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Ethical Gift Ideas for Men With Brothers We Stand

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I know I have already shared some ethical gift ideas on the blog this month, but what if you are still struggling for ideas for your significant other/dad/brother/best friend?  I know I certainly find men in particular difficult to shop for.

Thankfully ethical menswear retailer Brothers We Stand (who excitingly have just opened up their first physical store in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf after years of trading solely online) have handily put together an ethical gift guide for men.

If you have never heard of Brothers We Stand, they are a clothing retailer exclusively selling ethically produced menswear from a tightly curated collection of independent ethical brands and designers.

Every item they sell has undergone rigorous research by the Brothers We Stand team to ensure each product offered meets the highest design and ethical standards.  From what the clothes are made from; to how the clothes are made and by whom; and to how durable the clothes are, these are all key considerations made before any new product is stocked by Brothers We Stand.

All of this information is shared to shoppers through a unique tag telling the story of each item.  When you are browsing a particular item simply click on the ‘footprint’ section for a detailed rundown on what makes the item ethical and sustainable, and in some cases, where the item could be improved in the future.  Sometimes ethical shopping is all about compromise, and I really respect the fact that Brothers We Stand haven’t shied away from this fact.

Here are some of their top picks for ethical and sustainable gents this Christmas!

Recycled Card Holder

elvis kresse card holder

 

This beautiful double cardholder (£31) from Elvis & Kresse, is made from decommissioned British fire hoses and is lined with reclaimed parachute silk from the British military.  There’s a whole lot of recycling in there, and the finished piece is a thing of beauty.  And it’s even Oyster card friendly if your gent is London based.

Organic Jumper

ethical gift ideas for men

This GOTS certified organic cotton jumper (£87) is from Danish ethical brand DCA is ethical, sustainable and built to last.  It’s stylish and cosy and beats a novelty Christmas jumper hands down any day!

Organic Polo Shirt

KNOWLEDGE COTTON APPAREL ORGANIC PIQUE POLO

This 100% organic cotton polo-shirt (£50) is again from DCA, and is perfect for dapper gents interested in sustainable style.  Even the dye used is non-harmful, and they are dyed in modern dye houses focused on minimising water usage and responsible waste water treatment.  Two thumbs up!

Organic Socks

jollie socks

If you are looking for something less spendy then you can rarely go wrong with socks.  Especially with these organic cotton Jollie Socks (£14), which are made in the UK, and for every pair sold a pair is donated to a local homeless centre.

Organic Cotton Hoodie

silverstick hoodie

Finally, this lovely GOTS certified organic cotton hoodie (£59) is a midweight hoodie ethically made in Portugal by ethical manufacturers Silverstick.  With  doubleweight hood and reinforced pockets this hoodie will be sure to be a favourite for many many years to come.

Be sure to catch the full gift guide over at Bothers We Stand!

cranberry and orange gin

Cranberry and Orange Infused Gin Recipe

cranberry and orange gin

Seeing as it’s nearly Christmas, and I started the week sharing a festive dish, I thought I would continue the festive theme and share my cranberry and orange infused gin recipe.  It has a fresh festive flavour without the sweetness of many drinks of the season.

You can prepare this now ready for Christmas and it would make a lovely homemade gift for any gin lover. Or you could just keep it for yourself – your call!

The very best bit is that the recipe has a skill level of precisely zero – if you can add some berries to some gin then you can make this recipe!  Aka, my favourite kind of recipe!

Cranberry and Orange Infused Gin Recipe

gin making

Ingredients

1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (see notes below)

500 ml gin

Peel of two oranges (ensuring as little pith is on the peel as possible, otherwise it can make the gin taste bitter)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (for later)

Large sealed jar, sterilised.

Method

To your sterilised jar, add the fresh or frozen cranberries and the peel of the oranges.

Pour over the gin, and seal the jar.

Place the sealed jar in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks, shaking every three or four days.

After at least three weeks, you can strain the gin off through a muslin lined sieve into a measuring jug or bowl.

Put the gin to the side for a minute, and in a separate pan add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water.  Dissolve the sugar and water over a low heat.

Once dissolved, add a little bit of the sugary water at a time to the gin, tasting as you go, until you have the desired sweetness.

Mix well and decant into a sterilised bottle, and your cranberry and orange infused gin is ready for drinking or gifting.  I decanted the finished infused gin into one of these pretty decanters that I was gifted from Clouds and Currents.  The stopper can be personalised for an extra special touch.

cranberry gin

A Note On Ingredients

At this time of year you can easily buy fresh cranberries in many large supermarkets.  If you can’t find fresh ones then frozen ones work just as well.  I’ve used frozen cranberries because I picked them up really cheap in January (like 50p a big bag cheap) but even now the frozen ones are relatively inexpensive.  There is no need to defrost frozen cranberries before using them and there is no difference in flavour.

Gin wise, I wouldn’t buy the cheapest gin in the shop.  Buy a bottle that costs £2 or £3 more (like Gordons gin for example, rather than the cheapest own brand gin), and you’ll get a better tasting gin.   Don’t go crazy and buy a really expensive gin mind you: you’ll lose the lovely subtle flavours of your fancier gin.

A Note On The Method

I have taken advice from Sipsmiths (as they know a thing or two about gin) and utilised their sloe gin advice – whereby they advise adding the sugar at the end of the infusion process rather than the start.  They say that “contrary to popular belief, there is very little point in adding sugar at the outset.  Saturating the spirit with sugar prevents it from extracting the natural fruit sugars – and other flavours – from the [fruit]“.

Having made infused gins in the past where I’ve added the sugar at the same time as the fruit, I have to say I completely agree with Sipsmiths – by adding the sugar at the end also means you can control the sweetness more accurately.

The gin will taken on a stronger cranberry and orange flavour the longer you leave the fruit in, so if you prefer a stronger flavour then leave the fruit in.

cranberry and orange infused gin recipe