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Three ways to shop for gifts more ethically this Christmas

Consider swerving the big names this Christmas to support local businesses and brands that are making a difference

1. Support indie booksellers

Despite a resurgence in recent years, indie booksellers have been hit hard by the pandemic. Search for shops local to you on the Booksellers Association’s website, then support these treasure troves with your custom. Many accept orders by phone or online, and staff will often help select the perfect gift. No booklovers on your list? The Big Green Bookshop operates a weekly ‘buy a stranger a book’ scheme online.

2. Buy toys that don’t cost the Earth

Toys don’t have to be plastic (or shipped from China) to get kids excited. Heaps of UK companies offer imagination-nurturing alternatives. Babipur calls its traditional wooden toys “solid and built to last”, while Ethical Superstore’s range includes recycled skipping ropes and organic-cotton soft toys. Myriad is great for natural art materials, from plant dye paints to beeswax crayons.

3. Savour local flavours

From a foodie family? Lavish your loved ones with a treat from a UK ethical food company like Riverford or the Suma cooperative. Alternatively, stuff a hamper with tasty ethical treats. Visit the Kari-club for everything from recipe kits to ready meals. Consider homemade jam, palm oil-free biscuits or Zaytoun olive oil – organic and ethically sourced from small-scale farmers in the West Bank. Plus, why not challenge your family to have a vegetarian or vegan day or week this Christmas?

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