Want to give a present that's really ethical? All these pressies have one thing in common: they support good causes
Give some global good
Replace the kids’ Christmas stockings with a personalised Merry Christmas hessian sack and fill it with a range of ethical gifts all in aid of global children’s charity Unicef. The charity’s website has an extensive selection of gifts for kids, for him and for her, and covering all price ranges. Its easy to order online.
Soap from Cope
Shetland Soap Co is a trading arm of Cope Ltd, which won this year’s Scottish Social Enterprise of the Year award. It produces exclusive hand crafted soap and a skincare range using natural ingredients from its base in Lerwick. Profits help fund a range of employment and training opportunities for people who are learning disabled on Sheltand. There’s a whole range of seasonal gifts on offer, from cranberry glycerine to gale force and snow angel soaps. Don’t worry, you don’t have to head to Shetland to get your gifts, just check out its handy online shop.
Crowdfunding gift vouchers
This is a great present idea for someone who believes in giving something back at Christmas time. Buzzbnk offers crowdfunding gift vouchers to help finance initiatives such as building an orchard to provide fruit to a local community. You can explore better education for young people or even making a profitable film while raising awareness about asylum-seeking children. Give one of these vouchers and your loved one can chose which project they want to support to get that warm glow of goodwill.
A beer that fights prostate cancer
Beer and blokes go hand in hand – especially at Christmas time. But this is an ale with a difference produced by the appropriately named Two Fingers Brewing Co. Prostate Cancer UK is behind this initiative with all cash raised from sales of the critically-acclaimed range of artisan ales going to fight the disease which kills over 10,000 men each year. So, if you know a beer lover, why not order online at Ocado, Morrisons or Tescos.
A gift to the world
The One World Shop is a pioneering fair trade organisation. Based in Edinburgh, it has been sourcing and selling the very best in fairly traded products from around the world since 1984. Its got a fabulous online range of Christmas gifts to browse at your leisure, from a traditional strap satchel made in India to socks, hats and gloves from Nepal and beautiful silver jewellery made in Indonesia. By shopping here, you’ll be helping to make the world a fairer place.
Buy a good book
The Christmas holidays is the ideal time to get sucked into a really good book, making them great gifts. Why not go one further and buy from Bookdonors. The social enterprise, based in Galashiels, sells second-hand books and vouchers. It has an extensive selection and they can be purchased from its website or from Amazon.
Fly Right Dance Company
‘Tis the season to curl up on the sofa watching Strictly Come Dancing with some mulled wine and Christmas cake. If you love the show, why not let it inspire you to work off all your December over-indulgence. Flying Right in East Lothian charity is the only Scottish professional dance performance and education company specialising in swing dance, or traditional Afro-American jazz dance. It aims to provide everyone with chance to dance, no matter their age, location or social situation. Support its work by buying some gift vouchers for dance lessons for you and your partner.
It’s not Christmas without chocolate, but why not assuage your conscience by ensuring your sweet tooth is contributing to a better world! Social enterprise Divine is the only fair trade chocolate company which is 44% owned by cocoa farmers. While Fairtrade ensures farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and additional income to invest in their community, company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. What’s more the company makes delicious chocolate products and has a fantastic range especially for Christmas all available online.
Pants to empower women
Who wouldn’t want superhero pants for Christmas? This great gift idea lets your lady’s true super nature shine through while also helping other women build the skills and confidence to make it in the world. The brainchild of Sylvia Douglas, profits from the sale of these nifty superhero-themed pants are re-invested in empowerment workshops for disadvantaged women in north Glasgow.
Glasgow’s very own cider
Cider is the drink of the moment but one not normally associated with Glasgow – until now. Clyde Cider is Glasgow’s very first cider brewery with a twist: it’s a unique social enterprise that uses profits to support more community orchards to be planted with Scottish heritage apple trees. The big plan is to get Scottish cider making to flourish while helping the environment at the same time. You can do your bit by buying a few bottles from local stockists, perhaps adding them to a home-made hamper for your granddad?
Oxfam’s Unwrapped Christmas gift selection is one of the best there is. All ethical, you can choose anything from Sloe Gin Truffles to feeding a family of five in a developing country. The aid charity’s best sellers centre around its Little Extras section where small items from chocolates to tree decorations are available to purchase online. Many of the gifts can be personalised too.