Love it or loathe it, it’s that time of year again, when we start thinking about Christmas gifts. I’ve got some ethical gift ideas for (hopefully) every type of person over the next few days, but as always, if you’re looking for something a bit different try my homemade Christmas gift ideas post or my non Christmas gift ideas post.
Here are some ethical gift ideas for the ladies in your life. I’ve stuck to budget friendly ideas – all under £50 – and ideas mostly from small UK based independent makers and shops:
Weleda Skinfood (£9.95) from Naturally Beautiful You. I use this super moisturising cream everywhere – from wind burnt cheeks, to soothing dry hands, knees, and elbows, as a night cream, or for smearing over my kids cheeks on cold days. It’s in constant use. This one from Naturally Better You comes in a special keepsake tin.
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I’m pretty sure, by law of averages, that some Moral Fibres readers are getting married soon. If that happens to be you, then huge congratulations! Whilst we congratulate you and ooh and aah over your ring, pull up a pew, because I’ve got seven ideas for you to have a sustainable wedding!
7 Ideas for A Sustainable Wedding
Cut flowers have a surprising carbon footprint. Instead consider sourcing British grown seasonal flowers for your bouquet. Try the British Flower Collective to find growers and sellers near you. For table displays, why not consider using potted plants rather than cut flowers? You can then take them home after your wedding, or offer them to guests as a long lasting reminder of your special day.
Ditch The Wedding List
Wedding lists traditionally sought to help out a young couple setting up a home together for the first time. Nowadays most couples live together prior to tying the knot, and own all of the big and small tickets items that wedding lists once sought to provide.
For a sustainable wedding I suggest ditching the traditional wedding list. It doesn’t make any financial or environmental sense to ask guests for a toaster, kettle, bed linen or dinner services when you already own those items.
If you’re like any of my friends who have tied the knot, then their financial concerns are either saving for a honeymoon, or saving for a deposit on a property. Why not therefore consider using an alternative wedding list service, such as Patchwork?
Patchwork allows guests to contribute towards your saving goals by being able to fund parts of your honeymoon or deposit for a property. For example, say you want to ask guests to contribute towards your honeymoon. You can set up a Patchwork account where guests are given various fun options that they can treat you to on your honeymoon, such as £2 for beers on the beach; £50 for a romantic meal; £100 for a night in a hotel and so forth. It’s fun and feels more tangible than putting some money in an envelope.
Oxfam Online, eBay and Etsy all have fantastic selections of both vintage and secondhand dresses in a vast variety of styles and sizes. If buying a wedding dress online gives you the fear then try charity shops, one of Oxfam’s 12 specialist bridal charity shops, and vintage shops. You could even get a talented tailor/dress maker to customise your preloved dress for something really unique and special.
Don’t Stick To Traditions
It’s traditional to offer wedding favours to guests. I say no-one will mind if there’s not a box of sugared almonds sitting on their dinner table! Does anyone even eat the sugared almonds anyway? Save your effort and save your money.
Rope In Friends and Family
For a sustainable wedding you could eschew gifts or money, and instead simply ask your friends and family to help make your wedding day happen.
Patchwork offer a fabulous free service where you can ask guests to contribute to your big day. You can list who and what you need for your wedding then share your list with friends and family. People can then sign up for the job/role they would like via the site. So, for example, you might want: someone who is good at baking to bake a cake; someone who has a nice car that you could borrow; people who are good at cooking to bring a dish for the buffet; someone who has an ear for music to act as DJ for an hour; crafty people to help make decorations with you; people to bring a bottle with them, and so forth. It’s a fun and inclusive way to plan a wedding.
There are some customisable pre-made ‘Patchworks’, as they are called, and this A Make & Do Wedding and this Festival Wedding would make good starting points, otherwise you could make your own personal to your wedding.
Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Borrow what you can. From the decoration to the jewellery, to the tableware: rather than rushing out and buying items new, instead see what you can borrow from friends and family. No-one is going to mind if the wine glasses don’t match – just as long as the glasses are full! If you can’t borrow, try hiring what you can.
For a truly sustainable wedding cut out any unnecessary paper. Electronic invites are lighter on the environment and lighter on your pocket, and don’t have to be poorly designed Microsoft Paint affairs!
Sites like Paperless Wedding allow you to create a wedding website along with e-invites, whilst Paperless Post have some really stunning wedding invite designs from designers such as Rifle Paper Co, Kate Spade, Oscar De La Renta and more, and offer a service that allows you to track your RSVPs with ease. There is also a handy option to print invites for grandparents and other relatives that may not be au fait with the world wide web.
Do you have any other ideas for having a sustainable wedding? I’m sure readers would be interested to hear them so do share!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog. I believe that sustainable living should be hip, not hippie. Here you'll find all sorts of easy hints and tips here for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style.
As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now!
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