THE ETHICAL CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

• This is a collaborative post with all of the brands featured •

Today I’m bringing you my biggest, bestest Christmas gift guide for children and their families (but mostly for the kiddos!) with a focus on brands that can be considered ‘ethical’.

Read on to find out why we try and buy ethical where we can, the benefits of organic cotton, the most common certifications available for ethical products and, finally, our pick of products from some of our favourite ethical brands.

The Ethical Christmas Gift Guide

* * CLICK BELOW TO JUMP DOWN TO YOUR CHOSEN FEATURED BRAND * *

Little Green Radicals / The Bunting TreeJoJo Maman BébéLil’ CubsYellow DoorFrugiSuperdrugSlugs & Snails / Real Foods

What Is Ethical?

If you look up the world ‘ethical’ in the dictionary it will say something along the lines of ‘relating to moral principles‘ and, in my mind, that refers to doing things in a kind way, with consideration and concern for those affected by your actions.

So, when it comes to buying Christmas presents or, indeed, buying anything throughout your day-to-day life isn’t it worth thinking about where that particular item has come from, who made it for you, whether they were treated fairly whilst crafting it and whether anybody or anything else has come to a disadvantage during the process?

I know we’re all busy and we don’t need ‘something else to think about’ and that’s the beauty of stores and shops completely dedicated to sourcing ethical products or who commission products to be made in an ethical manner. You can go to them knowing that what you order fits in with your moral standards.

So, if you’re already an ‘ethical buyer’ or you’d like to be more conscious about where your goods are coming from I’ve put together a gift guide for Christmas sharing some of my favourite ethical brands and stores.

A lot of these businesses started off as, or still are, small family-run brands and I always think that it’s nice to know that your order may put a smile on somebody’s face, help them pay a bill or feel like they’re succeeding with their dreams.

Why Organic Cotton?

Organic cotton is usually softer than the normal cotton you find in clothing and accessories because the fibres haven’t been broken down by harsh chemicals and pesticides. This is not only better for the environment but is kinder to our skin and particularly helpful for children suffering from allergies or eczema. It also means that organic cotton farmers don’t have to work with the harmful materials either!

Whilst doing my research, I found out that the chemicals aren’t even regulated because cotton isn’t a food crop! OK so we might not be eating our clothes but our babies surely have a good go don’t they?

It’s also generally accepted that clothing made from organic cotton washes better and will last longer so you can sell them on (the resale value is usually much higher with at least 50% coming back to you) or pass them down.

If this is the case then I bet you’re wondering what I was – why on earth do other brands chemically treat their cotton?

From what I understand, the chemicals are used for various reasons when growing the cotton. One example may be to kill any weeds that appear whereas these are physically removed during the production of organic cotton. Another may be for pest control but again, there is an alternative which is to use good bugs, biological and cultural practices and trap crops to control the pests and lure them away from the cotton plants.

These methods are more costly and that is passed down, to some degree, to the consumer which is why you will probably end up paying a little more for items made of organic cotton that the clothes you might find elsewhere but, as I mentioned above, it is an investment worth forking out for.

Recent studies have even shown that the increased demand for organic cotton has, in turn, lowered the costs.

Certifications

GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) – A leading processing standard for the production of organic cotton. It requires high-level environmental criteria to be met along the entire supply chain and compliance with certain social criteria.

The Soil Association – Another leading organic certifier, The Soil Association offer a wide range of organic and sustainable certification schemes across food, farming, catering, health and beauty textiles and forestry with focuses on the environment and social responsibility.

Fairtrade – A well-known global organisation that supports the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. It’s all about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

Leaping Bunny – Certification that the company in question does not and will not conduct, commission or be party to animal testing on its products including formulations and ingredients of such products.

B-Corp – A B-Corp company looks at the positive impact it can have on people and the planet as well as its profit i.e. a for-profit business that has social and/or environmental outcomes as part of its mission.

ICTI Code of Business (International Council of Toy Industries) – An association whose members are committed to the advancement of social responsibility in the industry, promoting safety standards, addressing environmental issues and pushing for fair and lawful employment practices and workplace safety in factories.

Featured Brands

Little Green Radicals

https://littlegreenradicals.co.uk


LGR Header

* Children’s clothing and accessories from newborn to 8 years old + natural skincare for babies and toddlers *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 12pm, 18th DECEMBER

Little Green Radicals Collage

Magic Forest Dunagarees • Secret Treehouse Playaway Dress • Woodland Flower Snowsuit • Moon & Stars Playset

One of the first companies in the UK to get the Fairtrade certification for cotton, Little Green Radicals is one of the ‘go-to’ brands for many families across the country who favour organic and naturally-made clothes for their littles ones. They’re also GOTS certified and their skincare range is handmade in Dorset using organic materials with a number of their products being certified by The Soil Association as well.

I adore their stuff so much that my Dad and his partner have placed a pretty big order for Lily for Christmas on our behalf and you’ll certainly see a lot of LGR popping up over on Instagram across the next few months. It’s all absolutely lush and the prints are pure perfection!


The Bunting Tree

http://www.thebuntingtree.co.uk


The Bunting Tree Logo

Children’s clothing from newborn to 5 years old *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 20th DECEMBER

Up close and personal, the bold, beautiful t-shirts currently on offer at The Bunting Tree are even more gorgeous than you could’ve imagined. I mean, just look at this wonderful shot of In The Den Photography‘s children Busby and H-Bear (and, on that note, if you’re looking for a stunning photographer as a brand or a family, Hannah’s your girl).

The Bunting Tree - In The Den Photography

© In The Den Photography

British Summer – Long Sleeved / Short Sleeved • Brollies & Blizzards – Long Sleeved / Short Sleeved

The Bunting Tree is the brainchild of Emma, a mother of two, who started making her son’s clothes herself from organic cotton to try and reduce any risk of irritation to his skin as he suffered from eczema.

As the business grew, she outsourced the making of the garments to a GOTS certified factory in India which allows her to produce larger quantities whilst designing the prints herself.

Interestingly, the designs are created using painted tissue paper which is cut in to shapes and stuck on to paper to create individual graphics. These creations are then electronically arranged to make The Bunting Tree designs.

I am obsessed with all things ‘weather’ so Emma’s latest collection made my eyes light up!


JoJo Maman Bébé

http://www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk


JoJo Maman Bebe Logo

Children’s clothing and accessories from newborn to 6 years old, maternity wear, baby essentials, kid’s bedroom interiors and accessories, gifts and toys *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 21st DECEMBER for 1st CLASS / 22nd DECEMBER for 22nd CLASS

JoJo Maman Bebe Christmas Collage

Reindeer Pyjamas • Cashmere Mix Fair Isle Robin Dress • Cashmere Mix Polar Bear Jumper • Owl Baby Sleepsuit

JoJo Maman Bebe Toys Collage

First Christmas Stocking • Wooden Toy Garage • Picnic Basket + Food

As quite a mainstream and popular brand, the chances are you’ve heard of JoJo Maman Bébé already right?

I’ve always loved JoJo and their mantra is something we can all stand by – ‘people and the planet above profit’. They were recently nominated for a Working with Disability Award by long-term employee Sammy-Jo and they work closely with their factories to ensure that the businesses are run in an ethical manner passing their stringent factory audits.

They also stand by the ‘waste not want not’ philosophy to preserve our planet for all of our children. Their ‘From a Mother to Another’ initative recyles thousands of clothing items every year to help families in need both in the UK and abroad, all of their stores all have low energy lighting to reduce their carbon footprint and some of their clothing items are made from recyled materials.

The thing is, they’re always striving for better and this year they’ve become a certified B-Corp company which means they are a ‘force for good’ and mean the strict standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.


Lil’ Cubs

http://www.lilcubs.co.uk


Lil Cubs Logo

Children’s clothing and accessories from newborn to 5 years old *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 21st DECEMBER for 1st CLASS / 22nd DECEMBER for 22nd CLASS

Lil Cubs Collage

Muslin Squares • Leggings • Bibs

Lil Cubs is the baby of Tabitha, a mother of two, and is all about bright, bold patterns and the use of safe, eco-friendly dyes. She designs the prints herself and sometimes asks her illustrator friends to help her ideas come to fruiton.

Babygrows are sized from 0-3m to 12-18m and leggings 6-12m to 4-5yr with other lovely items available such as swaddles, bibs and muslin cloths.

She is certified as an ICTI Code of Business member which means the factories she uses are bound to comply with laws protecting the environment and the safety/welfare of their employees including fair wages, hiring policies and benefits.


Yellow Door

https://www.yellow-door.net


Yellow Door Logo

* Children’s toys and learning resources *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 12pm, 19th DECEMBER

I only discovered this company recently and it’s one of those hidden gems that you thank your lucky stars you came across. Honestly, this stuff is SUCH high quality!

They stock toys made from some of the more well-known ethical brands (i.e. Plan Toys, Grimms etc.) but what really blows us away in their own designs such as the jumbo alphabet and number pebbles or fantasy world wooden characters. These are both so beautifully made and I was amazed when I saw them for myself as they arrived through the door, they really are wonderful.

Yellow Door Collage

Jumbo Alphabet Pebbles • Fantasy World Wooden Characters

As we’re looking at homeschooling Lily and, either way, we’re keen to make sure that she’s learning whilst she’s in her preschool years anyway, this is set to become one of our favourite online stores for all of our early years essentials.

It really is a treasure trove of what I would call ‘proper toys’ and if you do nothing else today, please take five minutes to check out their website. Next on our list for Lily’s birthday (or sooner, eek, I don’t know if I can control myself) is these sensory bricks…

Yellow Door Sensory Blocks

Sensory Blocks (16-Pack)

Do keep a look out for my review of Yellow Door early in the New Year as well.


Frugi

https://www.welovefrugi.com


Frugi Logo

* Children’s clothing newborn to 10 years, maternity and breastfeeding clothes for Mum, bedding and gifts *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 21st DECEMBER for 1st CLASS / 22nd DECEMBER for 22nd CLASS

Frugi Collage

Snuggle Baby Gift Set (Croc) • Charlie Romper • Eliza Dress • Parsnip Pants (Sunny Farm)

Frugi (‘fruits of the earth’ in Latin) are one of the loveliest brands I’ve ever come across. They donate 1% of their annual turnover to charity each year and all clothing is certified organic by GOTS and The Soil Association.

It’s the sort of stuff where you take out of the packaging and just squish it because it’s so bloomin’ soft. Trust me!

Starting as a small family-run business making baby togs ‘cut for cloth’ i.e. with extra wriggly room for cloth bums they’ve come so far as an award-winning company passionate about the future we’ve paving for our children.

Their clothes are made to last, designed to be passed down and are superb quality. Just perfect for little adventurers!


Superdrug

http://www.superdrug.com


Superdrug Logo

* Beauty/bath products, healthcare and gifts *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – VIEW UP-TO-DATE DELIVERY INFORMATION HERE

Superdrug Collage

B. Accessories Bundle (Box, Brushes + Manicure Set) • A4 Light Box • Hand Warmers • Flutter Shower Gel

When it comes to drug-store cosmetics, bath stuff and so on, I always go to Superdrug because they’re committed to supporting the cruelty-free cause with all of their own brand make-up, household items and toiletries backed by the Cruelty Free International ‘Leaping Bunny’.

You might even remember that I reviewed their B. range back in January for Veganuary and mentioned them in my cruelty-free round-up a few months ago?

They’ve got a huge range of gifts on offer this year with double beautycard points available on selected items and a half-price sale in full swing!


Slugs & Snails

http://www.slugsandsnails.ie


Slugs & Snails Logo

* Tights and clothes for children and adults (with the capacity for lots of twinning!) *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – 19th DECEMBER

Slugs & Snails Collage

‘Drop’ Adult Tights • ‘Hoot’ Pixie Hoodie • ‘Bots’ Kid’s Tights

Slugs and Snails are best-known for their unisex tights for little ones and adults alike!

Living on the top of a cold, windy hill in Ireland in an old house (how amazing does this sound?) they spent some time looking for tights to keep their newborn son warm at night but there was nothing on the market that was for both girls AND boys so they designed their own.

Some years later, they’re now an award-winning eco-friendly company and their popular tights have seen many a mention in the press with the luxurious, GOTS certified organic cotton being a winner with families everywhere. The tights also have PVC-free anti-slip soles which is a lifesaver if you have a little terror (in a good way!) like Lily


 Real Foods

http://www.realfoods.co.uk/


Real Foods Logo

* Food and drink, health, beauty, home and baby stuff *

LAST ORDERS FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY – MIDNIGHT, 20th DECEMBER

Real Foods Collage

Pacifica Natural Skin Care Collection • Essential Care Organic Baby Travel Gift Set • Weleda Men’s Wash Gift Set • ‘Say It With Chalk’ Cookies Gift Set

Based in Edinburgh, Real Foods have been a leading provider of natural, organic and vegetarian foods for over 40 years and if you can’t find you’re looking for on their webstore they will try and order it for you.

They stock lots of Fairtrade and environmentally-friendly products including an extensive range of non-food items such as washing and cleaning products, candles, books, make-up, skincare, things for baby and vitamins. It’s basically like a ‘normal’ supermarket but full of ethical, sustainable products.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this today and that it’s helped with some of your Christmas shopping (maybe you’ve even boxed it all off now?)

I know that I, personally, could lose hours on some of these websites and I’ve got so many things in mind for other occasions and birthdays throughout the year now as well (and where to go with any Christmas money/vouchers!)

If there’s any other ethical brands that you know of and can vouch for please do leave a comment below and we’ll make this a little hub for finding ethical treats and delights.

Have you done all of your Christmas shopping yet?

Lucy Signature

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50 Comments

  1. December 3, 2016 / 8:17 PM

    Apart from Superdrug i have not really heard of the other brands before but good to know I buy my beauty products from an ethical company
    Anosa recently posted…Five Things Week 6 {+Giveaway}My Profile

    • December 6, 2016 / 8:59 PM

      I did hope this post would help spread awareness of some of these other wonderful brands but yep, Superdrug are awesome! x

  2. December 3, 2016 / 9:15 PM

    I’ve bought a few items from Lil Cubs off of Instagram, the clothing is beautiful. Great gift guide, something different to the norm. Jo x

  3. Kate
    December 3, 2016 / 9:26 PM

    What a wonderful selection of ethical brands. I need to get those gorgeous Lil Cubs trousers for my niece!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:52 PM

      They’re beautiful aren’t they? Her prints are just spot on every time! x

  4. hannah
    December 3, 2016 / 10:15 PM

    I think its great to be ethical. It’s not easy these days as we can often easily forget about ethics when shopping x

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:51 PM

      I know I definitely need to think more and it’s a conscious decision you have to want to make as so many companies just don’t care and when you’re on a budget (like we always are!) it’s hard to justify the higher prices sometimes! x

  5. December 3, 2016 / 10:20 PM

    What a lovely range of clothing that are safe and comfortable for kids wear.

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:50 PM

      There are definitely some awesome brands here, we love all of them! x

  6. December 3, 2016 / 10:26 PM

    Such a great round up! I never really thought of Superdrug as being an ethical retailer, but I will from now on! Thanks!

    – Elodie x
    Elodie recently posted…Gift Guide : For HimMy Profile

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:49 PM

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, they should shout about it more shouldn’t they? x

  7. December 4, 2016 / 6:09 AM

    Oh how sweet, the prints on the Little Green Radicals clothing are so lovely! What a great gift guide xxx

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:49 PM

      Thank you! Like I said Lily is getting some LGR items from my Dad and his Partner for Christmas (all different prints) and I can’t wait to see her in them 🙂 x

  8. December 4, 2016 / 6:14 AM

    This is a fab guide, I’m eyeing up those Superdrug gifts!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:48 PM

      Thank you! I wouldn’t mind them showing up under my Christmas tree either, good ‘ole Superdrug! x

  9. December 4, 2016 / 7:51 AM

    This is such a great guide – It’s increasingly important to think about where our products are coming from. Thanks for putting it together 🙂

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:47 PM

      I agree, I think there’s been a shift in recent years and more people are starting to care about where their stuff is coming from! It’s all good! x

  10. December 4, 2016 / 11:19 AM

    Not yet, unfortunately I am nowhere near to being done… but that’s ok, Christmas shopping is so much fun 🙂
    Agata recently posted…9 Delicious Walnut RecipesMy Profile

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:47 PM

      Don’t worry, I’m nowhere near finished either but like you said, shopping in December is tons of fun and I think it’s a little bit magical as well! x

  11. December 4, 2016 / 6:21 PM

    What a great gift guide, I love the B Brushes set x

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:45 PM

      Thank you! I’ve not tried their brushes before because I’ve got a few decent Real Techniques sets (also ethical!) but I’d like to! x

  12. December 4, 2016 / 8:28 PM

    I think my favourite would have to be ‘The bunting Tree’ it is incredible how beautiful the designs are and I love that it is ethical!

    • December 6, 2016 / 9:12 PM

      They’re gorgeous aren’t they? We love the whole ‘weather’ theme! x

  13. December 4, 2016 / 8:59 PM

    What an amazing collection of gift ideas – I’m a big fan of ethically sourced and products, so I love that you’ve put this together!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:44 PM

      Ah thank you, it’s great to hear that there’s some more support for ethical products out there! x

  14. December 4, 2016 / 9:26 PM

    Some great ethical gifts here, the B. bundle looks brilliant, I hope I get it for Christmas

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:44 PM

      It’s only £35 as well, I think that’s really good value for everything you get with it. Fingers crossed it pops up under the tree for you (if not you can always pick it up in the sales eh?) x

  15. December 4, 2016 / 10:15 PM

    I love all the children’s clothes companies! Jojo Maman Bebe, Lil’ Cubs & The Bunting Tree look adorable! I am totally sold by Yellow Door though. I love natural or wooden children’s toys.

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:43 PM

      Yellow Door is my new favourite place to buy toys! Such an awesome shop! I love all of them too, if only I had unlimited money *daydreams*…x

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:41 PM

      It’s awesome when that happens isn’t it? When I went cruelty-free last year I thought I’d have to buy everything online until I saw that Superdrug were ethical (their own brand stuff anyway!) and I was over the moon x

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:40 PM

      Thank you 🙂 I’m still not finished, there’s so much to buy and not enough time! x

  16. December 5, 2016 / 10:45 AM

    Looks like a great range of possible gifts! A lot of my friends are vegan and only buy ethical products so this has given me some inspiration 🙂

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:40 PM

      Ah that’s good, I’m glad it’s helped you with your Christmas shopping! x

  17. December 5, 2016 / 11:51 AM

    This is a great post-Lucy! I think it’s good to spread awareness about ethical fashion. Unfortunately that is not always the case and it is always down to costs whether than what is environmentally right.

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:39 PM

      Thank you! Yes, I’m finding it hard to convince some people when it comes to buying things for Lily but I’m trying my best as it’s definitely important to us x

  18. December 5, 2016 / 8:01 PM

    A very nice gift guide! When I have children this will be something I am very conscience of too!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:39 PM

      Ah thank you! It’s something that I’m starting to push for when it comes to buying things for Lily but it can be hard to convince some people that paying a little more for ethically-made products is worth doing! x

  19. December 6, 2016 / 1:50 AM

    Great to see somewhere like Superdrug, somewhere I shop, doing ethical presents like those!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:38 PM

      Superdrug are fabulous for cruelty-free and vegan products! It makes you wonder why some of the other big brand cosmetics/beauty stores don’t follow suit or why they can’t offer the same? x

  20. December 6, 2016 / 5:32 PM

    This is a really informative post, thank you so much for taking the time to write it! Some lovely gift ideas too, off to check out a few I hadn’t heard of right now! Yellow Door looks fab!!!

    • December 6, 2016 / 6:37 PM

      I really hoped it would be useful to have the information and brands all in one place for people to use as a guide when shopping for their little ones. Yellow Door are amazing, a complete hidden gem but I am now obsessed with their website and products! x

  21. December 6, 2016 / 9:56 PM

    Fantastic gift guide. Less, ethical and better quality is always the way to go!

    • December 7, 2016 / 9:47 AM

      Thank you! I am hoping to slowly build up a collection of 2-3 for Lily as it should last her until at least past the summer! x

  22. December 12, 2016 / 1:32 PM

    Such an inspiring gift guide, and how great that you’re spreading the word about small ethical companies. I particularly love the look of the Yellow Door products, definitely going to check out their site.

    • December 12, 2016 / 10:34 PM

      Thank you! Aw good, I hope you like it? It’s a lovely site for learning toys and materials 🙂 x

  23. December 23, 2016 / 1:52 AM

    Great post! Really good to know these kind of things

    • December 29, 2016 / 9:03 PM

      It’s something I’ve been really hot on since doing veganuary last January and going cruelty-free so I hope it’s a good resource for others if they’re trying to be conscious as well 🙂 x

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