That time of the year has arrived - where giving gifts and Christmas gift ideas have become more than just buying the best display in the most popular store. The global pandemic has changed so much of our lives this year, gift giving included. We no longer send gifts solely for the purpose that it is the Holiday season, but because gifting is one of those ways we can show love and share happiness despite the distance - most especially to those loved ones who are far away.
Despite what is happening all over the world, the pandemic has highlighted two critical aspects we’ve really known all along, but often forget. These aspects are:
1. How important it is to keep connected with loved ones, feel part of a community, and support others.
2. How our own individual actions combined can have a massive effect on the environment, economy and society itself.
Especially since the pandemic, people have been doing incredible things like rallying together to support the homeless, helping keep a local business afloat, feeding a family in need and so much more. Our perspectives have changed, what we believe most important to us has probably changed, and now during the holiday season we are wanting to gift with purpose, supporting others as well as Mother Earth.
So to help you gift with purpose this year, we have come up with 5 tips on how to search for a gift, as well as Christmas gift ideas to keep up the wonderful momentum this pandemic created to support others and the environment.
5 Tips on How to Search for a Gift, as well as Christmas Gift Ideas
1. Buy from small, local brands.
Small businesses have had it TOUGH this year, so by shopping local, your purchase may quite literally be paying to put food on someone’s table and keeping a business from going bankrupt. That’s a huge positive impact! And what makes it more amazing is that most often the small local brands are actually ethical, sustainable, and earth-friendly! It’s a win-win. So whether you’re able to shop in person or still stuck with only online shopping, search for the businesses that are locally grown, and opt for the smaller unknown brand of a product, rather than the well-known international brands. Buy Aussie Now is a great new marketplace for all things 100% Australian made and owned. You can also check out your local city’s markets for locally artisan made arts and crafts.
2. Shop from brands that promote sustainability or are eco-friendly.
A sustainable product is one that has been developed respecting the environment and the people who are part of the production chain. From the collection of raw materials, the processing, to the transportation of the articles. (source). Before buying, always check out the labels or the business website to find out about their practices. Most often if it’s not written anywhere, it’s not very eco-friendly!
One of the local brands that shouts sustainability is ‘Seed and Sprout’. Seed and Sprout basically started when a need for sustainable lunch boxes came about. To check their gifting packages, check their website here.
3. Shop from brands that ethically create their products.
An ethical brand is defined as a brand that represents a company, organization or person whose products, services and activities are: 1) morally correct, 2) do not harm people, animals and the environment, and 3) contribute to society and public good in a responsible, positive, and sustainable way (source).
Sometimes, prices from brands that are both sustainable and ethical can be quite steep - which is understandable since they take more considerations in the products they are creating, providing fair wages or choosing higher quality, natural materials. Don’t always just go for the cheapest version you can find! If it’s very cheap, often it’s too good to be true. Think of how much the poor labourers behind that product must have earned…
Besides, wouldn’t you love to shop from a brand that values the health of the planet and the wellbeing of workers, higher than earning more profits? ;) Always keep this in mind when you buy a new product, and again, buy from the brands that are open and transparent about their practices being ethically made.
Here are some Australian ethical clothing brands worth shopping from.
4. Buy from brands that also support a cause
Have you heard of the line, the gift that keeps on giving? If you did, you might have shopped in a store that shares their profits to their chosen causes. And more often than not, the stores that do these are local brands. If you have noticed, most local brands revolve around a cause - whether that is to provide food for a certain group of people, assistance for mental health, or ensuring that the environment is protected.
Keep an eye out on the product labels or brand websites, and choose those that support a greater cause. It is doing good for the world whilst shopping for yourself! :)
If you are looking for a gift that keeps on giving, at youforher, half of our profits are donated to support women’s equality through education and opportunities. Our pure argan oil is a wonderful self-care gift idea for a loved one. In addition, to further give back, we also have gift packages that support OzHarvest, each gift you buy feeds 10 vulnerable Australians. You are not only gifting a loved one but you are also helping feed those in need.
5. Gift an experience
The pandemic may have massively hit tourism and hospitality, but that didn’t stop some of the local stores from offering unique experiences. It is just like giving gift cards - if you cannot think of a material gift that is worthwhile, but you still wish to give something special - gift an experience. An experience will create great memories forever, and doesn’t clog up the cupboard at home or add to the general worldly consumerism waste.
Here’s a good website to check different gourmet experiences you can give. Who wouldn’t love a surprise dinner and wine?
You can either surprise your loved one with a ticket, voucher, or join them for a simple catch-up - following protocol - because time is also a very earth-friendly gift. ;)
This season and everyday, there is always joy in giving, especially if it is made consciously.
And since gifting and protecting the planet goes beyond Christmas, we would love to talk about Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees. It’s a search engine that keeps on giving - it provides you information and in turn also plants trees. Though it’s not locally Australian made, it is still something worth sharing. For more details, please check here.
Happy Holidays! And no matter how you gift your loved ones or yourself ;), we hope it is a gift rooted in love for the person, and for the Earth.