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The Best Sustainable Christmas Gifts

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The sustainable must-have gifts this season

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Christmas – the season of giving. But since one in 10 Christmas presents ends up in the bin every year, the act of giving can be pretty unsustainable. Well, fear not – we’ve done the hard work and found the best sustainable gifts. That means not only will your presents be a guaranteed success – and avoid that bin – they will also be ethical and sustainable themselves. So, have a read through our guide for the best sustainable and must-have Christmas gifts this season…

The Country & Town House Responsible Buyers’ Guide

The Best Sustainable Christmas Gifts

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Smiling Rocks

Ultra-sustainable lab-grown diamonds who operate on a carbon for carbon basis. They’ve planted nearly 150,000 trees since they began making diamonds; and with such beautiful jewellery, it’s bound to put a smile on your face.

Eco-diamond, from £885. smilingrocks.com

Spoil Yourself: Ultra Luxury Gift Ideas For Christmas

TELMONT

Brilliant bubbles 

The vintage Blanc de Blancs from Telmont are a brilliant luxe option for a festive gift. Each bottle is made with ethical fervour; the brand believe that great wine is a gift from nature, driving its environmental policy. They only use renewable energy in their maker process and their vineyards are geared towards growing in a way that still protects biodiversity. Plus, you’ll only receive the bottle (no extraneous packaging) when ordered, and the design speaks for itself.

Réserve Brut NV Champagne, £52.99. selfridges.com

AESOP

B-CORP BALMS

A gorgeous cream using emollient ingredients (plus bergamot rind, vetiver root and petitgrain for a super relaxing scent) to create sustained hydration for your hands. Aesop’s global business is carbon neutral, all vegan – and no animal testing is involved in devising the products. Extra guilt-free.

Reverence Aromatic hand balm, from £25. aesop.com

WILD NUTRITION

Personalised Supplement Regimes

Offering 60 second quizzes to get to the bottom of your dietary needs, Wild Nutrition offers personalised wellness regimes for all. The company is a B Corp as of 2021 and this is reflected in its ingredients: oh-so-good for you non-synthetic ingredients providing all-natural ingredients to boost your wellness.

Sleep Duo Supplement, £37. wildnutrition.com

labo the matcha

LE LABO

Scents with soul

Think scents that are good for the planet. This is the ultra-luxe yet sustainable brand with a conscious ethos. Each Le Labo perfume is hand-blended to order (no wastage there), using natural, responsibly-sourced ingredients. Try the just-launched, Thé Matcha 26 — which balances and harmonises a fig note, grounded by soft vetiver and textural cedar woods, with oomph from bitter orange —a  fleeting fragrance. You may need someone to be very close to you to smell it; but who’s complaining about that? All packaging, including the glass bottle — that holds this luxurious perfume — through to the box and bag, is made from recycled materials that are recyclable after use. Best of all, if you return your bottle once it’s empty, Le Labo will refill it — giving you 20 per cent off the price of your new scent. Buy your Thé Matcha 26 from the hip store with its lab-meets-apothecary vibe. Or give someone a Le Labo eGift Card for online purchases. In a truly sustainable way, the gift cards have no expiration date.

Scent from £4 for 1.5ml to £720 for 500ml and E-gift card from £50, lelabofragrances.com

Ethical butcher charcuterie box

THE ETHICAL BUTCHER

Christmas Boxes

This company boasts a small family of farmers — with organic farms, Longhorn cattle and Manx sheep through to a permaculture farm producing happy turkeys — who honour natural systems that increase bio-diversity and believe that eating meat shouldn’t cost the earth.

From £50, ethicalbutcher.co.uk

days of the week pants

STRIPE AND STARE

Putting the ‘oh’ in eco-friendly garments

You’ll want to wear this softer-than-silk gear every night and day, day and night — from cool knickers (with the days of the week embroidered on them or personalised with the initials of your choice) to boxer shorts and stripy PJs. These eco garments grow on trees — or, rather, they’re made from Tencel Modal, an ultra-comfy fabric magicked from wood pulp from renewable sources. And manufactured in carbon-neutral processes. Take out a knicker subscription for a monthly delivery of a new pair. (Only three per cent of the underwear market is sustainably sourced, yet we wear undies daily and, er, who buys them second-hand? So you’ll be helping the planet, one pantie at a time.) Then when you’ve loved your purchases to death, compost them in your garden, letting your favourite jammies fertilise your dahlias. Oh, and they plant a tree with every order.

From £15; stripeandstare.com

The Lexi xmas membership gift

THE LEXI CINEMA

Limited edition gift sets, vouchers, bespoke presents and parties

The Lexi is the UK’s only social enterprise cinema — a volunteer-run picture palace. Plus 100 per cent of its profits go to The Sustainability Institute in South Africa, for ecological projects. Why not hire a screening room and put on a party for all the family?

thelexicinema.co.uk

prana chai box set

PRANA CHAI

Tea in a coffee-husk cup

You’ll be smitten with Prana Chai’s sustainable coffee-husk cups (made from organic waste from coffee production). Called Huskee cups, they’re ribbed, chunky and perfect (with that snug lid) for drinks on the go. Make up a gift box of a Prana Chai brewing pot (sustainable stainless steel and curvy in all the right places, it’ll transport you to the sidewalks of Delhi in a jiffy) , fine mesh strainer, and 250g of the Original Blend of sticky chai tea coated with Ozzie honey. You’ll soon be begging Father Christmas to fill your stocking with their Vegan Chai (out with the honey, in with the agave syrup) and Turmeric Chai (sooooh anti-inflammatory) too. 

£39; pranachai.eu

Haekels skincare bottles

HAECKELS

4-step skincare

Go into their Margate shop on the Kent coast, and you’ll enter a hip place with soul.  You’ll get another wonderful surprise when you sniff Haeckels products: they’re like nothing else. And you’re in for an even better treat when you use them, visibly transforming your skin. Bag the four-step skincare set. That’s Haeckels marine facial cleanser (gently foaming and with bladderwrack and sea buckthorn), earth marine water plus AHA (a natural exfoliant derived from sugar cane), eco marine moisturiser (boasting Dulse seaweed harvested off the coastline, it takes time to rub in properly), and Algae Plump + B3 (with marine-derived molecules, a natural alternative to Hyaluronic Acid). Products come in amber glassware —best for both the contents and our beaches. Haeckels are harnessing the health-giving properties of the sea. And flagging up the fragility of the ocean and necessity for conservation. (If you take a bag of beach rubbish to their shop, with visual proof of its provenance, they’ll give you a free, hand-made seaweed-based product.) How better to shape the future of sustainable skincare?

Skincare set £90; haeckels.co.uk

reyka vodka

WHOLE FOODS MARKET

Reyka Vodka

The world’s first ‘green vodka’, this Icelandic tipple is made from glacial water — the purest Arctic spring water that’s filtered through 4000-year-old lava rock — and distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat. Aficionados praise this small- batch, hand-crafted vodka for being smooth, full, and with soft notes of earthy pepper, lemon and vanilla. Drink it neat, as a margarita, martini or cosmopolitan. After swigging it down, you’ll want to re-use the pretty bottle for your own batches of syrups and the like. Skál (cheers), as they say in Iceland.

£27.99; wholefoodsmarket.co.uk

Athletia room mist

ATHLETIA

Switching Aroma Room Mist Green Ray

The new kid on the sustainability block, and a brand recently arrived from Japan, this room mist will make you feel as if you’ve walked into a rare Japanese forest. The scent doesn’t linger long and the spray is slightly sticky when it lands. But the fragrance is uplifting — all that Hinoki cypress, hiba and howood. Think natural ingredients and a 360° sustainable approach. Use it to cover those less appealing smells in your Christmas bathroom.

£39 for 100ml; athletia-beauty.co.uk

BEESOU

Sweet As Honey Aperitif

Bet your friends won’t have heard of this one: Beesou is an all-new bitter honey aperitif, championing the best British beehives and botanicals. It’s also a B Corp – and not just for the sake of further alliteration – and more impressively, the only B Corp aperitif on the market right now.

Aperitif, £29. beesou.london

haushcka bottle bath essence

DR HAUSCHKA

Bath essence

This simply has to be in here because Dr Hauschka, the founder, was the pioneer of natural, organic, sustainable beauty products. And still a star in this firmament. The Lemongrass Bath Essence smells like Heaven after breakfast —think sun-ripened lemons —and is revitalising. The Spruce Warming Bath Essence does what it says on the bottle, and more: warms and de-stresses you whilst transporting you to the remote Norwegian hillside of your mind with its fresh, evergreen scents. This brand works responsibly and natural cycles, biodynamic farming and the power of vital, unpolluted materials are key. Plus Dr Hauschka has been into sustainability since almost before it was a word.

£17 for 100ml; drhauschka.co.uk

ELV jeans

E.L.V DENIM

Zero waste jeans

A zero-waste denim brand, E.L.V Denim (that’s East London Vintage Denim) garments are all up-up-up-cycled from waste denim. Committed to minimising their impact on the environment — by reducing waste, water and energy consumption — they recycle unwanted jeans that are destined for landfill. Did you know that it takes the same amount of water (10,000 litres) to make a pair of jeans as one person drinks in about 13 years? Whereas at E.L.V Denim they use only about seven litres to wash the denim leftovers. Bag a ‘Mum’ pair with straight legs and boxy fit or ones made of jeans spliced together from different styles with a slimming stripe on the outer edge. (Perfect for post lockdown lardiness.) Or opt for ones that are longer at the back than front, to accentuate that gem on your shoe. Their jeans have a structured feel — great to wear with a heel — and no stretch. Gender neutral (perfect for him, her and everyone in between), locally made and designed for circularity. Whoever thought discarded denim could be this good?

From £200; fenwick.co.uk

gibsons liquor and glass

GIBSON’S ORGANIC LIQUEURS

Oooh-ah fruit-flavoured liqueurs

The Cotswolds land they farm is worked sustainably, using zilch pesticide or synthetic fertiliser. You’ll find the Gibson folk sewing oh-so-pretty wildflower meadows — for insects and birds — and planting native woodland, rather than doing anything intensive. (The only intensive bit they get involved in is all that harvesting, pressing, fermenting, maceration, bottling and labelling.) Then when they make their liqueurs, they solely use fruit and flowers that they’ve grown themselves in the Cotswolds. Buy a gift box of Sloe Gin, Elderflower Liqueur and Blackcurrant Liqueur. Then try a Muddy Cobbler with a splosh the Sloe Gin and trickle of Blackcurrant Liqueur. Think organic, homegrown, handmade, fruity-tasty but not sticky. As chef, restauranteur and Queen of the Great British Bake Off, Dame Prue says, their fruit flavours are ‘astounding.’

Giftpack 5cl minis £16.95; gibsonsorganic.co.uk

Yunion t-shirt

YUNION T

Luxury cotton T-shirts

Everyday luxury. Designed, woven and sewn in the UK — slashing their carbon footprint and with no chance of child labour. These are tip-top ethical, stylish and sustainable T-shirts. Open the recycled mailer bags, and inside you’ll find acid-free tissue paper and quality cotton and a little Lycra (2 per cent) T-shirts — they’re moving increasingly into organic cotton — in recyclable clear bags, and degradable plastic ones. Bag a crew neck, V- neck or boat neck — classic designs that last sustainable-season after sustainable-season…thereby long avoiding the world’s Ginormous T-Shirt Landfill. The tees are opaque — sport a coloured bra under white if you want, and you don’t even have to don a special T-shirt bra — but aren’t bulky. Wear the boat neck with its dipped-back hem and lovely long arms as a ‘smart’ tee —then wash on 30 degrees (more environmentally friendly than 40) and dry flat or on the line, and it’ll last over three years. Now that’s what you call sustainable. Basics that are the heroes of your wardrobe, rather than the villains.

From £45; yuniont.com

BUY ME ONCE

Cute Cafetieres

The Denby cobalt blue glazed cafetiere is brilliant stoneware with a ten year guarantee, meaning that it’s built to last. Buy Me Once is a marketplace stocking the brands that are once-in-a-generation purchases, meaning it prevents homeware ending up in landfill. And with a gift this cute, who’d want to replace or return it?!

Denby Studio Blue Cafetiere, £85. buymeonce.com

Featured Image: Anna Ostanina, Getty Images