You are already one of the converts who is not blinded by the false sparkle of fast fashion? You do everything to minimise your plastic footprint and recycling is as natural for you as breathing? You have even given up eating avocado? Wonderful! Do not let Xmas aka consumer-capitalist end-of-the-year orgy force you into buying stupid af presents which will land in the garbage bin. Holidays are not about flooding your loved ones with meaningless shit. This is not love, and, we all know, that meaningless shit will eventually end up in a landfill, or if you are lucky in a charity shop. The only people profiting from this are the fat cats who tricked you into buying their crap in the first place… How about we spike the spirit of Christmas with sustainability! You can stay away from all that consumerist plastic-polluting bullshit and can celebrate the holidays in peace and with creativity. Here are 8 sustainable gifting strategies which will help you to avoid getting into the nightmare before Christmas!
1) FORGET ABOUT SMALL CRAPS
It was the best day of my life when I managed to convince my family to give together one big present to everyone, instead of giving small useless craps separately. We collected all the money that we were willing to devote to presents and divided it into equal parts. We then had a Secret Santa and voilà everyone could focus on one family member and had enough money to buy something nice. Moreover, we had much more time to spend together and in the kitchen preparing the Xmas feast.
2) DIY PROJECTS
In another year we came up with the idea that everyone can spend only 3 euros on one present and the rest of the Xmas budget was saved for a family holiday. A 3-euro-budget is obviously not much, so my loved ones quickly embarked on DIY projects. Honestly, I was so much more impressed by the pair of furry feminist socks that my sister made than all the clothes that I got in the last 5 years together. DIY might seem time-demanding, but it is actually real fun. Check out Pinterest, there are tons of DIY present ideas floating around which you can use even if you are not the born handyman.
3) GLASS JARS RELOADED
Glass jars btw are essential parts of my holiday preparations. You can use jars to create a real winter wonderland at home. You can turn jars into glass snowballs or – my boyfriend’s favourite – into cute lamps. If you are more into food, fill them with cookies, honey walnuts, chutney or the ultimate Xmas dessert – gingerbread! People always appreciate personal, homemade presents and you do not need to be a Michelin chef to prepare a yummy cookie jar.
4) VINTAGE GIFTS
A couple of years ago it might have been looked down to give vintage as present, but the world has since turned upside down. In more progressive circles, it might now even be an offence to buy a scarf from one of the evil fast-fashion shops like H&M. If you are not into thrifting and going through heaps of clothes at grimy vintage shops (although remember the dirtier ones have the real treasures), try larger online vintage stores which do the dirty work for you and sell clothes and accessories which were carefully selected and cleaned. Make your mum nostalgic with a nice necklace from her youth or surprise your sis/bro with a cool reworked Levi’s jacket. If you are not sure about what would be the best gift for your loved ones or have no time to browse and search – go for a gift card, larger vintage shops sell them in all price categories.
Vintage handmade bracelet Y2K black gold bead bangle
Vintage butterfly brooch 30s silver-plated filigree pin
24.00 €sold out
Vintage denim jacket Reworked hand-painted Strange Days
Vintage snowflake brooch 60s silver plated filigree pin
Vintage planter 80s red glazed ceramic cup
Making a DIY Xmas present is cool. Buying vintage clothes or accessories are great. So, let’s put the two together and you will definitely have the best present ever. What’s more, with the DIY+vintage combo, you do not need to start making presents from scratch. DIY+vintage is sustainable, quick and cost-efficient. Get a simple secondhand oversized jumper and embroider something nice on it, it could be the name of your loved one or any other personal thing. If this is the first time you try embroidering, no worries, there are plenty of youtube videos which teach you the basics. You can also do other reworkings, for instance reusing tiny vintage laces as Xmas ornaments or wall-hangings. Get inspired by our collection of reworked vintage clothes including pieces from the 90s and 00s fashion.
6) STAY LOCAL
There is nothing more sustainable than doing your Xmas shopping at local markets and supporting local artists. Do not go to overcrowded, touristic Xmas markets as they are horribly overpriced. There are plenty of artisan markets and shops which sell local products. These are not mass products, so, it is already more individual and unique than anything you would get in a mall. What’s more, they are usually sold in nice Christmas wrapping, so, you do not need to waste time on that either! If your area does not have so many local artisans, go online and check out Etsy, the largest online store of handcrafted products. But try to order products within your country, so that your delivery would not have a large carbon footprint.
7) GREEN GIFTING
If you want to be the sustainable Christmas hero of the year, you can add green gifting to your strategies. Inspire your loved ones to care about the environment by giving them presents which helps them to be friendlier to Mother Nature. For instance, get your parents cloth tote bags which they can use when doing the groceries shopping instead of plastic bags. Your sis/bro might be happy to get a reusable, washable sandwich bag or metal lunchbox.
8) FUN COUPONS
It is also a great idea to go on an adventure with your family or friends. I am a huge fan of escape rooms, it gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your loved ones. If you have adrenaline-junkie relatives – surprise them with parachuting lessons, or if they are more into creative activities – enrol them to a pottery class. I also love thematic city-tours, my two fav ones were a Bauhaus tour in Budapest and a punk-history tour in London. There are infinite options, you only need to do some googling and get a nice envelope for the coupon.