The best sustainable Christmas gifts
Seeking your style with a side of sustainability? Here is our pick of the best gifts for the most discerning, but also enviromentally conscious, shopper.
A better excuse to seek out a discount
Bicester Village, Oxfordshire is hosting a sustainable luxury pop-up until 23 December. The Maiyet Collective is the brainchild of human rights campaigner Paul van Zyl who also founded The Conduit, a sustainable members’ club in London’s Mayfair that is committed to social and environmental change.
This unique initiative brings together a rotating group of 40 enviromentally conscious designers, spanning ready-to-wear, beauty, accessories, lifestyle and fine jewellery.
Highlights include homeware by One Night Eight Five (pictured above), a British brand that uses rich ethically sourced fabrics. Fine jewellery by London-based talent Flora Bhattachary, who uses Fairtrade gold and conflict free diamonds for her talismanic designs, is also worth a look. The pop up is also organising a number of fun, interactive workshops including silk “crushing” with designer Mallika Chaudhuri.
Soft approach to sweaters
London-based brand Jumper 1234 makes woolies with a difference. The design team uses raw cashmere sourced from Mongolia, which supports the livelihoods of nomadic herdsmen. The yarn is sold at a fair price and collected using tradition hand-combing methods just once a year in March after the harsh winter has ended. Each jumper is also machine washable, alleviating the need for dry cleaning. Ingenious and fun!
A lighter carbon footprint
Luxury luggage company Tumi has recognised that the journey towards sustainability begins with the packing process. That is why it has released its first “Recycled Capsule” collection.
The exterior fabric is constructed with fabric engineered from recycled nylon, while the interior lining is crafted with fabric engineered from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. What’s more, the design is faithful to the brand’s utterly stylish streamlined aesthetic.
Swim in cleaner water with gentler trunks
While we are on the subject of holidays, here is proof that stylish swimwear can be good for the planet too. NAECO converts ocean plastic into fabric which is then crafted into men’s swim shorts.
Each pair of shorts is made from 15 plastic bottles and put together by a team of tailors meaning that the cut and finish, always soft and luxurious, are as important as the message behind the design. Digitally printed patterns are inspired by endangered ocean wildlife and coral reefs.
The gift of gold
Wolf & Badger, an e-tailer specialising in luxury independent brands, has just launched KLOTO, a sustainable jewellery label that draws from the bold codes of industrial design.
KLOTO's Istanbul-born designer Senem Gençoğlu studied the discipline at Rhode Island School of Design, and has since applied her knowledge to the world of metallurgy. The collections, which use only ethically sourced materials, are noted for their clean and unfussy shapes, which subtly echo mechanics and machinery.
Warming your cockles not the climate
Sunspel is famous for its finely made t-shirts, vests and boxer shorts, the latter of which have an exalted place in 1980’s pop history after model Nick Kamen famously revealed his in the now iconic Levi’s 501 “Launderette” advert. James Bond author Ian Fleming was also a fan of the brand’s Sea Island cotton: the 007 creator liked to wear his Sunspel tees during his jaunts at Goldeneye, his Jamaican estate.
Now the brand has introduced recycled cashmere to its portfolio of soft classics. The fabric is broken down into its original coloured fibres through a careful process of cutting and combing. These fibres are then respun into pure cashmere yarn, ready to be knitted into new styles.
Carry yourself with style
Mulberry has launched its very first fully sustainable bag. The Portobello, made of 100% sustainable heavy grain leather (a by-product of food production), is crafted entirely in the UK, at Mulberry’s carbon-neutral Somerset factories.
The bag, which can be carried or worn across the body, is unlined and has been stitched with Epic EcoVerde thread, a recycled polyester fibre. It comes in plenty of colours too chose from, including black, midnight, chestnut, Nordic blue, crimson, tangerine orange and of course classic Mulberry Green.
Perfume made with love
Abel’s Red Santal is a must for those who love luxury scents with substance. Not only are all the ingredients fully organic but every part of the packaging is created from recycled and sustainable materials. The perfume has a spicy edge too thanks to piquant notes of clove and pepper that soften on contact with skin.