroccan workers who harvest the flowers used in her fragrances. Each perfume in the range is also bottled in recycled packaging.

Buy now £95.00, Net-a-Porter

Zero-Waste Bamboo Razor Gift Set

A sustainable and reusable alternative to disposable plastic razors. This plastic-free razor gift set comes with a solid bamboo and stainless steel head that will fit all double-edged blades.

The set also includes a hessian drawstring travel bag and a five-pack of blades. Hessian is a woven fabric made from the jute plant, a highly sustainable source of renewable material.

Buy now £29.99, Wearth London

Mayni Coffee

Easy Jose Coffee work with and support the Mayni Indigenous Community, who live in the Peruvian Rainforest, to tackle deforestation of the Amazon.

The Mayni grow coffee in a way that reduces biodiversity destruction by only clearing undergrowth to plant their coffee trees. This means that the majority of the forest is left intact, soils are left undisturbed and is far less damaging to the microclimate of the area.

The Indigenous Community Coffee has mouth-watering notes of chocolate, almond, honey and orange and is available in a variety of grinds and roasts.

Why not gift a monthly coffee subscription? From £18, either two 250g or two 500g bags will be delivered to the coffee-lover in your life’s door each month. Delicious coffee that supports the the fight to save rainforest and directly supports the indigenous communities who live in it.

All packaging is fully biodegradable and plastic free.

Buy now £9.50, Easy Jose

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