Christmas Gift Guide: Shop early, shop eco, shop local

Flat lay photo of christmas presents, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and christmas tree branches.

Too early to think about Christmas? Not this year, we cry! Hands up who needs some festive cheer and that feel-good factor that comes from finding and giving the perfect Christmas gift.

Whilst sustainability and shopping are two words not often used together, the impact of Covid-19 and the current UK lockdown means that it's now more important than ever to shop consciously and shop locally. So before you fill up your Amazon basket, read on...

We’ve put together some ideas for a meaningful Christmas shopping guide, featuring Oxford retailers who place sustainability at the core of their business ethos. We hope this inspires you to spend your money with those who’ll appreciate it most.

The companies on this list are either Fairtrade, ethically source their products, zero waste or donate part of their profits to social causes.

Indigo Drop Mug - Large, Indigo, £13.50

Indigo's mission is to work in a fair and healthy way for all. They source homeware, men and women's clothes and children's items for both their beauty and for the way they are made, which is mostly by hand. They want their products to enhance your life whilst leaving you safe in the knowledge that the planet, and the people involved in the production, are treated with respect and care. This elegant ceramic Indigo Drop mug is handmade in Vietnam, using age old traditions that have remained unchanged for generations.

Food & Kindness, The Sobell House Cookbook, £15

Oxford hospice Sobell House is a very special place. Their new cookbook brings together over 30 stories and recipes from a wide range of local chefs, restaurateurs and celebrities. Among those to feature is The Cherwell Boathouse, No. 1 Ship Street and Barefoot Kitchen.

Oxford Rye Organic Dry Gin, The Oxford Artisan Distillery, £39.50

A classic juniper-forward 100% organic rye gin with bold notes of pine and citrus, and a hint of aromatic spice.

Made using organic rye grown within 50 miles of Oxford, and distilled in hand-built copper stills and bottled on-site in Cowley.

Donation card, Homeless Oxfordshire, from £5-£30

For the person that has everything - a gift for someone that doesn't. Sending a 'Gift that Gives Card' will not only brighten up someone’s day, but your donation will also go directly towards helping improve the life of someone who is recovering from homelessness.

Secret Santa Bracelet, Homeless Oxfordshire, £3.99

Presented on a luxury 350gsm display card, this Tibetan Silver charm is hand strung and knotted on 30cm of the finest waxed cotton cord, making a beautiful simple bracelet to tie on as a token of love and friendship.

Orange Candle, Littlemore Candle Company, £25

These soy wax candles are hand-poured in small batches, using natural essential oils. Each unique candle is decorated with botanicals and includes a healing crystal for you to keep. Derived from soya beans, this plant-based alternative to petroleum-based paraffin wax burns longer and more cleanly, providing a more efficient and more eco-friendly way to enjoy candles.

English Lavender Soap and Hand Cream Gift Box, The Oxford Soap Company, £18.49 

A local, family-run business that designs and creates handmade soaps and cosmetics in Oxford's Covered Market. Offering zero waste items - soap bars, shampoo bars and a range of non-plastic packaged options such as shaving soap, moisturising lotion, hand cream, face cream, bath salts and body butter. They are committed to producing natural and environmentally friendly recipes. This lavender gift box contains all-natural ingredients and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Prices for individual soaps from £7.50.

Three Delicious Relishes in a Custom Box with Gift Tag, The Wonky Food Company, £10

The Wonky Food Company was started by a team of passionate Oxfordshire foodies, committed to tackling food waste by creating great-tasting products that make use of imperfect and surplus fruit and veg.

40 Colori Solid Fabric Knitted Tie - Dark Green, Burrow and Hare, £65

Burrow and Hare is a men's lifestyle and grooming store for the discerning gentleman. Their lifestyle philosophy is "buy less but buy better quality goods", they strive towards reducing waste, pollution and misconduct against labour forces. This tie fuses Italy’s artisanal traditions with ethical production, quality and responsible practices.

Coffee, Jericho Coffee Traders, from £7.25 for 227g

Jericho Coffee Traders work with the UK's premier green bean suppliers to source, roast and deliver to you a range of the world's finest micro-lot coffees.

Lovely Skincare Facial Skincare, Old Fire Station, £12.50

A simple but effective 100% natural cleanser to brighten, cleanse and soften. Made by hand in Sheffield and tested only on Lovely human beings. The Old Fire Station sells a wide range of goods all designed or made by UK indie designer-makers or small businesses. The money from purchases goes back into their charity work with Crisis, providing training and volunteering opportunities for homeless people.

Wooden children's cars, Objects of Use, £12.50

Objects of Use is a modern-day hardware store, home to a unique selection of everyday household, garden and children's items, conscientiously sourced from around the globe. These simple wooden push cars are handmade at the Hoherfried community workshops in the German Alps which gives children and adults with learning disabilities accommodation, education and employment.

Cooking classes, The Jericho Kitchen Cookery School, from £60

Hands-on, informative and relaxed cookery classes, including Thai, Tapas, Moroccan, Italian, Plant-based, cheese and bread making and foraging classes. The ethos is simple – fresh, seasonal and local where possible.

This is just a very small selection of local sustainable indie businesses, you can find many more in the Independent Oxford Directory.  

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

From the Oxford Saïd Green Impact Team

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