The season of “peace on earth and good will to all” is a good time to shop ethically. But where do you start? Here are a few ideas to help:
Presents created with love and thought always triumph. This year we’ve decided to ditch gift lists and get the children involved in making candles, face serum and chutney. This is how we are spending out Saturdays in the run up to Christmas and we’ve found it such a lovely family time together.
Look For The Fair Trade Mark
Working out whether a company is ethical can feel like a momentous task. With everything going on at Christmas the excuse of, “there isn’t the time” is a very real one. The Fair Trade mark is an easy one to look out for. It guarantees fair wages as well as other important standards. Chocolate is one of the easiest Fair Trade gifts. Ensure Santa is buying Fair Trade this year.
Amazon appear to want to put small companies out of business. If you add their reported dodgy tax and employment practices into the equation, they could be one to stay clear of this Christmas. I know they make it so easy with one click, but there are plenty of other online stores to choose from.
Less Is More
A few well chosen, beautiful presents always win over stocking overflow. Plus we have to think about the values we are conveying to our children. Do we want to teach them that Christmas is all about the accumulation of things? Or is it actually about peace on earth and goodwill to all?
Gifts That Give
Some companies, like The Soap Co. are social enterprises which means profits go towards helping positive social change. By purchasing from The Soap Co. you are giving twice; once to the person the present is for and then to all the people whose lives you’ll impact. In this case your gift helps to create jobs for those who are visually impaired and have other disabilities.
After spending 10+ years as a buyer in the fashion industry, I know that supply chains are notoriously difficult to keep a handle on. The benefit of shopping small is that, providing the company is being transparent, it is much easier for them to control their supply chain. Plus, remember that when you buy from an independent company you are making a real difference to them by encouraging their good practice.
Do Your Research
Fair Trade certification is very expensive and smaller companies might not be able to afford it. But you can learn a lot about their business ethics, very quickly, by looking at their About Us page. Companies who are trying to be more transparent and ethical will be keen to tell you about this.
Karen Maurice writes a sustainable & ethical style blog at www.n4mummy.com and can be found daily on Instagram @n4mummy
You're in for a treat. Today we meet Jane, the founder and curator of Blue Patch (also a talented illustrator) to discuss the mysterious treasures she would put into her metaphysical advent calendar.