Tomorrow is Black Friday, a hideous day where everyone goes mad and buys stuff they don’t need because, supposedly, everything is so much cheaper than it normally is on normal days. We all love a bargain but this isn’t about getting a good deal, this is about consumerism gone mad, benefiting large corporations and providing an opportunity to throw out money on things we didn’t plan to buy. It’s another ridiculous American tradition we’ve adopted giving us all a reason to spend more money after Thanksgiving which we don’t celebrate anyway and yet that would have been the nice bit of the tradition to copy…right?
Our family have pretty much cancelled Christmas this year. We won’t be in England. We don’t have to worry about upsetting family by choosing Goose instead of Turkey, leaving anyone out, worrying we’ve bought too many presents or not enough. No tree, no decorations ….bah humbug! Absolutely…. we’re out of here. After 3 weeks traveling Thailand and New Zealand’s South Island in a campervan we’ll arrive in Wellington to spend Christmas with old friends, eating seafood not some old bird, celebrating being together again not how many bloody presents we have!
There will be a few gifts, our youngest still believes in Father Christmas and I do love that little bit of magic. These will be carefully chosen, thoughtful gifts that feel better to give than they do receive.
I want our girls to appreciate that there are some things in life money can’t buy; Christmas should be a time of shared experiences, having fun and being together.
If you are buying presents for loved ones this week then support thoughtful, sustainable, ethical brands. If I was making a Christmas list (which I’m not…promise 😉 ) then this selection of lovely things from lovely small independents and brands would be on it:
M Train – Pati Smith – I love a Patti Smith lyric and I’ve had her memoir on my book wish list for a while. But where is the best place to buy a book from? The number of independent bookshops in the UK has fallen by 42% since 2005. Amazon is having a devastating effect on local business. Try HIVE they give independent bookshops a chance to be seen online and support an independent bookshop with every sale they make. After you’ve bought something, you choose a bookshop and they give them a percentage of your money…brilliant idea!
* Basket weave cowl – from Plum of London. Their gorgeous products are made from Alpaca wool which has so many benefits and is wonderfully soft and a lot nicer to wear than cashmere (in my opionion) This luxury knitwear is British made and ethically sourced. Learn more about this lovely sustainable fashion brand
Handmade Card Slip -The very lovely Lewes Map Store has added some gorgeous products to their range in time for Christmas. They have chosen thoughtfully and everything is British made by independent artisans.
Tent Roll-Top Rucksack – made from vintage 1952 army tent canvas combined with lovely oak bark tanned leather and perfect for an adventure! Rural Kind design and make simple, functional, and durable carry goods in a small workshop in rural Wales. Love these guys!
Bamboo Underwear Gift Box – Braintree bamboo briefs, cut from sustainably sourced bamboo and organic cotton. They are celebrating their alternative #ThoughtfulFriday this Friday (25th November) – where they will be donating 50% of all sales to charity. The donation will be split between two charities in line with their passions for sustainability and the environment, and helping those in need. They have already selected the first and definite charity, Refugee Council, and are asking thoughtful friends to vote for the second from a shortlist of three – Visit their blog post on #thoughtfulfriday where you can vote. I voted for Women for Women International.
Esman beanie – a gorgeous knit from Finisterre. A winter wardrobe staple and beautifully made to keep your head cosy and warm for many a year!
* Kelson Socks – from Finisterre made in Britain from a soft wool blend yarn with a durable ribbed construction. Ideal for wearing with walking boots, or just as a cosy pair of bed socks. How I love a pair of cosy socks!
Yoga Leggings – from Rev-en-Vert, the sustainable style online store. Yoga Democracy make all of the leggings from 95% recycled fibres. They also ensure they only work with partners that also adhere to the highest standards of sustainability in terms of water use and greenhouse gas emissions. All of their recycled polyester is dyed using a waterless transfer process that they carry out in-house in their own workshop.
VIU sunglasses – It’s tricky to find sunglasses that aren’t mass produced in Asia. VIU glasses are designed in Switzerland and handmade in Italy. Love this DARLING pair!
So there you go a few ideas for thoughtful gifts this festive season. Black Friday…we don’t need it! Just try and buy less and buy better this Christmas an all round feel good experience!
Disclaimer: products with a * have been gifted to me for the purpose of this review so I have received a few thoughtful Christmas presents this year! All opinions and words are, as usual my very own.