How to buy better this Christmas

You have to have been living under a rock for the last few decades if you’ve not heard of #BlackFriday. This bizarre consumer holiday has been encouraging mindless consumption since the early noughties. There are so many thoughtful brands producing wonderful products these days that we don’t think it’s that hard to buy better gifts for your loved ones. Check out our good gift guide below, and let us know any great ethical brands we’ve missed.

For the arty type

Artbox London provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities to access the arts and be included in their local community. Their artists make and sell wonderful artworks, stationery and more.

Accumulate helps young, homeless people explore their creativity through a range of creative workshops, including photography, filmmaking, creative writing and illustration. Check out their beautiful, affordable framed photographs and prints, and new for 2020, The Book of Homeless.

For the foodie

Rise Bakery train people who used to be homeless and help them to find work and regain their confidence. They produce and sell delicious brownies and more.

Rubies in the Rubble use food that’s destined for landfill to produce their delicious chutneys and condiments. Perfect for the cheese fans in your life.

For the interior decorator

Jolt is a homeware and accessories brand with products designed by a diverse group of makers referred through mental health services.

Aerende is an online shop selling beautiful products and gifts for your home, all of them made in the UK by people facing social challenges.

Arthouse Unlimited, amongst other gifty bits and bobs, sell beautiful velvet cushions, original artwork, fine bone china and more, made by a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities.

Fine Cell Work‘s embroidered cushions are made by British prisoners. The charity teaches prisoners high-quality needlework, boosting self-worth, instilling self-discipline, fostering hope and encourages them to lead independent, crime-free lives.

For the fashion fiend

Lucy & Yak is an independent fashion brand making homemade, ethical and beautiful, comfy clothing for men and women.

One Scoop is a beautifully curated range of pre-loved pieces that are so unique, you’ll be the only one wearing it.

Know The Origin is an ethical fashion brand selling wardrobe essentials for men and women, with transparent processes and a passion for supporting their garment workers.

Maya Miko is an ethical, sustainable, fair trade fashion and accessories brand making unique products out of beautiful prints.

Hopeful Traders is a clothing brand that collaborates with homeless people and people with mental illness to produce their range of t-shirts and sweaters.

BEEN London use innovative technology to turn materials that would otherwise be discarded into new leather like materials, which in turn become beautiful handbags and laptop cases. All of their pieces are made locally by a small team of skilled artisans.

For the crafty crafter

Knit Aid support refugees in camps across Europe by collecting hand knitted items from keen knitters around the world and redistributing them to those in need, as well as selling knitting needles and other products.

Offset Warehouse sell beautiful, ethical textiles for people who like to make their own fashion and home furnishings.

Juta Shoes is a social enterprise, empowering women who face barriers to work, offering them flexible, supported, well-paid work, hand crafting espadrille shoes out of reclaimed materials. They also run shoe making workshops, which we think make the perfect gift for someone who loves a bit of DIY.

For the waste reducer

LowToxBox sell themed ethical gift boxes, full of stuff that will help your gift receiver reduce their impact on the planet, whatever they’re in to.

Surfers Against Sewage have a great range of plastic free products, aimed at helping us all reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in the sea.

Keep Cup produce reusable coffee cups to replace the disposable ones that cafes give away. And when you take your Keep Cup to the coffee shop, you’re likely to get a discount on your drink.

No Plastic Shop sells, yes, you’ve guessed it, plastic free products! They’ve got a great range that will help you reduce your waste in the home.

Or, you could do Christmas gifts a little differently with Buengo. You can buy ‘virtual’ items like a sleeping bag for a homeless person or a school uniform for a child. You can also purchase second hand items and the proceeds are donated to a good cause.

For the travel lover

Wyatt and Jack make fabulous bags of all shapes and sizes out of old bouncy castles, deck chair fabrics and expired inflatables – all materials that make perfect beach bags and travel luggage.

The Solar Puff is a fold-able solar-powered light and the perfect travel accompaniment whether you are camping, back-packing or just hanging out in the garden in the evening. The company behind the product also happens to be a social enterprise, providing clean, sustainable light and power to those who need it most.

Outdoor People is a social enterprise on a mission to get people to go outdoors. They sell camping and hiking gear, and work in the community to help get kids into the great outdoors.

Dick Moby is a sustainable glasses and sunglasses range made from recycled ocean plastic. Even their cases are made out of recycled leather.

For the beauty Queen (or King)

The Soap Co. is an ethical luxury bath and shower brand that employs people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged, supporting those who are less able to get work.

Lush make organic, hand-made beauty products and we think their range of plastic free shampoos are an absolute winner for stocking fillers this Christmas.

Axiology produce fabulous 10 ingredient lipsticks that don’t harm people, the planet or animals.

For the active type

Flip the Dog are a female-led, British-made, eco-friendly active wear brand, producing vibrant collections, perfect for yogis.

This list will continue to grow as we add more of our faves, so please come back 🙂


Good Beans is an ethical marketing and communications agency working with social enterprises, charities and organisations that want to be better. Want to reach more people? Contact us