Lydia’s Christmas Eco-Gift Guide (2021)

It’s that time of year again where giving offers thanks for the year behind and spending time with loved ones is a priority. In the Cooke household Christmas has always offered up strange traditions but mostly joys of port-fuelled walks, hyper dogs and a multi-cultural Christmas lunch (aimed to be served at 1pm and not eaten until 5pm). It’s the time of year that despite being wildly chaotic, is the moment I most look forward to.

Though special, the months leading up to Christmas are often tainted for me with the ominous dark cloud of environmental impact consisting of excessive waste, fast fashion and unethically sourced products. Trying to weave past Black Friday and Cyber Monday is hard enough before finally reaching the December rush. Piled under trains of Christmas adverts and Amazon deals, we’re led to believe that irresponsible consumerism is the key to the festive period. But of course, it’s not.

Top Tip #1: Hold on to packaging you collect through the year to upcycle for Christmas wrapping!

I do however understand that giving is something special and that we all have people to be thankful for. I love having the opportunity to show love to the individuals and communities around me and to thank them for being a part of my life, making my year extra special once again. Amongst other ways, the exchanging of gifts is often the way we choose to share our kindness and gratitude, but how can we do so more sustainably?

I will always preach to start by shopping local, shopping small and shopping for gifts that can be consumed and carry little waste. Heading to your local Christmas markets and searching for local creatives online (they’re fab at dominating the Instagram world) is always a great start. But If you’re still searching, I’m here to help.

Having spent the year working with some incredible and sustainably-minded brands, I’m here to offer you alternative ways to ‘buy better’ and make your gift exchanges more eco-conscious. Trialled and tested by me, I’ve compiled the list below featuring some of my favourites (believe me, it was hard to whittle it down)… enjoy and most of all, have a wonderful festive season!

The list….

ShelterBox Book Club

Why not give the gift of reading AND giving? I’m proud to be an ambassador for this incredible charity, founded in the heart of Cornwall, doing outstanding global acts of kindness. For £10 a month you can provide your loved one with a book focused on real people and places every six weeks! With every read, you’ll be helping disaster struck families around the world. In a time where giving is everything, this gift is hard to beat.

Green Island

Green Island has been on my radar for a couple of years now, constantly introducing me to new and wonderful products from the world of sustainable homeware. Abundant in plastic-free alternatives for all walks of life, Green Island is the perfect site to find eco-conscious goodies for almost anyone.

Bird Eyewear

My ambassadorship with Bird Eyewear has taken me on all sorts of wonderful journeys through the world of sustainable design. From sunglasses to prescription and blue light glasses, even down to their new range of kids ‘Birdies’, the team at Bird will have you sorted for your optical obsessed loved ones. (Code: LYDIA20).

Circular and Co

A pioneer in the world of Circular design and economy, this site is sure to provide some eco-wonders. By giving single-use a second chance, their products provide solutions for the waste problem whilst offering purpose for your lifestyle. From bottles to plant pots and coffee cups to tidal clocks, Circular & Co will have you sorted!

Top tip #2: Search the hashtag #supportsmall followed by your county on Instagram to find local creatives! ie. ‘#supportsmallcornwall’

Passenger Clothing

I’ve been working with these guys for years and quite honestly, it’s been amazing to watch their journey. Holding sustainable goals at the heart of the brand from the very beginning, Passenger not only leads a fun lifestyle but also offers a more sustainable alternative for outdoor lovers. With fleece season in full swing, there’s no better place to grab yours now. (Code: LYDIA10OFF)

Daisy V Jewellery

Using 100% recycled silver and giving back, Daisy is not only an amazing jewellery designer and maker, but also a creative on a beautiful mission. With people and the planet a key priority, Daisy’s jewellery is something to wear with pride. Her designs are the perfect gift for ocean dwellers and outdoor lovers.

Origin Africa

Having been a part of Origin Africa’s world for the past couple of years, I’ve never been anything less than impressed by them. Whilst sustainably and ethically sourcing all their products and materials, 100% of their profits fund community-driven, social impact projects across the continent of Africa. I was even lucky enough to speak to Alice (founder and all-round star) on my podcast where we discussed her brand and the topic of greenwashing. There’s nothing not to love about this brand!

Top Tip #3: Make a rule with your family for more sustainable gift exchanges. For example, ‘Presents that can be consumed’ or ‘Gifts bought locally’.

Reverie the Boutique

Reverie is an incredible site designed to bring sustainable, cruelty-free and luxury together. By curating a collection of eco-minded fashion and home pieces, Reverie is filled with all variations of gifts. From candles to skincare and jewellery to ‘Reverie Gowns’, this boutique is one to get lost in. (Code: REVERIEWOMAN-LYDIA25)

Triwa Watches

Triwa’s ‘Time for Ocean‘ collection is an incredible and stylish collaboration between their brand and Tide Earth . By collecting and recycling ocean plastics, the watches in this range turn back the time on environmental impact. With variations of colours, you’re bound to find the perfect one for all kinds of individuals.

Cove Clothing

With sustainable sourcing at the heart of the Cove Clothing brand, their collections are key in the move towards better fashion. Dressed with ocean and adventure-based designs, Cove is the perfect spot to find your coastal gifting. You might even spot a Lydia X Cove collaboration if you look close enough…

Loft and Daughter

Through partnerships that give back, Loft and Daughter is rich in beautiful products built to pioneer a more ethical jewellery industry. For the bohemian loving people out there, Loft and Daughter is the perfect home-away-from-home, filled with stunning items for you and your abode.

Leaf shave

Looking for something practical, sustainable AND pretty? I was always nervous to try the safety razor, but when Leaf Shave sent me one of their own I was pleasantly surprised. Their plastic-free razors are a great gift for any adult in your life, but especially that special bloke!

Hometown Journals

In the Spirit of #supportingsmall why not gift your loved ones with the ability to fall in love with their immediate area? Buying locally and falling in love with the outside world is a great way to support a more sustainable lifestyle. I love this little journal and everything that it stands for!

Top Tip #4: Put a shout-out on social media of any local or small businesses you’ve bought from. It will help them massively and encourage people to buy locally!

Anuka Jewellery

Sourced from recycled silver and fair mined gold, Anuka’s designs are both beautiful AND ethically minded. With unique collections and stand-out pieces, Anuka is an idyllic site to find that special gift this Christmas! The team behind this brand are also on to some exciting planet-friendly plans next year, so keep your eyes peeled!

Fauna Brewing

Brewed with purpose, Fauna Brewing is a great site to find your beer-savvy people a beverage that creates more than just some embarrassing Christmas moves. With each purchase, Fauna Brewing donates part of its profits to conservation projects around the world. Plus, their designs are enough of a wow factor on their own!

Sancho’s

Home of sustainable fashion and ethical gifts, Sancho’s is an iconic spot to drop into in the world of ‘buying better’. The team at Sancho’s hold a passion we should all look up to, fighting for a brighter future and better present. Their site is abundant in different gift ideas fit for all!

Aurora

Rich in varying products, you’re bound to find something special for those around you from Aurora. It may not be the time of year here in the UK, but having trialled and tested their sustainable swimwear I can vouch that they’re one to look out for! The team are also brilliant at promoting an active lifestyle for a healthier mind.

Top Tip #5: If you recieve something in the year that you don’t like, don’t throw it away… hold on to it to give to someone else at Christmas (just make sure it’s not the person who gave it to you originally)!

That’s all for now! I want to say a massive thank you to all of the brands who collaborated with me this year, you’re all wonderful and on to some amazing things. Thank you for having me as a part of your journey!

Let me know in the comments below or drop me a direct message on Instagram if you end up purchasing from any of these brands. It’s always amazing to see these businesses grow and let them know it’s happening!

Happy Christmas from me x

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