Christmas shopping. Yep, that time again. And as you make your way through the overwhelming sea of people in the crowded shops you cringe inwardly, wondering why you didn't start earlier and then insistently promise yourself you’ll do better next year.
Well, aside from the crowd weaving you are also faced with that little conundrum of what you are going to buy! If you are a conscious consumer looking for something alternative to the usual material goods found in the stores, then you will hopefully find this useful. There is an array of great gift ideas out there that would not only be great for your friends or family, but will also be making a difference in someone else’s life. Choosing fairtrade and ethically sourced gifts is a great way to use your hard earned money for good, and to give something beautiful and unique to your loved ones.
Here are 5 ways you can shop ethically this year:
1. Free Fair Trade Shopping Guide
The Fair Trade Association has defiantly helped to make ethical shopping easier. They have created a Fair Trade Shopping Guide that you can download from their website. It includes 60 endorsed and fairtrade certified organisations.
Instead of buying another material item this year, think about buying a gift that will help support a community aid and development organisation. There are many to choose from, and every gift you buy helps to meet the needs of people and communities experiencing poverty and injustice. Here are some of my favourites:
- TEAR Australia Useful Gifts: http://www.usefulgifts.org/
- CBM Meaningful Gifts: http://www.cbm.org.au/gifts/
- Compassion, Gifts of Compassion: https://www.compassion.com.au/donate/gifts-of-compassion
3. Moral Fairground Market
If you live in Melbourne, then this one is for you. On the 6th and 7th of December Moral Fairground is running the Fair@Square market at Federation Square. It will feature a range of fairtrade and ethical organisations. The market will also have a play tent for kids, cooking demonstrations, talks, and much much more! Bring your friends, take your kids, and enjoy a great day out while getting those Christmas gifts.
One of the best kinds of gifts you can give is one that you make yourself. If you have the time, why not take a weekend to be creative and make something special for your friends and family this year! From homemade cookies and treats, to painted pots, iron on t-shirt designs, and photographs...homemade gifts are always memorable. If you are short for time and still want to give something uniquely made, why not buy from Etsy - a great website that has a range of vintage and homemade crafts. https://www.etsy.com/
5. Online eco and ethical shops
There are a few online stores that sell a range of ethical products. These are useful as they generally have great variety, which means you can shop for many people at the same place! Here are a few to whet your appetite.