Starting to panic with Christmas looming around the corner? We’ve got you covered, with ethical gifts for everyone from Nan to your surly teenage nephew.
Pictured: the indomitable Tjanpi Desert Weavers
I know we all feel the compulsion, but there is no need to drain our bank accounts this holiday season on mass produced rubbish that no one needs. This is particularly true in Australia, where we have such a fantastic array of social enterprises that put people and planet before profit. Here are some of our favorite goodies from this year’s selection.
These natural coloured baskets are hand crafted by Aboriginal women artists from 28 remote communities across the Central and Western Desert regions of Australia.
Tjanpi Desert Weavers was created to enable women living in remote communities to earn their own income from fibre art. The Tjanpi enterprise is more than just fibre art and income; it is firmly embedded in contemporary Central and Western Desert culture as a movement that celebrates life, creativity, culture and country. Tjanpi provides artists with opportunities to come together and share their unique gifts, perspectives and identity with the world.
So basically, they are awesome.
Amsterdam based company Puc exclusively use wasted leather offcuts from larger companies, which would otherwise be thrown away. Plus, their designs are hella cute for lady tweens, or for any vegan friends who don't normally indulge in leather.
Everyone needs socks, and these ones are the bomb. You can tick so many ethical boxes at once with this little package. The gift box contains four unique styles of sock, allowing you to plant trees, treat HIV, fight hunger AND educate children through four incredible partners – Trees for the Future, UNAIDS, Action Against Hunger and Room to Read. Plus their designs are wild. Dad will not be disappointed.
These are handmade by Napanad Women's Weaving Guild (Taidam) in north-eastern Thailand. The Taidam are an ethnic group who migrated from China and Vietnam to settle in Thailand in the late 19th century. These placemats have been woven on a hand loom by Khemporn Oaynor who earns extra money from weaving. For those who like their kitchen stylish, but who also like supporting grassroots community development while they're at it.
For every pair of undies sold, a child in need will also get a pair, through Buy Undies Give Undies' partnerships with schools in Africa and Vanuatu. Nice and simple, not to mention super comfortable.
We didn’t mean to single out grandads – this is an awesome gift for anyone who never got around to learning how to ride the waves of the interwebs. The eFriends Project aims to close the digital divide by providing customised training to individuals and groups across all devices throughout Perth.
This voucher entitles it's recipient to one 1.5 hour no-judgement 'taster session'. An ideal gift for any Perth-based rellie who calls you up on the regular, asking where the on button is.
Ngarinyman Bush Soaps - $8 at Good Spender
Give nan a break – no one has made a fuss over giving her presents in about 20 years. Ngarinyman Bush Soaps are hand-made by the people of Yarralin community, in the Northern Territory. These soaps are created from hand harvested traditional bush plants, with healing properties that have been used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years.
Purchasing these provides an income for remote Aboriginal entrepreneurs, their families and communities. 60% of profits go directly to soap makers while 40% is invested back into the business.
Raven + Lily is a socially responsible brand dedicated to empowering women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities.
The Uzma Travel Journal is made from recycled cotton. The inside is blank to provide room for your daydreamer cousin to handwrite stories, draw, or doodle. The designs are all inspired by tribal and nature related elements. We think they're awesome.
Oliberté’s goal is to create sustainable jobs in Africa by staying local – sourcing materials there as well as hiring and manufacturing locally – so that people can start, or continue to, define their own lives. Beyond creating sustainable jobs, Oliberté aspires to demonstrate that Africa creates quality, handcrafted goods that can shine in any market and is a continent of pride, power, and liberty. Pretty cool, right?
That's it folks. Enjoy your ethical shopping and Merry Christmas!
Fi is the Co-Founder of The Fabric Social, a social enterprise working exclusively with conflict-affected women. The Fabric Social work to transform one of the greatest causes of poverty: armed conflict. You can shop, donate, or get involved here.