Christmas shopping is shaping up a little differently this year. Lockdown around you might have been relaxed (or if you’re reading from somewhere other than the UK you might be in the clear completely!), but likelihood is instead of planning in a day full of one-treat-for-them and one-treat-for-you (anyone remember the days of free samples?). This means that the spotlight is staying on online shopping, as it has done since March. Supporting small (vegan) businesses is extremely important. Consequently, you can find below a complete guide including the sort of businesses you should be supporting, separated by gift category. We’ve done the careful curation for you, so all that’s left to do is for you to match the gift with that lucky recipient. You’re welcome to scroll straight down, but why not take a minute to remind yourself exactly why making the extra effort pays off?
Supporting Small (Vegan) Businesses
We touched on this in our last blog about Black Friday, but it’s always worth revisiting. We might be a teeny tiny bit biased as a small business ourselves, but hear us out…
The phrase “unprecedented times” has been completely rinsed lately, but it just hits the nail on the head for small businesses. For months they’ve had no idea whether they’re open or closed, coming or going, making a profit or making a loss… and that’s why they need you more than ever. This is in complete contrast to the big boys like Amazon, who have recorded absolutely mindboggling growth.
We’re also including local businesses under here, but you’ll have to research those for yourself! Shopping local is more important than ever since local lockdowns have been put in place, because this means that each mini economy is suffering to a different extent.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free Gifting
Of course, everything in our guide is certified vegan and/or cruelty-free where applicable. We all know the animal kingdom suffers year-round, but the festive season is a hell of a tough break for them. Not only are dining tables turned into graveyards, but animals are the victims of luxury goods too. Now that synthetic alternatives to animal products have become so widely available, their ‘natural’ counterparts have become the more expensive version – the ‘real thing’. This means that they’re an easy target for people who feel the need to show someone they’ve spent a lot of money. Think make-up, perfume, leather handbags, leather shoes, fur coats and cashmere sweaters…
The festive season is a terrifyingly wasteful time, with endless wrapping, packaging and unwanted gifts heading straight for landfill. That’s before we even begin to address the “out with the old, in with the new” mentality.
DIY, and the Art of Regifting
Now if you’ve got a bit of a creative flair or you’re a bit thrifty, this is the route to go down. Obviously it’s a case of playing to your strengths, but the possibilities are endless and there’s something everyone can do. Not only is making something yourself good for the planet (and an affront to capitalism), it also means that you can personalise your gifts, and the recipient will be even more touched that you’ve thought about them (even if you do only manage a PVA and dried pasta picture).
Here are a few quick ideas:
- bath salts or bath bombs
- a recipe book with all your favourites
- home baked goods, fudge or truffles
- a festive potato or lino print
- air dry clay (or salt dough) tree decorations
Gifting for Gold (A complete list of Vegan Businesses)
You’ve made it! Congratulations. Now for your reward: the ultimate guilt-free gift guide. Good luck refraining from popping something in the basket for yourself too (it’s been a long year, go on…)!
P.S.: here are some ways to minimise waste post-festivities: