“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving,” Mother Teresa once said. With the holiday season now in full swing and the shopping malls full of Santa Clauses and hustling shoppers, perhaps it’s time to refocus on the meaning of giving a gift to a loved one.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to shopping mindfully. It’s not about what you give, but the heart behind the gift. People don’t need more stuff.
These gifts can be purchased online (so you can shop with a glass of wine in hand while in your pyjamas on the couch) and give back to the planet and people.
Keep warm with a closed-loop blanket from Seljak Brand. The blankets are made from recycled wool offcuts from the factory floor of Australia’s oldest mill in Tasmania. A useful gift for the person who is always chilly.
A handbag from Matt and Nat is perfect for that vegan friend. The beautiful leather accessories avoid any kind of animal derived products in their manufacturing and use 100% recycled plastic bottles in their linings.
For the person who needs some help relaxing this holiday season, the Butt Naked Goddess relaxation pack is a great gift. The beauty pack includes a lavender scrub and a calming rose clay mask made from vegan, organic and preservative-free products.
Beeswax wraps are a good little gift for a Kris Kringle. For someone who wants to give plastic-free living a go they can use these handmade, biodegradable wraps instead of cling-wrap to keep food fresh.
Keeping with the plastic-free theme, a set of luxury gold straws is a great little gift for those who have everything. Plus 100 per cent of profits go towards cleaning up Australia’s beaches. Win-win.
For the men in your life, give them socks with a lot of soul; socks that fight poverty. Organic cotton Conscious Step socks are made in fair working conditions and profits from each pair help fight hunger, plant trees or educate a child.
How about a T-shirt made for that special person in your life? Citizen Wolf specialise in tailoring a T-shirt for your body. Made from certified organic cotton, every garment is ethically built on-demand in Sydney, avoiding unnecessary waste or questionable working conditions.
Who doesn’t love getting into a bed of soft, fresh sheet? Even better when they know they are made from organic cotton in fair working conditions. Bhumi’s bedding and bath range is the perfect fusion of design and sustainability, with a great range of gift packs for the holiday season.
Why not give a thoughtful gift of jewellery from Holly Ryan’s eponymous collection? The delicate and minimal designs are made by hand in her Coolum Beach studio from locally sourced, sustainably produced materials.
For the fashion-forward ladies in your life, Bon the Label is an ethical and sustainable label with luxe essentials, from organic basic tees to structured linen dresses.
And what about an experience for your loved one, such as tickets to see a new musical or concert? A day out wine tasting in your local region, or a twilight sail with wine. Experiences create unique memories we treasure far longer than a gift we casually discard. Tinggly is a worldwide experience gift giver. You can buy a gift box which allows the receiver to select one of the many experiences available. Red Balloon is another great place for experience gifts.
Or give the gift of a new skill like salsa, pottery or perfume making. People often forget to invest in themselves in a new skill, so why not do it for them?
Don’t forget to reduce your wrapping, a lot of which goes straight in the bin. Why not wrap your gifts in vintage scarves from an op shop or a reusable tote bag? (Try the art of Japanese fabric wrapping, Furoshiki). Or keep your Christmas wrapping and use it for next year.
Remember, giving is about thinking of another person and appreciating them. Stay mindful and enjoy the holiday season.