This Christmas I'm aiming to shop small. Many, many small businesses have lost out this year. From the fact that most of us (especially if we're startups), were unable to get any financial help at all through Covid, to dealing with everything a small business entails, it's been a hard one. So, there's one massive way we can all help: support them with purchases, even if it's #justacard. And I don't just mean my small business. To that end, here's my top ten list (in no particular order) of small businesses, usually also sustainable, to shop from this Christmas.
1. Shea Perfection
Hand-churned, rich, customisable and highly moisturising shea butter using 100% organic ingredients, packaged in sustainable glass, and supporting schools from the owner, Bridget Berko's, beloved Ghana, this brand ticks every ethical and eco-friendly box going. You can only order from this brand only via instagram at the moment, so head to @shea_perfection and drop her a DM.
Purveyors of super soft organic cotton nightwear, ethical loungewear and a few choice gifts, I have never felt so comfortable as when I put on this set. I've worn it as loungewear pretty much every night since, and bought two tops to swap out. One long sleeved and the other as pictured. So cozy, so minimal, so sustainable, I even bought another set again as a gift. Highly recommended.
Another one of my Etsy finds, Laura Middleton makes beautiful, stylised nature cards and prints that really stand out from the crowd thanks to her use of colour and an unusual drawing style. I recently bought a set of 5 bird postcards to frame for my downstairs toilet and I can't wait to get them up on the fern wallpaper!
A UK-based illustrator with a background in zoology, Dani's art stood out to me because of her beautiful, muted colour palette and eye for composition. She creates some absolutely beautiful art and you can shop her work on Etsy.
Looking for eco friendly beauty gifts? Look no further than Acala Online. Acala is my go-to for make-up and body care. Everything on this website is meticulously researched to see if it is sustainable. So if you're looking for a replacement mascara, or a DIY body butter kit (pictured) this is the place to go.
A ceramicist working in the UK, I've had my eye on the work from Megan Louise for several months now. She was chosen to partner with Etsy and Zoella to make the Zoella x Etsy mug, and makes work so beautiful in her own right that I just want to put it on display rather than use it! I highly recommend having a look at her shop.
A little while ago, I was looking for a wedding gift. I didn't just want the usual thing, and after looking for a while, I came across this paper cut artist on Etsy (surprise surprise!). I bought the one in the bottom left corner, paper cut the date of their wedding to go with it, and displayed it just as you see here. Beautiful, unusual work.
Wearth London is an ethical online department store formed in 2017 by Imogen and Ed. They now hold 250+ brands on their website and have become a one-stop-shop for eco products. If you check it out, you won't be disappointed.
I have a feeling I mentioned this one last year, but it's always worth bringing it up again. Good Gifts offers charity gifts from £5 to hundreds of pounds. You can support abandoned puppies, provide school equipment for kids, send warm clothes to refugees, clean the ocean of plastic, or buy acres of land for charities to protect it. Well worth any purchase.
The Wild and the Tame is, strictly speaking, not a sustainably-focused company, but they do make the most beautiful things with a clear design ethic that manages to be both cute and contemporary. Every piece is as pretty as the one in the picture, and happily, mostly gender-neutral. Chantelle (the owner, who makes everything), also sells teething toys and gift sets.
There we are! I hope these are helpful! Do comment below if you'd like to see more of this kind of blog going up, and in the mean time, stay well.