Christmas 2020 comes at the end of a very unusual year, to say the least. So it's a very important time to think about spending wisely when splurging on Christmas gifts for your friends and family. Who we spend our hard earned money with can make a big difference to keeping our economy healthy in the UK. Buying from independent businesses and makers usually means they're very sustainable gifts.
Shopping from independent boutiques and local businesses doesn't mean compromising on a really special gift for your someone special. We've complied a list of gifts that are eco and plastic free for a sustainable home. (There might be something that catches your eye too, that would make a great hint for anyone who’s asking!)
It’s not always so easy to find indie boutiques and businesses so we’ll point you in the right direction to some of our favourite lifestyle shops. They’re all open again in the run-up to Christmas and are selling their gorgeous and quirky wares online for delivery to anywhere in the UK, too.
Bloomingville wall mounted rattan basket from Monpote
Monpote is a lovely homewares shop on North Street in south Bristol. We love the unusual shape of this beautiful wall mounted rattan basket which can be used to display plants, store magazines and books. You could buy some lovely dried flowers or eucalyptus sprigs to go in the basket. Rattan is a naturally renewable palm so it’s perfect for a stylish eco friendly household.
Carlos vase from BAM Bristol
BAM in Easton is a non-profit lifestyle store in Bristol selling art, vinyl, gifts, beauty, toys, books and more. Fran sources some amazing goods from independent makers and Carlos looks like a friendly chap to have around the home. This hand painted ceramic vase is designed by Ingela P. Arrhenius who is a very talented freelance illustrator.
Coffee dripper and mug set from Paper Plane Bristol
Paper Plane is an independent shop showcasing high quality makers and designers from Bristol and the UK and is also a Hairy Jayne stockist. This coffee dripper set is handmade using traditional techniques on a potter's wheel using a stoneware clay and glazed with a speckled white stoneware glaze. Makes coffee making quick and easy without the need for a coffee machine.
Hexagonal ceramic painted pot from Good Store
We love the joyful design of this hand painted terracotta plant pot by Bristol based illustrator Jessie Rose McGuinness. It would look great housing anyone’s favourite house plant. Good Store is a collaborative lifestyle store in Bristol formed by three local independent women makers.
Bird nesting box from Venner
This beautiful bird box encourages wild birds to visit by providing a safe haven in the garden. Designed and made in the UK from sweet chestnut and birch ply and finished with a natural oil to preserve its appearance for many years. A door in the back of the box enables easy cleaning of the bird box once its occupants have flown. Venner in East London are a small independent shop with a growing selection of eco friendly products that include ceramics, jewellery, prints and skincare. They have a passion for great design, responsibly sourced materials and meticulous craftsmanship and are also one of our lovely Hairy Jayne stockists.
Labour and Wait gift card
London-based Labour and Wait do so many plastic free household items that it’s hard to choose just one gift for someone, and their gift cards are so beautiful that they in themselves make a gorgeous Christmas gift. Their beautiful but functional products are very well made and traditional and span the whole house, garden and even clothing and stationery. Their independent boutiques were founded 20 years ago by two menswear designers and they seek out other specialist makers from around the world.
This year there seems to be a very encouraging spike in supporting independent and local businesses over giant corporations. It’s about knowing where to look! For further inspiration, we’d suggest browsing these websites too.
It’s also worth bear in mind that when online shopping with independent businesses, it’s always a good idea to allow extra time for delivery. Unlike the giant online marketplaces that promise next day delivery, sometimes the item you’d like to order may take longer to arrive, depending on their individual posting days. We aim to dispatch same or next day after receiving orders, but during busier periods like Christmas there can sometimes be slight delays. The same goes for Royal Mail if they’re very busy too.
But we promise it’ll be so worth the wait!