Considering giving gifts that don’t cost the earth this Christmas? We’re with you. And what better day to get planning those presents than infamous Black Friday.
Christmas sure has a thing or two to teach us regards leaving our perfectly designed environment in peace. I’m thinking of Christmas Eve. Of that beautiful pile of presents so carefully wrapped under the tree. Cut to Boxing Day and the paper trails, the piles of plastic packaging, the already discarded synthetic toys, the weight of sugar in our bellies, the overflowing rubbish bins. It seems that for some short-term term joy we’re happy to suffer some serious long-term damage.
‘But this is Christmas’ I hear you say, ‘What’s Christmas without the excitement of unwrapping a nauseatingly huge pile of presents before crashing in front of the TV in a drunken stupor?’
Oh don’t you fret. We’re all for gift giving. The joyous generosity of giving and receiving’s something we’re very much into over here at Unwrapped HQ. And don’t get us started on how much we love a good excuse to get gluttonous. What we’re advocating is a little less in the rubbish tip, a whole lot less of the single-use plastic, and a generous pinch more of the stuff our planet likes; the environmental, sustainable and ethical stuff. The stuff we’re here to shout about. And what better day for it than Black (or should we say Green) Friday?
Today is the day. The official start of the Christmas shopping mania and the busiest shopping day of the year. Hailing from 1960s America, Black Friday has since spread worldwide. Mexicans call it El Buen Fin, in the UAE it’s White Friday, the Chinese celebrate it as Singles Day, to the Costa Ricans it’s Viernes Negro… Go to South Africa, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Germany, New Zealand… they’re all at it.
What joy! Lets boost the economy, pile in the presents, share the love. Not quite. This is no day of rosy peace. In the US more people have died doing their Black Friday shopping than from shark attacks.
The movement to buying online has decreased the mortality rate amongst sale hungry shoppers. And the carbon emissions coming off grid locked roadways too. The trend for buying experiences and charitable donations online shows a great development in conscious consumerism. But we’re still far from curing the endemic desire to purchase single-use, short-lived, buy to throw thrills.
How about this Christmas we try to avoid the dangers in the mall and to the planet? Lets make this a green Chistmas. And lets start with a gift list that looks a little less ‘ten items to kill the turtles’ and little more ‘ten gifts for our favourite humans and the planet too’.
Here are some of our favourite Green Friday gift ideas to get you started…
For the vegan champion
Natural soap handcrafted by Sharon in Devon using the best organic ingredients, palm oil free, artificial fragrance free and bursting with essential oils.
All natural, all delicious. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten and fat free these nuggets of delight are made from all natural fruit juices and stored in a quality glass milk bottle.
For the home maker
Quit buying and start making with this dairy free Coconut Yoghurt kit. Bursting with delicious coconut flavour and good for the gut live cultures.
This organic and delicious package of delights is the perfect home sourdough starter kit for the budding baker in your life.
For the ethically engaged
Gorgeous Christmas stockings handmade from recycled sari cloth by fair traid social enterprise Basha, Bashsa, or ‘hope’ in Bengali, employs and empowers survivors of trafficking in Bangladesh.
£14 Sugar Scoop
Hand carved by NGO affiliated artisans in Tanzania, these from beautiful Mninga wood scoops are perfect for coffee, sugar, spices or baking.
For the homebird
Contemporary throw woven from recycled wool by a Delhi-based mill renowned for its social accountability.
Beautiful handmade glassware, crafted in Mexico using recycled tradition techniques on recycled glass.
For the single-use haters
Sustainable, beautiful and functional, this reusable bottle’s been designed by experts interested in aesthetics as well as ethics. Hydration’s never looked better!
£25 The Naked Shave
Quit using reusables with this quality traditional razor made with a sustainable future in mind. Vegan soap thrown in for extra eco points!
For the eco nerds
£65+ Eco Sneakers
produced in dignified conditions with raw materials sourced from organic farms free from polluting processes. Veja treats humans and the earth we live on with respect, prioritising people over adverts and longevity over cheap thrills.
£42 (for 48 rolls) Happy Edition Bamboo Toilet Paper
Who Gives A Crap not only protects virgin trees by making toilet paper out of recycled goods. This enterprise also donates 50% of profits to build toilets for those in need.
For the fashionistas
Aware of the true cost of fast fashion, Birdsong is a no sweatshop, no photoshop enterprise that works exclusively with womens groups and charities to produce clothing through empowerment and with the planet in mind (second hand, organic fabrics wherever possible).
Made from recycled silver with silver pins, these beautifully textured earrings are made by the talented and sustainably minded Zoe.
For the soul seekers
She’s Lost Control’s London’s latest ethically minded crystal crazed company that brings us gorgeous and ecologically careful goods to support our meditation and yoga regimes.
Roll out the organic cotton dhurrie yoga mat made from 100% certified organic cotton to support your home yoga practice the traditional Indian way.
For the beauty queen
Created from recycled plastic bottles and offcuts from prototypes, these beautiful bags are sustainably designed and charitably minded. Buy one and you give two meals to someone in need!
This gorgeous organic hair slide is made from recycled, repurposed Tamarind Root. Ditch the single use bands and embrace this stylish and sustainable option.