Want to really surprise your loved ones?
‘Tis the season to be mindful
If you’d like to shop consciously this holiday season and not disappoint your loved ones, you’re in the right place!
But before I start, let’s talk about why I’m writing this article.
The biggest shopping days of the year are approaching: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
According to blackfriday.com, the highest recorded amount at $6 billion was spent on Cyber Monday in 2018.
On Black Friday, it was $4.8 billion and even on Thanksgiving when people could be spending quality time with their families, sales were at $3.4 billion.
That’s a lot of stuff being bought! Just on those three days! And only in the states!
And get this: According to Optoro, nearly $70 billion worth of holiday purchases were returned in 2014. I couldn’t find their stats on returns in 2018, but I guarantee they were similar.
Newsweek goes on to explain that the Daily Mail reported that 42% of women returned holiday gifts from their husbands, 17% planned to donate a gift, 13% planned to regift one item and 10% just throw their ‘bad gift’ away!
Send a gift away to landfill? Oh, NO!!!
And what about the quiet folks who put a smile on their faces and pack that unwanted gift in the basement never to see the light of day again? I sadly admit, I’ve done that more than once in my lifetime.
Not all gifts find the right homes.
Who needs all this stuff anyway?
Anything that’s produced causes some kind of damage to people, animals and/or our environment.
But let’s face it, we still need stuff. We can’t walk around naked.
We need clothes, electronics, age-appropriate toys, household items, etc.
We just don’t live in a society where we can ‘live’ without all these products.
We actually could, but do we even know how to? Do we honestly want to live like that?
The answer is ‘not really’. We love our luxurious lives. And that’s OK.
We don’t have to change that much though.
What we can do is reduce our negative impact and still make a difference.
Because every step counts.
And just think of the surprise effect when you gift something truly memorable and ethically-made.
Are you ready to shop consciously this holiday season?
Buycott your way through the holidays
There are companies who produce items in an ethical way.
Products that support local communities in your hometown or in less abundant countries.
Products that are recycled and upcycled and use more sustainable materials.
Companies that also give back to support causes that you care about.
This holiday season, we all have the power and ability to support these ethical brands.
Purpose-driven brands that have a story to tell and a mission to accomplish.
I’ll never forget my mom’s last Christmas in 2015 before she passed away. She sent my daughter and I a beautiful fairtrade scarf from Global Girlfriend.
Everytime I wear this scarf — which is a lot — I get enormous compliments which make me smile. And think of my mom.
Everytime I wear earrings that my sister or a friend handmade with love just for me, I feel the most positive energy.
Because the holiday season isn’t about gifting stuff. It’s about love.
How can you share the gift of love? Does it always have to be a product?
No. I’ve been gifting experiences for decades.
In the form of concerts, vacations, day and weekend trips, trips to the spa, tickets to special events, dinners, etc.
That’s how we can shop consciously this holiday season.
Voting with your wallet helps create a better world.
Brands That Rock
Earlier this month, I posted a ‘Call for Ethical Brands’ tweet for my marketing business that gained a lot of traction so that I can give you some inspiration. I already knew most of the brands, but was able to get to learn about even more which is great!
The following categorized list is only a fraction of the incredible social enterprises out there doing something good in this world.
What I love most about these brands is that they actually do a Snoopy Dance after each sale which is something the huge companies or Amazon will never even think about doing.
So, let’s support them instead.
Click or tap on each category below to learn more about these amazing brands!
For the love of all things beautiful, please support ethical brands.
Instead of sending cards or gifts, why not donate to a charity you know your loved ones would appreciate?
You know your loved ones better than I do though, so I thought it’d be useless to list a bunch of charities here.
If, however, you want some help in this department, I can certainly guide you in the right direction.
Just contact me and tell me what kind of change you’d like to help create in this world and I’ll help you find the perfect charity partner, how about that?
- Earth Changers: Visit one of the most nature-immersed ecolodge experiences in the world in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Or experience the out-of-this-world Galapagos away from the tourist crowds
- At Safari With Us, our specialty is creating once-in-a-lifetime Safaris and journeys throughout Southern Africa! From roughing it in a tent with your backpack to luxury accommodations. For instance, you can join us on a fantastic 3 Day Wildlife Kruger Manyeleti Safari and before you fly back home, take a day tour to Johannesburg and Soweto.
- #OptOutside is a movement to encourage spending time in nature instead of the mall or on your couch shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Because you can shop any day, so why not spend it in nature?
BOOKS / MAGAZINES
- Free Eco Literature: These bestselling eco lit authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of new books that inspire a deep ecology philosophy. Available until December 20.
- Adventure She magazine aims to empower, educate & entertain predominantly women through sharing empowering, educating & entertaining stories. It’s online only, so we’re not responsible for chopping down trees and makes it easier to help women worldwide.
- Free ebooks for kids: There’s nothing like the giving the gift of reading to your younger loved ones. Available until December 16.
- Free Sci Fi / Fantasy ebooks: These amazing books are available for free from Dec 1 – 31.
COACHING / CONSULTING / MINDFULNESS
- Jess offers Burnout Rescue Support sessions & cellular memory release sessions that help you heal & unravel any unhealthy saboteurs, ego patterns or behaviors that might be leading you into burnout, struggle or strife in your life. For your loved one who’s on a verge of burning out, you can sign up for a complimentary Burnout Rescue Toolkit OR a 60-minute Discovery consultation.
- Sea Soul Blessings: Mindfulness tools inspired by the sea. Giving back to the ocean with every purchase.
- Ethical Brand Marketing: For your entrepreneurial friends and family members who need some help with their marketing, you can book a consultation call with me. The first 30 minutes is free!
LEARNING (ONLINE COURSES)
- Love Map Astrology was borne to answer some of life’s biggest questions around love and life purpose. The Love Map Individual Session is a one-of-a-kind experience, an intuitive reading of your astrological blueprint based on the questions you have about your life–past, present and future.
- Oakley Fine Art provides a service to aspiring artists with out the travel. Gift your loved one — or yourself — the green alternative to learning with an introductory price offer of $47 USD.
FUN THINGS FOR KIDS
- @nudge_games: an enviro-friendly board game made from 100% recyclable materials including biodegradable counters.
- Teddo Play: 100% designed and made in the UK. Our intellectual play-based learning cards grow with the child, are the best quality ever (words of our customers :)) and all paper used is FSC certified, EMAS verified and have the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001 accred.
- We are Ethiqana and our heart beats for all that is ethical, is sustainable and feels logical. See a wide range of Organic Wooden Toys & Games, Home Furnishings & Accessories, Statement Jewellery, Handmade Greeting Cards & more. With every sale, you’ll not only help our artisan heroes but also help bring positive social change in the wider world through our partnership with B1G1. Please use code PXM1920 to receive 20% OFF across the range. Min purchase £20.
- Check out ethically made Christmas decorations and plastic free Christmas packaging options on Boho Homes London.
- Norfolk Natural Living creates natural, sustainable home and garment care products that clean your belongings without harming the planet.
- A Circle Back: a multibrand marketplace of brands which give back in someway. Ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly & social impact brands. Gifts that give back.
- Hunnie produces sustainable reusable beeswax wraps as an alternative to plastic sandwich bags and cling wrap. They’re perfect as stocking fillers and secret Santas.
- The Weekly Shop: plastic free shop which offers a curation of zero waste products for the kitchen, bathrooms and on the go. All brands in stock carefully vetted.
- From Trash to Treasure: Turn your old bottles into refillable soap dispensers. “Save Soap and Save the Planet”.
- Reco Shop: Reusable and sustainable alternatives to single-use products.
- Give Back Goods carries eco-friendly, sustainable, fair trade and cause-based gifts, home goods and accessories for the whole family. Every purchase creates a positive impact on our Planet! Get 15% off $60 or more with code “GiveBack” November 22 – December 2nd. Or sign up now and get 10% off your order!
- Savannah Willow was founded by an international development professional and ethically sources really gorgeous products that all have a background story, that give back to the community as well as the artisan and all made with natural or recycled materials.
- Lamina Animal: Luxurious vegan plastic-free ethical pet supplies, handmade in the UK from ethically sourced and sustainable certified organic materials. Plus, there’s the 10% discount code ETHICALHOUR10 for the virtual high street for ethical hour for the whole month of November.
- FabRap: Reusable, sustainable Giving. Changing the way we give with each organic and sustainably produced gift wrap.
BODY CARE & BEAUTY
- well&belle curates the very best in independent green beauty. We do the research so that you can feel good and enjoy using products that are effective and safe for the whole family.
CLOTHES / BEDDING
- Where does it come from?: We love to have people buy our kind clothes that tell tales. We’ve also just opened our Christmas shop to help people by wrapping and posting their gifts for them!
- Baby Peppers: Specialising in sustainable bedding textiles for infants and invested in making social change on a global scale.
- At Rozenbroek, we are not doing a sale but instead are planting a tree at our East Yorkshire, solar powered factory for every purchase made on Black Friday.
- Critically Endangered Socks are ethically made with organic cotton and support the world’s most endangered animals. I personally love my socks that save species!
- Boy wonder is a premium boyswear brand with ethics and sustainability at its heart
- Doc Cotton: 100% ethically sourced organic cotton. Bespoke fashion. Handmade in Peckham, London.
- EBYAK: a sustainable menswear brand. Specialising in modern and contemporary 100% organic, GOTs approved mens sustainable streetwear.
- BoxHuman is the first all-in-one empowerment platform – BoxHuman and its own unisex sustainable fashion to “empower from inside-out”. We’re GOTs approved, certified 100% organic and use an ethically accredited factory.
- TattyMoo offers the code ECOCENTRIC to receive 25% off the entire store. They also still have free XR (Extinction Rebellion) patches and the custom rework package is still live!
- Nafisi Studio: Bespoke sculpture and art furniture by husband and wife duo.
LINGERIE / SWIMWEAR
You may be wondering why this category is in here. While it may be uncommon to gift a loved one a feminine hygiene product, who said there are any rules? You’re a unique person and are allowed to give the gift of protection and confidence.
- Lux Store: 100% biodegradable, sustainable plastic free period products.
- FemmyCycle is a menstrual cup from the makers of FemCap. The only reusable menstrual cup invented by a doctor, the revolutionary design features a patented no-spill foldable rim for less mess, a ring for easy removal and increased comfort, and up to 12 hours of leak free protection.
That’s not all though – there are more brands!
Our friends at Ethical Hour honestly can’t do more work in the area of inspiring people to shop consciously.
Every year, Sian — their founder — puts together a campaign to highlight social entrepreneurs and their ethically-made products to support on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Visit their #ShopEthicalInstead initiative to learn more about these other brands.