Christmas gift guide: Christmas with a conscience

 

Celebrate the season of peace and goodwill by choosing from these eco-friendly, fairly traded but stylish presents

Advent Calendar

From The Natural Store, a treasure trove of products for the home and all the family, comes this beautiful advent calendar that you can use every year. The Natural Store deals only with suppliers who operate on a Fair Trade basis, have high ethical values and minimise their impact on the environment. The calendar, on an organic cotton backing with wooden supports, is hand-embroidered with elephants, leaves and floral motifs in organic thread. It's made by a women's craft group in Calcutta, originally founded by Mother Teresa for destitute women. Fill the pockets with little chocolates or treats.

How much: £47.50

Where from: www.thenaturalstore.co.uk

Oxygene Silver Bracelet

Silver Chilli is an ethical and Fair Trade company run by a trio of Brits and a Mexican. They pump their profits back into small jewellery cooperatives in Mexico who make these beautiful pieces. Spoil your eco woman this year with the gift of a hand-made bracelet crafted from reclaimed silver with interlocking small and large loops. There is a matching set of earrings and a pendant, too, if you're feeling really generous – and your money will help to buy things like reading glasses for the talented silversmiths who make the jewellery, and to pay for their children to go to school.

How much: £37.50

Where from: www.silverchilli.com

Kandinsky Rug

Fairwind is a company driven by a passion for fair trading terms for all partners, plus concern for the environment. They believe in trade, not aid, and that ethical shopping can make lives better for millions of skilled artisans around the world. This colourful, geometric rug is inspired by Kandinsky, and its random shapes in muted shades of blue, mustard and green give it a modern style. It is made by a Fair Trade project in Kashmir that uses woollen threads hand-stitched onto a canvas backing; the profits help support its community. It can also be used as a wall decoration.

How much: £199.50

Where from: www.fairwindonline.com

Animal Jigsaw

Each of these bright and colourful animals – a crocodile, a tiger, a panda and a giraffe – is made from three jigsaw pieces which even tiny babies will love to look at. These Fair Trade toys are made by Traidcraft, a charity that has been fighting poverty through trade since 1979. Ethical Superstore offers a range of their food and drink, clothing, jewellery and crafts.

How much: £14.95

Where from: www.ethicalsuperstore.com

Dylan Bag

Keep your man stylish and support his eco credentials this Christmas with a beautifully made "man bag", which is big enough to take a laptop and more. Made from soft brown faux leather with faux suede details, it has a striped adjustable strap, a large inner compartment with an inner zipped pocket, a phone pocket, an external zipped pocket and soft textile lining.

How much: £50

Where from: www.bboheme.com

Bird Box

From fairly traded lingerie and interiors to organic skincare, recycled toys and handmade gifts, Love Eco searches for the best eco-friendly gifts for you and all the family. Mr & Mrs Birdee are a lovely pair of bird boxes designed to encourage small birds to nest in your garden, improving biodiversity and allowing you and your family to watch the robins, tits and wrens as they bring nestlings into the world. Made in the UK using wood from sustainably managed forests.

How much: £24.99

Where from: www.love-eco.co.uk

Pink Brenda the Chicken Doorstop

Buying vintage products for your home is an ethical choice and one which will make your home brighter, if you choose from ethical companies such as Love Eco. Brenda is a quirky chicken doorstop made in the UK from reclaimed vintage fabrics. Brenda arrives empty, so all you need to do is to fill her up with rice (organic of course) and you've got a practical doorstop. Each one is slightly different and you can also choose her friends Chrissy, George and Milly, as well as Purple Brenda. Why not give a home to a whole flock?

How much: £13

Where from: www.love-eco.co.uk

People Tree nightware

The Natural Collection brings together ethical, green and eco-friendly products in a huge range of categories including clothing, home and garden, electricals, groceries and beauty products. This set of pink polka dot nightware from People Tree is made with 100 per cent organic and Fair Trade certified cotton. With adjustable straps, bow detailing, and its own reusable matching drawstring bag, it makes a fantastic gift.

How much: £28

Where from: www.naturalcollection.com

Igloo Playhouse

Kids will be able to play at being fearless ice-fishers in the winter and keep cool on hot summer days inside this igloo kids' playhouse made in the UK from recycled cardboard. It is available in brown or white and can be decorated by the kids with paint, crayons or stickers, or left au naturel. It's suitable for indoors and out, and folds flat for storage. Ecocentric makes beautiful, ethical and eco-friendly products and its aims are to inform and offer you ethically sourced and well designed products.

How much: £42

Where from: www.crafts4kids.co.uk

Solar Transforming Robot

For boys of all ages, this cool robot is a three-in-one toy that needs no batteries – just the power of the sun. This sci-fi inspired toy gives a definite nod to an iconic 1980s cartoon and can be "transformed" from robot mode into a tank or a scorpion. Great for teaching how solar power works, it makes a fun, educational toy for anyone over eight. Nigel has been bringing practical, geeky and inspiring eco-friendly products to the UK for many years now and this friendly website is a great place to start making your life much greener.

How much: £12.95

Where from: www.nigelsecostore.com

News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Life & Style
techHow a 'grey brick' took over the world of portable gaming
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Coren Mitchell, who is the daughter of the late broadcaster Alan Coren and is married to comedian David Mitchell, produced a hand to make poker history at the 98th EPT main event.
peopleJournalist and TV presenter becomes first ever two-time winner of the European Poker Tour
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Geography Teacher

    £130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

    Do you want to work in Education?

    £55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

    Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

    Day In a Page

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

    The man who could have been champion of the world

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
    Didn’t she do well?

    Didn’t she do well?

    Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
    Before they were famous

    Before they were famous

    Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

    Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players