Christmas shopping can be a tricky business. For me, the high street is a big no no. Besides wanting to avoid the argy bargy Christmas crowds, I like to search out presents with a little added meaning or a story behind them. This is especially true when it comes to finding travel prezzies for my globetrotting pals. But where to look? Here are some of my top Meaningful brands & products…
Get behind Gandys’ great cause
The story behind the Gandys brothers is pretty unique. After being flung into the world of travel with their parents at a young age, Rob & Paul tragically lost their Mum and Dad in the Boxing Day tsunami. But, instilled with a keen love for globetrotting, they created Gandys; a clothing company set up to support their Orphans for Orphans foundation where 10% of their profits go towards helping underprivileged children affected by the tsunami. From bags and backpacks to hats & flip flops, they’ve got a whole range of traveller-friendly treats with a meaningful edge- perfect for an ethical-savvy traveller.
Take your pick of Páramo’s outdoor gear
We’ve all got that one mate whose idea of a lovely weekend is a leisurely jaunt up Ben Nevis. Well, for those that do, I introduce… Páramo; a clothing company with a social conscience. Specialising in quality, practical outdoor products, they’re as passionate about ethical manufacturing as we are about making the perfect brew- and that’s a LOT. Whether you’re looking for trekking gear or photography bits, they have a whole host of quality, enduring products that are ideal for serious outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, their long term manufacturing partnership with the charitable Miquelina Foundation in Colombia provides jobs for vulnerable women. What’s not to love?
Fall in love with treats from Lush
Lush peg themselves as an ethical cosmetic company, where eliminating animal testing has been a priority right from the get go. Not only that, but they also support ethical buying practices and their products are handmade and 100% veggie-friendly (not that you’d want to eat them). Two of my favourite lush treats are their Miles of Smiles toothy tabs & Shampoo Bars which make excellent space-saving travel-friendly stocking fillers.
Choose nifty gifts at The Amnesty Shop
You’ve probably heard of Amnesty International; an organisation where ordinary people from across the world stand up for humanity and human rights. After teaming up with New Internationalist, Amnesty Shop was born. Most products listed here are either organic, recycled, fairly traded or eco-friendly, and when you shop at Amnesty you’ll be supporting various causes around the globe. There are lots of nifty travel gifts to peruse. I particularly like this one; The Hiker Gift Tin; A handy tin containing beeswax polish, sore feet remedies and that all-important lip balm.
Shop for gadgets at Ethical Superstore
Hurrah for Ethical Superstore; the online eco-shop that saves you precious time trawling the web for feel-good products by handpicking a whole bundle of them and sticking them in one handy place. Hallelujah! They do all the research so you can rest assured that all their products have the right ethical credentials. The question is, what do you get a nomadic tech-savvy eco-warrior? Well that’s easy. A portable eco-friendly Multi Device Solar Charger. Obviously. That way, they can keep their Instagram feed topped up with all those enviable travel pic… oh, wait.
Adopt an animal with WWF
Aside from single-handedly saving the planet’s endangered wildlife yourself, there ain’t no better gift to give your animal-mad mate than the gift of an animal adoption! At WWF you can take your pick of wildlife around the world, to choose a cause that’s just right; from tigers and elephants to dolphins and polar bears. Animal adoptions give a huge boost to the work of WWF; helping fund projects to work with local communities and wildlife around the world. They’ll even send your pal a gift pack with info, facts and a cuddle toy. Good deed= done.
So there you have it; a meaningful travel gift list for any ethical Christmas elf. Happy shopping!