Tis the season… to be compassionate

Well I can’t be the only blogger not sharing my ethical gift list and recommendations! Especially since I’ve been so good this year (so far)!

I am ashamed to admit that for the last few years, since I have been in full-time employment and occasionally on a budget, Christmas shopping has been a bit of a rushed affair in which I resort to spending an afternoon in the biggest shopping centre I can find about one or two weeks before C-Day, assuming that the bigger the choice, the better. Inevitably, confronted with the sad reality that everything, everywhere looks the same but with slightly different price tags and queue lengths, I decide that my loved ones are better than that. On my way out, I realise this is my only chance to get my gifts and that hell, we don’t really celebrate Christmas anyway and every year we announce that we’re not bothering with gifts so anything is a bonus, so I turn back and pick up a bunch of things from M&S and hope that it all comes together when it comes to do the wrapping and gift-tagging. [Just kidding, Mum, I have actually always conscientiously planned out exactly what I’m getting everyone and saved up accordingly…]

Anyway, although I always managed to find things that really did suit the person I was giving them to, and all has turned out well in the end, I always felt a bit ashamed of myself for not spending all that money on ethical companies but for ploughing them instead into the usual suspects.

So this year, with more time on my hands to search and more energy to worry about things like compassionate gifts (and with a newly empty bedroom in the house i.e. more storage space), I have been slowly stockpiling nice little things for various people as I see them. Along the way I have seen some gorgeous things but unfortunately I can’t get everyone everything I want to give them, so I thought now was the perfect time to share my wishlist in case you spy something with your loved one’s name on it!

[Mum, you may or may not wish to look away right now, as there may or may not be things on this list that you or someone else will be getting…]

Sport and fitness

Viridian Sports Performance Oil – I’ll talk more about Viridian products in a later post, but this healthy oil makes for a thoughtful gift for a foodie sportsperson, and comes in a shiny gold carton.

BAM Women’s Bamboo Keyhole 3/4 Leggings (pictured) – I love the little keyhole detail on these, and the BAM fabrics are luxuriously soft whilst being breathable and perfect for sport.

BAM Bamboo Trainer Socks – Oh I know they’re socks, but super soft environmentally friendly breathable trainer socks. Buy them for somebody else and I challenge you not to want to get yourself a pair.

Vehement MMA Organic “Epic” T-shirt (pictured) – Something for martial arts enthusiasts who aren’t into the “skulls, blood and tribal” and random Oriental script stuff that pretty much every single fight apparel company seem to love. Two styles available, and a women’s fit tee, all organic and fairtrade and Vehement donate to charities.

Please allow me to plug my own Great Expectations Fitness organic bamboo t-shirts, printed in the UK by eco-friendly screen-printers, and lovely to train in. 50% of profits go to my friend Matt to help with his cerebral palsy care needs.


Nkuku Eva Tea Tin – Give them as a set to brighten up someone’s kitchen, fill them with something nice like an assortment of Coconom coconut sugar or homemade flavoured sugars (try vanilla, lavender or ginger), or maybe an assortment of loose-leaf teas… The possibilities are endless and will really add that personal touch!

The Eco Kettle to save energy (and money spent on bills!)

Traidcraft Recycled Glass Water Carafe (pictured) – So elegant with just the right amount of “different” appeal, and at a ridiculously reasonable price.

Nkuku Pemba Bottle Stop – One of those gifts that can be used straight away (assuming you have any bottles that need re-corking…). I’m such a sucker for birds and ceramics.

Natural Collection Select Multicoloured Recycled Rag Rug (pictured) – Nobody gives rugs as a gift and yet they can be such a nice addition to a home. I’m into colourful things at the moment, can you tell?

Traidcraft Tree of Life Cake Stand – Priced so reasonably you have no excuse not to gift it with a vegan cake cookbook or perhaps a little selection of cake ingredients. Or, bring it to a party with a cake or petit-fours already on it, instead of a box of chocolates or bottle of wine.

Keep Leaf Food Wrap or Reusable Baggie – Too many pretty designs to choose from! As somebody who never leaves the house without a bagful of snacks, lunchboxes just don’t do it from me, but these are perfect.

Nkuku Ayla Throw – Am I the only one who can’t get enough of things to drape around myself? Lounging around feels to much more dignified when you’re wrapped in something luxurious.

Gadgets and accessories

MaKey MaKey Invention Kit – Play with the world around you.

Traidcraft Recycled Tyre Wallet (pictured) – For once something ethical and recycled doesn’t look like crap.

POWERPlus Lizard Solar USB charger – Charges batteries, and can even charge them whilst using another set to recharge a device via USB. Plenty of other handy solar chargers out there, but this one looks pretty cool and seems a little more multifunctional (and also isn’t too small to be lost among all the other cables that hide in the bottom desk drawer, or in the bottom of your wardrobe if you don’t have a desk).

Econation Eco Abstract Printed Speakers in pink or green (pictured) – Surprisingly affordable, handy and eco-friendly, and they look really cool both in pink and in green. I have been racking my brains to think of someone I can buy this for!

Young ones

Natural Collection Select Fair Trade Crocheted Octopus Rattle (pictured) – I just think this is so cute. I don’t know why. I don’t even have any babies to buy for and I wish I did now!

Fair Trade “Zesto Mixed Fruits” Backpack

The Source 14-in-1 Solar Transforming Robot – Need I say more?

Pretty things

La Jewellery Serpentine Ring in silver or gold (pictured) – I’m more of a silver person but this ring is so striking in gold.

Mata Traders Fair Trade Toiletry Bag

Arthouse Meath A4 Eco Hand Printed Sketchbook – I love the flamingoes design but they have a multitude of other beautiful drawings to choose from.

Mata Traders Fair Trade Something Sapphire Earrings

Beauty Without CrueltyUltimate Bag and Brush Set (pictured) – I have this and I love it, it’s just the right size for makeup essentials (or all your makeup, if you’re like me and never quite figured out how to use all those different powders and pens and brushes) with a such a handy little pop-out compartment that you wonder why all makeup bags don’t have one.

These are obviously just a handful of examples to get your gifting juices flowing, and frankly I could have reproduced entire websites on here. So click on the links and have a browse, you’d be surprised at how affordable some of these products are and many websites are currently offering promotions or free shipping.

A tip? Find a website you like, join its mailing list, and wait 2-3 days (if it’s not too late!) to see if they offer you any discounts or promotions. It’s OK to bargain hunt when looking for gifts for other people, it just means you can give more people better gifts!

Happy gifting!


2 thoughts on “Tis the season… to be compassionate

  1. shaheen says:

    Lovely honest post. I’ve purchased items from Traidcraft many times and actually own that recycled carafe. This year I’ve just picked up small bits and bobs from craft markets for gifts for close ones.

    • greatveganexpectations says:

      Thanks Shaheen! I can’t believe you actually have that carafe! Craft markets are a great idea, I wish I had the time and energy and desire and inspiration to make gifts for people, I always have different excuses not to though!

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