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conscious gifting for christmas and beyond

39 days to go until the big day! we thought we would put together a post about the gifting season as a whole and how we can make some more conscious decisions when it comes to consumerism around the festive period. every year, approximately 60 million unwanted gifts are given and only 1% of other gifts will remain in use six months after the festivities have ended. with the current climate having huge impacts on our way of life, it got us thinking about the intention behind present buying and wondering what we can do to minimise the impact on our delicate planet. we don't know about you, but we would much prefer to receive a well thought of, consciously made gift than something we will lose interest in once the new year arrives! if you're with us and want to know how you can change your shopping habits for the better this season, continue reading...

- it all starts with a question

how many times have you received a gift you didn't want or need? *raises hand*

this issue has a rather easy (but maybe unpopular!) solution - how about asking a simple question. yes, this route is more direct and may feel a little awkward at first, but asking your recipient outright is potentially going to save a total waste (literally!) of a gift and your money. if you still want to surprise your recipient in some way, how about asking for a small list of ideas? that way you can adapt to suit your budget and still have the magic of surprising them.

- think about longevity

a gift isn't just for christmas! novelty gifts like christmas socks, pyjamas and jumpers are generally worn once or twice before being thrown away so try to avoid purchasing these if you can. consider buying a gift that will last beyond the festive period and can also be used at a different time of year. our curated gift sets make a lovely christmas gift but can also be used and re-purchased beyond the festive season meaning you won't be in a rush to throw them out.

- quality over quantity

buying less but better quality products is a great way to ensure you make a conscious purchase this season. a quality made product from a small independent business is going to be made with love and care and may even last longer than a cheaper alternative. we are proud to stock a range of goods from independent makers including our handmade incense holders made in leicester by simon from faulty stone. every part of the process is done by hand, even the glazing and with a selection of colours to choose from, these incense holders will be a permanent feature in your home for years to come.

- investigate who you buy from

if you do your christmas shopping online, have a think about the values and processes of the retailer that you are buying from. do they send orders in plastic packaging? what are their values on sustainability and waste? where are their products made? we generally find that small businesses fare far better than the big brands when it comes to these questions, as they are generally more transparent. as a small business, we always endeavour to share as much product information that we can. you can find answers to questions around our processes on our faq page. if you can't find the answer you are looking for, please email us at and we'd be happy to answer!

- what's your intention?

if you are buying a long list of people presents each christmas out of pure politeness...this is your sign to stop! don't crumble under the social pressure of gift exchanging, especially if it's affecting your finances. my friendship group stopped gifts a long time ago - opting to meet up for a festive lunch or a walk somewhere instead. skipping on gifts and spending time with one another is more worthwhile and eliminates any stressful, contrived shopping experiences. put it out there to your group and you'll probably find that they agree in relief! my list now consists of close family and kids only, making life a lot simpler and leaving me more time to pick out something extra thoughtful.

- a new way to gift wrap

there are more scary statistics out there about the amount of plastic wrapping paper that will be thrown away this christmas. to avoid this, check the information on the wrapping paper you pick up and opt for paper based alternatives instead - that means no metallic or glitter...sorry! if you want to go one better, opt for reusable gift wrap like our ethically sourced luxury furoshiki gift wrap. this calico fabric is so easy to use and comes in a neutral colourway that can be used for a variety of occasions year after year.

that's a wrap on our conscious gifting blog post! we really encourage you to consider who you buy from this year if possible. the big businesses pumping out mass produced products will not miss your money but a small business will. we are proud to stock brands that are either family run or independently owned so when you support us, you are supporting them. we have to keep the humble world of small business going!

stay well this festive season,

sophie x

founder of the conscious collective


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