Christmas gift ideas from small, local, eco-friendly businesses that I love 💛
I know I’m not the first to do a Gift Guide blog post this year, but if I do say so myself, I think I have pretty good taste in the realm of gifting and I’ve discovered a lot of amazing independent brands and businesses recently (too much time on Instagram) and this is the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon - ok two afternoons - exploring their websites and consolidating my own Christmas shopping list at the same time.
2020 has been a bit of a sh*t show to be honest. Sorry but it has. I know I’ve been up and down like a yoyo like everyone else and I’m determined to round the year off with a very happy, festive, fairy-light filled December of stress-free Christmas shopping. I actually normally get completely overwhelmed with my Christmas present purchasing, but I think I’m a bit more organised this year due to excessive periods of time at home, pondering small corners of rooms that need filling with beautiful things.
So without further ado, I’ve chosen one gift per business and I’ve specifically picked products that are below £35 and some are considerably less than that, so there should be gifts to suit all budgets.
Please do go and check out these independent brands and support them if you can; they’ve all been tagged and the links will take you directly to the gift item. Enjoy 🎁
Mind the Cork is an eco friendly lifestyle brand, founded and run by designer Jenny Espirito Santo. Cork is an amazingly versatile and sustainable material (I had no idea!?) and is also crafted into something subtle and beautiful when Jenny’s involved. A wonderful gift for men and women alike.
A fellow Brightonian, Stella Baggott, creates playful planters, vases and homewares to make you smile (and they are almost always smiling themselves). I adore these cute ceramics and would like a whole village of them dotted about my home before I’m 30 please.
Tanaka is a handmade soap brand, founded by Leonara Manyangadze. Their soaps are created to benefit skin health and boost wellbeing, without any plastic packaging. I found it difficult to choose just one soap as they all look divine, but I thought The Healing Bar is one we all need to end this year with. If you like to buy from a brand with heart and a mission, Tanaka is one that really tells a story.
Little Deer is another special Brighton-based business run by a mighty team of five women. They specialise in hand crafting industrial style furniture from copper, iron and wood but have a growing range of carefully selected homewares too. I will be buying this jewellery stand for myself unless someone from my family reads this blog and suggests that perhaps I should wait until after Christmas for some reason 🤔.
I was lucky enough to have my very own pair of Molly earrings created in front of me by Hannah herself when I met her in the summer and these are my favourite earrings I own. Created out of Peruvian thread and hand coiled, silver or copper wire, using a combination of small and large Peruvian circles. They are such a special gift and would conveniently go perfectly with the aforementioned Copper Pipe Jewellery Stand by Little Deer!
Little Nell creates jewellery and accessories designed to complement your personal style season after season. I chose this delicate gold necklace because opals are my favourite stone. You can also get the matching Starburst studs which I think I’ll do myself because I recently lost one of my opal studs either down the side of the sofa or in George’s tummy… it’s a mystery.
Lima Lima is a modern, mindful jewellery label handcrafted by designer Rhiannon Hart. I’ve followed Lima Lima on Instagram for a little while now and I find Rhiannon’s style mesmerising. Her pieces are so unique and yet completely timeless. I think you might have to get used to compliment after compliment wearing these - hurry though, as the Christmas cut off date is 1st December!!
I sort of want to keep this jumper a secret for myself, as I recently bought it in baby blue and wear it on dog walks with George feeling fabulous 🤸🏼 But it’s too good not to share! Emma and her small team embroider each piece to order. They are super soft and I actually got a tiny bag of Haribo Strawbs in my order and there isn't anything better than ordering clothes and receiving sweets!
Claire Bands is founded by one of my best friends, Claire, and works on the values: Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good. Not only are the fabrics Claire sources beautiful, but most of them are end of line, making her pieces limited edition and sustainable. I’ve got a bit of a Claire Band collection now, and even have matching masks and neckerchiefs for George!
I love an ethical and sustainable clothing brand and Thought really are doing things thoughtfully. These socks tick the planet friendly box and the soft and cosy box. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles and they have cats on. It isn’t Christmas without a pair of socks really is it?!
Lauren creates the most gorgeous handmade home and nursery decor and she also accepts custom orders. These cute gender neutral rainbows would make a lovely gift for new parents or for littles ones themselves or just for your adult friends, I’d love them in my own room!! I’m getting a bit into macrame at the moment and it’s a really affordable alternative to framed artwork to fill your walls.
I need to make some friends with some babies asap! Organic Zoo are a Brighton-based, ethical and conscious brand producing gender neutral clothes for little ones. This bonnet is 100% organic cotton and quite possibly the cutest thing that has ever been made.
Cards and Wrap
Founded by Kayleigh in 2019, Kinshipped is a luxury, sustainable card and stationery brand creating the sort of elegant and minimal designs that feel effortless but classy as hell. This Kinshipped X Aeand collab wrap is printed on recycled stock using vegetable inks and is therefore compostable.
I recently discovered this magical colourful brand, founded by wife and husband duo Nicola and Simon, and feel a little bit (a lot) in awe of Nicola’s vibrant, confident and playful way with paint and the enchanting world she creates through her illustrations. This Tuk Tuk wrap is right up my Christmas street!
Anna has been an inspiration to me since I discovered her work when I was at uni. She captures the essence of the animals and birds she illustrates in a such a hilarious and loveable way, you’ll just want to keep going back at looking at them. Her use of media is fascinating to me as well and I don’t think you could get a more fairy light-y feel in a card if you tried!
Lagom are another Brightonian stationery brand and they also have a luxurious shop in the North Laine called HOLD that is merchandised so well you'll want to move in. Lagom license artwork from loads of amazing illustrators and designers and this cute wrap by Susie Hammer is my favourite.
Am I allowed to subtly slot my own cards in here? Just quickly 😇
And some other lovely gift ideas...
Local Chocolatier Annys at Rowdy and Fancy’s is an old friend and a chocolate making magician. A little monthly gift of artisan chocolate through your letter box wouldn’t be the worst thing would it 😍 You can also shop our Louise Mulgrew Chocolate Christmas collection, just saying…
This is a BRILLIANT gift I’ve given to several friends myself and it is just the happiest quarterly treat… a 32 page newspaper full of all the joyful, happy news that we all need so much to hear. Written by the happiness rainbow queen herself, Emily Coxhead.
If you aren’t about all the stuff at Christmas, giving the gift of life is a pretty perfect alternative. For as little as £35 a year, you can adopt an orphan elephant or rhino and support the wonderful, hopeful work that the SWT do to preserve and protect wildlife in Kenya.