12 ethical and eco-friendly Christmas gifts

If you're determined to ensure that this Christmas is your most ethical and environmentally friendly yet (and why wouldn't you?), our gift guide is here to help...

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Whether you're a hard core eco-warrior or are buying for a friend who's into sustainable, ethical living, Christmas (and in particular Christmas gifts) can prove a challenge. Which is where our eco gift guide comes into its own, proving that being conscious of your impact on the Earth doesn't have to mean gifting rubbish presents.

Love this idea? Find more ways to have an eco-friendly, ethical Christmas.

1. A handmade pouch with a brilliant back story

Available at Oxfam, this versatile pouch was made by Aspiration; a Fairtrade group that employs artisans to hand make products. In exchange for their craftsmanship, they are supported through a programme that aims to improve their welfare and draw them out of poverty. 

This Handmade Embroidered Pouch makes a great a makeup bag, a small clutch or tablet case. 

handmade pouch with floral print by oxfam

(Image: © Oxfam)

(Image: © Oxfam)

Handmade Embroidered Pouch

Beautifully made by artisans in India who receive a fair wage in return for their work, this gorgeous pouch could be used as a makeup bag, tablet pouch or clutch bag. View Deal

2. Paraffin free candles that love the earth (and you) 

Christmas candles on your shopping list? Ensure you opt for natural soy candles which are naturally non-toxic and biodegradable. And, unlike some candles, they don't emit chemicals into the air. 

For a variety of earth-friendly candles consciously blended using fine fragrance oils, The Handmade Candle Company is a great starting point. More Christmas candles can be found in our dedicated gift guide.

soy based candle by handmade candle co

(Image: © Handmade Candle Co.)

3. A vibrant rug handmade from recycled saris

A gorgeous gift for a home lover, this Recycled Sari Rug is hand-crafted, meaning each one is unique. Made by Asha Handicrafts in Mumbai for Oxfam, the artisans are guaranteed to receive fair pay for their work, with profits used to assist social and community development. 

multicoloured rug made from recycled saris by oxfam

(Image: © Oxfam)

4. Funky swimwear... that was once a plastic bottle

Made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, we're completely in love with this (very millennial) Banana Leaf Swimming Costume from Batoko. Certified by Global Recycle Standard, each piece was industrial, consumer and ocean plastic in a former life, making its story much more interesting.

Proving that sustainable fashion can be cool (and inclusive), costumes from Batoko are designed to flatter a whole range of body shapes – check out their Instagram for proof. 

banana leaf swimsuit made from recycled materials by batoko

(Image: © Batoko)

(Image: © Batoko)

Banana Leaf Swimsuit

Made entirely from Global Recycle Standard certified plastic, this gorgeous swimsuit demonstrates the power of recycling. View Deal

5. Luxurious bedding in 100 per cent organic cotton

Good quality bedding not only improves sleep, but also makes for a lovely gift. When it comes to making an eco-friendly and ethical choice, organic cotton is always your best bet. White & Green are an organic and ethical soft furnishings brand whose products are not only beautifully made, but responsibly sourced and sustainable. We love this Herringbone Cotton Throw and Waffle Bedspread.

grey and white herringbone throw by white and green

(Image: © White and Green)

6. Pretty (and practical) cotton tote bags

Give a gorgeous gift (while encouraging reduced plastic bag use) with these striking African Print Tote Bags from Lola & Mawu. Made in Ghana by an all-female sewing co-operative, this reversible design offers two bags in one, genius.  

tote bags in bright prints by lola & mawu

(Image: © Lola & Mawu)

7. A biodegradable yoga mat for earth-conscious yogis

The perfect option for an earth conscious yogi, or a friend determined to take up yoga, pilates or meditation in the New Year, we love this bio-degradable M-life Eco Luxury Yoga Mat from John Lewis. 

Lightweight, durable and stylishly designed, it's available in contrasting Rose and Black or Sage and Flint. Want to take up yoga and considering an M-life Yoga Mat as a gift to yourself? Check out Yoga for Adriene – a YouTube channel dedicated to making yoga accessible for all.

biodegradable yoga mat by John Lewis

(Image: © John Lewis)

8. A gorgeous, reusable water bottle (bye, bye plastic)

If you're horrified by the fact that 13 billion plastic water bottles are purchased every year in the UK (only half of which are recycled), gifting a friend with a gorgeous reusable water bottle is a great step towards reducing this figure (and with it our impact on the environment).

We love the Liberty Floral Collection from S'well; their gorgeous prints making for a lovely gift. 

reusable waterbottle in kyoto print by s'well

(Image: © S'well)

9. An eco-conscious stocking filler

Looking for an affordable gift that suits a zero-waste lifestyle? Eddington's Bee's Wrap Honeycomb Reusable Sandwich Wrap may sound like a peculiar present, but we're certain it'll make for a handy stocking filler.

Made from organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin, it's 100 per cent biodegradable and a great option for eco-conscious sarnie lovers.

reusable food wrap bags by John Lewis

(Image: © John Lewis)

10. A chopping board crafted from off-cuts

In a bid to reduce waste, Bristol based Konk produce these handcrafted Klip Oval Chopping Boards from off-cuts of wood left over in their studio. 

With each piece made to order, you can be sure of receiving a unique gift that's perfect for foodies. Find these stand-out pieces at Wearth London (or better still, shop below).

By the way... we have lots more foodie Christmas gifts for you to browse... 

wooden chopping board by wearth london

(Image: © Wearth)

11. Know a take-away coffee addict? Help them to help the Earth

We all have that friend who can't function without their morning Starbucks/Costa/hipster coffee, but do you know how much damage all those take-away coffee cups are doing to the earth? (We think you do, it's been all over the news, so you'll love this...)

Made using tempered glass and featuring a sustainably-sourced natural cork grip, Keep Cup is leading the backlash against single-use waste and we couldn't love their trendy design any more than we already do.

keep cuo with glass cup and cork section from john lewis

(Image: © John Lewis & Partners)

12. A jute bag that proves sustainable can be stylish

Made from hand-woven jute, this Ochre Bag from The Future Kept is perfect for days when you need to bring ALL your belongings with you.

A Fairtrade product made from 100 per cent jute, the ethics of this gorgeous bag are just as delightful as its design. 

eco friendly jute bag from the future kept

(Image: © The Future Kept)

Looking for more Christmas gifts? We've got the best...