Now more than ever we are showing an interest into where our purchases are made and the possible effects they may have had, good or bad, on the producers. According to ethical trading website Ethical Babe, sales of fairtrade marked goods rose by 46% from last year alone, with sales totalling a massive £100m.
With this in mind, we have compiled a list of possibilities for ethical and fairtrade shopping over the Christmas period, enabling you to give twice.
Alpaca baby bootees
Ethicalbabe.com’s strapline is ‘fair on the planet, fair on your purse’.
The company promises to deliver the best in organic and fairtrade clothing, environmentally friendly toys, and natural toiletries for parents, babies and young children at good prices (one of their mottos is ‘you don’t have to be posh to be green’!). We loved these handmade Alpaca Baby Bootees
(£14.99), incredibly soft and warm for tiny toes! For more information: www.ethicalbabe.com
Ant with egg
International children’s charity UNICEF has joined forces with toy manufacturer Brio to design this colourful, entertaining and traditional toy: the pull-along ant (£19.99). As the ant is pulled along, the egg on its back will tumble, and the ant’s antennae and tail will spring back when pushed down. The
rubber rings on the wheels mean will stop the ant from slipping and sliding on slippery floors. From 19 months.For more information: www.unicef.org.uk
A Child Trust Fund
You may think this sounds like a bizarre and perhaps boring idea for
a Christmas present but saving for your child’s future is very important, particularly with rising costs in education, housing, etc. The great thing about this child trust fund from Family Investments is that while your child benefits from this nice little nest egg, your conscience can be clear in the knowledge that the money will not be invested in any of the following: alcohol, tobacco, the export of arms, and intensive farming methods, amongst others.
The companies the trust invests in will also not be investors in countries that breach human rights. You and your relatives can top the account up whenever you want, particularly around birthdays and Christmas! For more information: www.familyinvestments.co.uk/
Global Sounds set
If you have a budding musician at home, and hate the electronic sounds
that come from many plastic toys, why not buy one of these fantastic Global Sounds sets (£14.99) from Save the Children? The sets contain five fairly traded instruments from around the world: a rainstick, bird whistle, frog, panpipe and ocarina. Each is handmade from local materials such as cactus, bamboo and clay. For more information: www.savethechildrenshop.co.uk
Plant a tree
What better way to symbolically mark a child’s first Christmas than to plant a tree in his or her name? This new gift from the World Wildlife Fund (£7.99) will enable the charity to plant cork oak trees in the Mediterranean, vital for the endangered Iberian lynx in Spain and Portugal and for a host of wildlife and plant species in north Africa.
The card comes with an English pewter hanging trinket, and a donation of £2.50 will go towards one tree being planted in the Rif Mountains in north-west Morocco, an area that has been affected by years of damaging land management. For more information: www.wwf.org.uk.
Tatty Bumpkin Dolly
Tatty Bumpkin brands itself as the ‘natural lifestyle brand for children 1-7 years’, offering fairtrade and organic clothes, toys and accessories, yoga-inspired exercise classes for children and an activity and relaxation CD. These dolls are certainly different to the more plastic versions we see flooding the shops at present and are designed to complement the yoga classes on offer.
The dolls (£15) are wire-framed bendy toys and come in a variety of choices - boy, girl or baby – and also offer additional dress-up clothes (£5).
For more information: www.tattybumpkin.com.
We all like a little luxury and if we can achieve that while helping to sustain good working conditions for others, so much the better. Ethical and fairtrade supporter Luma Direct specialises in organic, luxury and ethical textiles, often sourcing them from remote communities whom it supports. We think you’ll love wrapping up your little one in this soft, organic, cotton terry towel (£30) with a hand-embroidered bird on the hood. For more information: www.lumadirect.com