The Pioneers Post Christmas gift guide

The consumer onslaught of Black Friday will be in full swing by the time you read this. But if you’d like to make your Christmas shopping more ethical, there are many options available to ensure that your presents pack a punch in the social impact stakes.

Here are five ways you can make sure your gifting means giving back.


1 Buy Social

Social Enterprise UK has produced a gift guide where you can buy from social enterprises that support projects as wide ranging as jewellery creating employment opportunities for Peruvian women, socks that help support the issues in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and even yoga leggings that support survivors of human trafficking. Plus gifts for the chocoholics and caffeine heads in your life too.


2 Ethical Superstore

Not only does this responsible online retailer offer fairtrade, vegan and eco friendly household products, but this year it’s donating to food banks for every order over £30. The cherry on top is that there is a 20% discount on orders made on Black Friday. There are over 5,000 products to choose from.

Last year more than 1,500 food items went to the busiest food bank in the country: Newcastle West End. Michael Nixon, manager of the food bank, said: “With this generosity and help from businesses like Ethical Superstore with their donation scheme, we want to make sure families are properly fed and don’t have to choose between whether they heat their home or properly feed their family.”


3 This Because

There’s plenty of stuff on here that would be right for the design-head in your life who is very particular about what they find cool. As well as a neat categorisation of items (Body, Clothing, Food) it also offers options in price slots – handy for balancing your Christmas budget.

There are some ingenious projects, such as the gin that saves elephants from falling prey to the ivory trade. Every organisation on there lists its impact too. Neat.


4 Birdsong

This one’s for the lady in your life, be they friend or lover. Fashion companies have had to clean up their acts in recent years after criticism over sweatshop conditions and paying workers in developing countries fairly.

Promising to only stock clothing that is ethically manufactured, 50-85% of each purchase goes back to the person who made it. On top of that, models for the clothes come in all shapes and sizes and their photographs haven’t been anywhere near Photoshop. We like.


5 The Big Issue Shop

The godfather of social enterprises has an online shop that is good whatever time of year it is but is a particularly good shout if you’re scratching your head about what to get that hard-to-buy-for person. Of particular note is their ‘Street Art’ section. That doesn’t mean Banksy et al, but the contributors who send in their creations to that section of the Big Issue magazine, who are often marginalised individuals.

The example I clicked on was by ‘Andrew, who is in his 50s and struggles with mental health issues’. Half the profit from the prints goes to the artists. There's also a 'social echo' tab on each item where you can see what the impact is.


Photo credit: Pexels/Unsplash