Shopping Sustainably This Christmas
21 November 2022
Looking to shop more responsibly this festive season?
We all enjoy sharing gifts with friends and family, but the £25.6 bn spent by Brits on presents each year can have an impact on the environment. So, with assistance from our friends at Bioregional, we have collated some tips for gifting in a greener and more ethical way this Christmas, with added inspiration from local retailers and businesses to help you find the perfect present.
Experience gifts and memberships
Gifts don’t have to be physical items – experiences can be just as personal and offer something for the recipient to look forward to in the New Year. Many of the Quarter’s hospitality businesses offer gift vouchers and a range of experiences, from cocktail making and wine pairing, to three course dinners and overnight stays. Here are just a selection:
Handmade and local gifts
Often made in smaller batches and from local materials, handmade gifts have a smaller carbon footprint than the mass-produced equivalent, and shopping locally reduces emissions associated with transport and deliveries and supports local livelihoods and economies. Here are a couple of ideas in the Quarter:
Chiltern Street Deli supplies its customers with delicious food, including homemade cakes, jams, cocktails and carefully curated hampers. They endeavour to use entirely recyclable packaging and are passionate about sourcing as many products as possible directly from independent suppliers.
Menswear boutique Trunk Clothiers stock Perfumer H – a luxury fragrance house that specialises in products including candles, perfumes and home décor. All of their candles and fragrances are made by hand in their Marylebone based boutique. With each purchase, customers are offered a refill service, where they can send back their candle once finished for a top up.
Sustainable and ethical gifts
For gifts that are made from materials that were sourced responsibly and manufactured sustainably with limited impact on the planet:
Project Earth was launched by Selfridges in 2011 – a bold sustainability strategy that set out their vision to reinvent retail and change the way we shop. This includes a planet-conscious collection of products alongside a range of initiatives including; Rent with Us, Buy and Sell Pre-loved, Refill and Repair services.
As part of their commitment to sustainability, jewellers Cox and Power work with Fairtrade Gold and Fairminded Gold. They have developed their Fairtrade collection using gold that has been certified by the Fairtrade Foundation, meaning shoppers are supporting small-scale miners to receive a fair deal for their hard work, as well as protecting the environment.
Grey Flannel has partnered with luxury brand Thread Tales to create a sustainable and ethically produced, genderless collection, working with KPA Cashmere, a Nepal-based family business. KPA produce knitwear and woven products providing a source of income for many underprivileged citizens. All their cashmere sweaters, scarves and other accessories are made by hand, mostly by women, in a clean, safe, environment where the team is paid a living wage.
Buy less and buy better
Choosing high-quality gifts that are built to last means that less goes to waste:
Chiltern Street based fashion brand PRISM was launched over a decade ago, focusing on producing items that people need – that had functionality at their core – and that were well-made, long lasting and became wardrobe staples and classics. PRISM has since worked with small factories to make swimwear and eyewear with the goal to promote the idea of ‘Buy Better Buy Less’ – meaning that their products are made to last aesthetically and functionally.
Buying for a friend that has everything? Why not consider a charity gift as a means of giving back to others who need it most? There are plenty of national charities raising money for various causes inside and outside of the UK but there are many local charities that would welcome your support with a charitable gift this Christmas. Take a look at our listing of local charities and community groups here.
Our Smarter Giving initiative facilitates relationships between our members and local charities and community groups, supporting them with financial donations as well as skills-sharing and volunteering opportunities. Visit our Smarter Giving page to find our more about how your business can get involved.
A full directory of the Baker Street Quarter area’s retail and hospitality businesses can be found here.