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Best ethical gifts: 9 guilt-free presents for friends and loved ones

Treat someone special while keeping a clear conscience with our pick of the best ethical gifts

Buying a gift for someone special is a nice way of letting them know you care, but it can be difficult to find the perfect present especially if you’re keen to keep a clear eco-conscience.

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With so many items using packaging that’s destined for the landfill, it can be especially thoughtful to choose a sustainable gift that will put a smile on someone’s face without doing damage to the planet.

That’s why we’ve put together our pick of ethical gifts that rely on sustainable sources and keep recycled materials in mind, so you can shower your loved one with presents, guilt-free.

If you’re looking to buy something special for the littles ones, read our list of eco-friendly toys for kids.

Best ethical gifts to buy in 2021

Eco Friendly Ballpoint Pens

Eco Friendly Pens with Low-Waste Packaging on white background

On a mission to do away with the waste caused by plastic pens, Agile Home & Garden have created an eco-friendly alternative made from natural materials.

The barrel and lid of these pens are made from kraft paper tape, while the ink core at the centre has been created from premium stainless steel, both of which they say are completely recyclable. 

Just because they’ve gone for an environmentally friendly option doesn’t mean they’ve compromised on quality either, claiming these pens have an ergonomic design that promise a smooth and efficient writing experience. The packaging itself is also fully recyclable.

Eco Friendly Phone Case

iPhone 13 Pro Plant edition on white background

If you know someone in need of a new phone case you could opt for an eco-friendly option so they can protect their phone while protecting the planet.

Available in a wide variety of colours and styles, these eco-friendly phone cases from WaveCase feature designs that include flowers, plants and animals that reflect their commitment to the natural environment. Instead of plastic these case are made from wheat straw, a biodegradable material which should break down easily when disposed of.

With all the elements you’d expect from a phone case including shock absorbing corners and a 2mm lip to help protect the screen, they also prioritise carbon neutral shipping to further reduce their carbon footprint.

Herman Robot Bamboo Sock Gift Box

Herman Robot Bamboo Organic Cotton 4 Sock Gift Box on white background

Socks are often considered a bad choice of present but this ethical option from Herman Robot will surely make a loved one feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, as well as on their feet.

The components that make up the socks include: certified organic cotton, recycled polyester (which they say has been certified to a global recycled standard) and viscose derived from bamboo, for an eco-coconscious product.

The hand-painted box the colourful socks arrive in is also made from FSC card which means it has been taken from a carefully managed source, as well as vegan glue.

Reclaimed Firehose Billfold Wallet

Elvis & Kresse Reclaimed Firehose Billfold Wallet on white background

These clever wallets have been made from 100% re-used…firehoses. You read that right.

After a number of fire hoses were decommissioned after 25 years of use in the UK, Elvis & Kresse realised they could be repurposed to create durable, robust (and of course waterproof) wallets for your valuables. They are contactless card safe, and 50% of all profits go towards The Fire Fighters Charity.

illy Ground Coffee & E.S.E. Pods Machine – X1 Anniversary

X1 Anniversary coffee machine on white background

The coffee company illy say they are committed to sustainability and part of that mission includes their X1 Anniversary E.S.E. & Ground machine. Not only does it use compostable capsules, the machine itself operates using a energy saving system when its eco-mode is in use.

They say this significantly reduces energy consumption and also removes the waiting time between making coffees. This sturdy machine has  been built to last, using durable materials that mean you shouldn’t have to buy another one any time soon.

Patagonia Fair Trade Nano-Air® Jacket

Women's Nano-Air® Jacket on white background

Part of Patagonia’s Fair Trade line, the Nano-Air® jacket is designed to get rid of excess heat when you’re on the move, but will also heat you up when you’re stationary, perfect for walks and trips in colder weather with a lot of starting and stopping for breaks.

Patagonia say 83% of their line is Fair Trade Certified™ sewn, with 68% of their fabrics from this season formed by recycled materials. They also donate 1% of their sales to help with preservation and restoration efforts, which should help keep whoever receives this extra warm and fuzzy on those Alpine trips.

Pukka Herbal Tea Selection

Pukka Herbs Herbal Tea Selection Box Eco Friendly Gift

Why not treat a loved one to a Pukka cuppa with this selection of eco-friendly tea? Invite someone you care about to put their feet up and relax, safe in the knowledge the delicious tea they’re drinking has been made with sustainably sourced ingredients. 

Even the box is eco-conscious, made from FSC card packaging and non-GM which means it’s been made with non-genetically modified organisms.

The selection contains nine flavours including Supreme Matcha Green, Turmeric Gold and Ginger & Manuka Honey that have been blended by experts, and a total of 45 sachets. 

Sustainable Rebel True Wireless Earbuds

REBEL TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS

These stylish wireless headphones show you can keep on top of tech while also keeping the planet in mind. Available in both black or cream, they have been made using bamboo which has been chosen for its carbon-positive process, as well as recycled plastics to house the wireless earbuds in their charging case.

The earbuds feature a touch control so you can easily play, pause or skip through songs, and should have an eight hour battery life which extends to 30 hours when the case is used. 

Plastic Free Vegan Soap Bars

Natural Soap Slices

These natural, handmade soaps from Battle Green Box are PETA-certified vegan friendly, and cruelty free. They’re also delivered in plastic-free packaging which is also recyclable.

Available in eight scents that range from lavender and charcoal, to citrus scrub and ice cube, these soaps are packed with essential oils and exfoliating elements for a refreshing and thorough wash, helping to keep your skin and conscience squeaky clean.

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