Aren’t Mums just the best?
As the ‘baby bear’ in the Mother/Daughter dream team behind Little Lotus, I know just how hard it can be to find the perfect gift that shows the special lady in your life how much she means to you. Especially if you want to keep it ethical.
That’s why I’ve put together this ethical gift guide – I’ve handpicked products that I think my mum would love, so hopefully yours will too:
(This isn’t a sponsored post so none of the brands have paid for ‘product placement’. I haven’t tried all of them out, although they’re definitely on my shopping list, but I have researched their ethical credentials).
Unless she’s given it up for Lent (and managed to stick to it!) you can’t go too wrong with chocolates.
Several of the big chocolate brands have hit the headlines for being less than ethical, but luckily there are some better options out there. Divine is available in most supermarkets, and they sell some lovely gifts online too.
They’re the only fairtrade chocolate company which is 44% owned by the cocoa farmers, which gives them a share of the profits as well as a fair wage – and gives them a stronger voice in the industry.
Chocolala make and pack all of their chocolates by hand in Scotland. They’re fairtrade, try to source ingredients locally where possible and they’ve put a lot of thought into the environmental impact of their packaging too.
Plus they don’t pack their chocolates full of sugar either (did you know some of the big chocolate brands do this because it makes them cheaper to produce? It’s twice as bad for you and doesn’t taste as good). So if your mum’s got a sweet tooth, try a tin of Chocolala – she can enjoy them guilt free!
People Tree is a pioneer in fair trade and environmentally sustainable fashion. For over twenty years, they’ve worked with artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco fashion collections.
They’ve got some lovely everyday clothes, jewellery and accessories, a line of yoga wear, and they do gift vouchers too – perfect if you don’t want the responsibility of choosing something!
When we were in Cambodia we bought the most beautiful batik style yoga pants covered in elephant designs. My mum and I both love elephants, so I think these make the perfect present!
From 2010 to 2012 alone, an estimated 100,000 elephants were killed illegally for ivory.
That’s essentially 1 elephant loss every 15 mins – a 50% decline in population in the past 35 years.
The Elephant Pants wants to turn that around – and get us all looking great while we do it. A portion of every sales goes to helping prevent elephant poaching with the African Wildlife Foundation.
They are based in New York but they ship internationally if you’re prepared to wait – I think they’re worth it though!
There’s a lot of ethical issues to take into consideration when you’re buying beauty products, but you can still find the perfect ethical gift for the beauty queen in your life on the high street if you know where to look.
Grounded Body Scrub make exfoliating coffee scrubs packed with vitamins and minerals to give you glowing skin.
They’re made with almost completely natural ingredients (the hair masks and lip balms are 100% natural), they don’t test on animals and unlike some exfoliators they’re fish friendly too.
Some other brands use microbeads which are really harmful to fish when they find their way back into the water system – but with Grounded you don’t have to worry about that!
They recently featured on Dragon’s Den and you can now buy their products in Boots.
Lush are one of my favourite beauty brands, and they’re ethical too! Their products are handmade, 100% vegetarian and they play an active role in fighting animal testing.
Plus they use ‘naked’ packaging to reduce their environmental impact too. Their fizzy bath bombs are a classic present for your favourite beauty queen and they do some great pre-packed gift boxes.
I’m totally addicted to notebooks and they make the perfect present for creative or super-organised people.
Green Tulip have a whole range of ethical stationery (and plenty of other gifts too). These notebooks are by Go Stationery and they’re designed and produced in the UK using Forest Stewardship Council accredited board and paper.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management, and all the social and environmental good that it brings.
They’ve also got a beautiful range of illustrated notebooks on their website as part of their work with The Woodland Trust.
I might even have to add some of these beauties to my collection!
Qasa Qasa have a dedicated Mother’s Day gift shop on their website. They work with artisans, NGOs and community groups in East Africa to produce beautifully hand-crafted items and support local development.
They use natural and indigenous materials taking into account sustainability and ethical production, and their Mother’s Day gift shop has a whole range of practical and beautiful ideas for the special lady!
Wildheart Organics ethical candles
Wildheart Organics sell an organic range of anti ageing skincare, beauty and home aromatherapy products.
Their range of candles are 100% natural and incorporate essential oils with well-being benefits. They’re made using soil association certified organic essential oils when we can and non GM soy sustainable clean soy wax.
Soy wax doesn’t currently have an organic certification, but they’re one of the most natural sources of candles available – and who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing candle?
If your Mum’s hard to buy for, or she pulls the classic Mum move of “oh don’t get me anything” then Oxfam Unwrapped is perfect.
There’s a real range of price options to suit any budget too. £8 will buy you some school supplies, all the way up to a couple of goats for £50! Of course, they don’t show up on your doorstep with a goat or two (imagine the mess on the carpet) – they go to a family or village in a developing country.
My Mum’s a school teacher and she’s so passionate about making sure that everyone has access to education, so school dinners for a whole class made the perfect present.
I also bought my Dad some chickens for Christmas a few years ago – you should have seen his face when he thought a load of chickens were getting delivered to his house!
Flowers are often a go-to Mother’s Day gift (in the UK alone we spend £2.2bn a year on cut flowers), and it’s not an industry where we often consider the ethical implications, but there are some big issues to think about.
Over 85% of the flowers sold in the UK are imported. They are grown using chemical pesticides and growth-regulators, most of which are washed straight into waterways, causing pollution.
As with most industries, ensuring that the workers are paid a fair wage is also a big issue to consider – and flying those flowers over to the UK (Kenya currently dominates the flowers market) causes some serious CO2 emissions.
Wiggly Wigglers Florist believe in “grown not flown” – it is a business branch of the Herefordshire-based composting and wormery experts, and all of their gorgeous flowers are grown in the UK to support our ecosystems.
They usually have upwards of 15 different varieties of flowers and foliage in their floristry, some of which are grown on their farm and others that are sourced from a network of UK flower farmers. They don’t mass produce, which means that each bunch is individually made for you, so you can express your love with a clear conscience through beautiful British flowers.
Have you found some awesome ethical gifts? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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