Actress Lauren McCrostie presents her Ethical Gift Guide for 2016
I think that it is fair for me to say that we start witnessing the preparations for any semi-festive celebrations at the end of August.
So as we approach the end of November, put the mass-consumerism of #BlackFriday behind us and take inspiration from #FairTuesday for a more positive look at the act of buying gifts, I thought that it would be wise to offer my Ethical Christmas Gift Selection for 2016.
Ever since realising the effect buying things can have on our environment, our animals and ourselves, I have found it increasingly more time costly to find things for myself and others. In spite of this, I think the actual selecting of things has been much easier - with less choice and more individual styles, something which has been greatly beneficial for a mighty indecisive spirit like myself.
I have always loved giving gifts to friends and family, finding something that I hope they can truly relish and use. The act of gift giving can have great satisfaction (cue ‘there is no selfless act of kindness’ quote). Discovering that I can now find eco-friendly alternatives for practically any potential present is wonderful. It means I can invest in and support something I believe in, as well as giving me the opportunity to inspire others to become more conscious with their purchasing power too.
These beautifully curated pieces, each hold a special kind of story and worth, greater than anything you would typically find on the high street. When presented as a gift, they help to chip away at the stigma that all eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products are variations from an old potato sack!
Happy holidays, shop wisely and give a gift that brings joy to its maker as well as well as it's intended owner.
ARTISANS & ADVENTURERS CRESCENT HOOP EARRINGS
Great for mums, sisters, aunts, grandmas, friends…etc!
Jewellery is always good option for a gift as mostly everyone wears some form of it and its so versatile - meaning you can find someone thing for every character. I love the range that Artisans & Adventurers have, but the simplicity of these Crescent Moon earrings really stand out to me. They are a perfect addition to any outfit and can be worn everyday or dressed up for Christmas parties. I really admire that these earrings are made from recycle brass as it encourages the use of pre-existing materials - helping to normalise the process of up-cycling and ‘re-life’.
Great for self-employed souls, yummy mummies, proud home owners, 40-something architects/interior designers etc...
I was more surprised than thrilled after I found this whilst on the hunt for a good carafe last year. I really wasn't expecting to find such a perfect product. Designed by the creative brains behind London's iconic OXO Tower, Not only does this filter effectively clean the hard London water (seriously, once you try what water is supposed to taste like you will be drinking gallons of it non stop), but it is also completely natural and eco friendly. Made entirely from natural substances, the carafe is composed of a large 1 litre hand blown glass jug, cork stopper and ‘binchotan’ active charcoal filter making its' minimal composition honest, clean and chic.
**It is also worth noting, for the real eco-geeks like myself, that the carafe comes packaged in only cardboard - which is obviously completely recyclable…making this product completely PLASTIC FREE!**
BLACK + BLUM EAU CARAFFE
|PELA BIODEGRADABLE PHONE CASE
Great for teenagers, Shoreditch bearded guys, tech geeks, Lauren Singer lovers.
PELA cases, are simply amazing. The young company design and create phone cases which are, completely, BIODEGRADABLE. I was practically dancing with joy which I received my case in the post, not only was it the perfect shade of lilac, but the packaging it came delivered in was minimal and made entirely from organic matter, meaning I could throw the entire thing into my compost bin! Pela cases show great entrepreneurial skills challenging public perceptions and offering a 100% sustainable alternative to an everyday item. Inspirational!
Great for anyone who works on-the-go, coffee snobs (this doesn’t rob the flavour of the drink one bit!) and students.
I think everyone with a mouth should have a Keepcup. PARTICULARLY if you use that mouth to drink copious cups of coffee and tea and ESPECIALLY if you grab your drink on-the-go. I wont go into it - well I wont go into it deeply, but 2.5 billion... BILLION coffee cups make there way to land fill sites in the UK alone. This gift is an amazing (and vaguely subtle) way to help facilitate the conversation that this wastage is a problem to be dealt with!The Keepcup immediately reduces a persons* contribution to land fill from 260 cups a year, to potentially zero. (*someone who gets a disposable beverage 5 times a week). Buying this for any suspecting culprit can have great impact. You will find it difficult for your Keepcup to be refused at any coffee/tea stations and they usually spring a few queries whenever I whip mine out. The company have a wide and all inclusive demographic which helps generate a positive movement for the product. Keepcup even offer 'reusers' the chance to personalise the design on their website, allowing you to select the size, material and colour from a great range of options to suit your drinking preferences. A truly personal gift that will really make a difference!
|MATT & NAT CORK RUCKSACK
Great for anyone!
I love how versatile this sturdy, reliable rucksack is. Perfect for student, guy, girl, mum, young dad, Matt & Nat bags are made to last which is a great thing when looking to invest in a gift for someone. It's colours are simple making it easy to wear with lots of for any occasion. It's the perfect size too - roomy enough to hold your daily work/school supplies comfortably or baby bits and bobs oand traveling gear for a short weekend away.
I am whole heartedly and unashamedly biased when it comes to Matt and Nat, for good reason. Since their formation in 1995, Matt and Nat have become increasingly ethical and sustainable. They seek to use recycled materials such as nylon, cardboard, rubber and cork (like the backpack here!) and all their linings are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Matt & Nat's style credentials make them a winner with vegans and non-vegans alike - some of whom are completely obvious to the brands cruelty free and environmentally friendly ethics.
|Lauren is a freckle faced actress from London, who recently stared in Tim Burtons ‘Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children’ as Olive. Although acting is her foremost passion, she has always had an interest in ethical living and the environment. Lauren is keen to help support and work with many different companies within the sustainable, ethical sphere and encourage the discussion and growth of the movement.