I want to start this post off with a short personal anecdote about Christmas last year. There’d been a few ups and downs in my immediate family and, as a result, we decided to put off exchanging presents until February, when people had more time and money to go shopping.
When the day itself came around, we ate dinner on our laps, drank beers and watched Life Of Pi on my step dad’s ridiculously large TV.
No gifts, and no frills. And do you know what? It was fine. Better than that, it was good. When February rolled around, none of us were bothered enough to give gifts, which suited me just fine. As an atheist I celebrate the festive season because I always have done and I love it, but I am perfectly OK with not doing the whole presents thing, and instead focusing on spending quality time with my loved ones.
That being said, I do like the idea of giving meaningful, useful gifts that show a bit of yourself and that the receiver will hopefully cherish. Being vegan, I know there are so many wonderful things out there that cause no harm to animals and are made consciously and ethically. It is a pleasure for me to share this knowledge with my nearest and dearest and give them a little piece of myself. If you feel the same, then read on for some festive inspiration!
I have been lusting after this gorgeous backpack for months, and sadly it is currently sold out but I am hopeful that it’ll be restocked before long! This fabulous vegan accessories brand offer an extremely wide range of bags in several different styles.
Matte liquid lipsticks are all the rage right now, so why not treat the makeup lover in your life to a beautiful cruelty-free one? This particular shade is a beautiful pink nude, but there are a selection of colours to choose from.
Ever since I tried Arbonne a few months back I have been raving about the quality and effectiveness of their range. This lotion is particular impressive, with a high sun protection factor (yes, you need it in the winter too!) without the oiliness that can sometimes accompany those types of creams. It’s vegan and gluten-free, too.
Who doesn’t need a tote bag? And this one is just the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it have a very important message stamped across it, it is also made by a sustainable fashion cooperative that empowers women in India through training and employment. It’s a double win. Buy it for everyone you know!
Whilst browsing the amazing Infinity Foods store during my recent trip to Brighton, I cooed over a number of Green People gift sets, all with stunning drawings of wildlife on them. This particular set of body washes features a beautiful stag design on the box and bottles. The scents – Orange Peel and Clove! – sound perfect, and 30p from every purchase is donated to the Woodland Trust.
My boyfriend asked for this for Christmas last year, long before we’d even thought about adopting a vegan diet, and boy am I glad he did. The flavours and vibrancy jump off the pages, and each recipe is accompanied by a suggested soundtrack. Ideal for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Perfume is a difficult one to get right when you’re vegan, and many stores just stock the big names. For something a little different, which causes no harm to living things, buy someone you love this gorgeous-sounding scent.
Great as a stocking filler, this tea can be used in cocktails, too. It’s multi-functional, and the design is quirky and appealing.
You can’t really go wrong with a mug as a gift, to be honest. They’re perfect for everyone. My personal recommendation would be to get this for your favourite colleague. Just make sure you don’t steal it from them too often!
Notebooks make lovely presents, especially if the story behind them is so worthwhile. Arthouse’s are created by adults living with severe epilepsy and learning difficulties. A much more meaningful enterprise to support than your local branch of the stationary chain giants, if you ask me.
The festive period can be tricky for cruelty-free consumers, because there are so many sweets that are not even vegetarian-friendly. Why not order a selection of these cute crackers, to share with your friends and family after dinner?
Another perfect stocking filler, these dinky little pots not only smell divine but they also do a great job of buffing away dead skin to keep your lips smooth. Grab one for your lipstick obsessed friend.
I love Nanshy’s vegan makeup brushes, so I can only presume that their blending sponge is just as great. Blending sponges are super popular these days, so this would make a great gift for anyone who takes pride in their makeup artistry skills.
Having picked up the Coconut Lip Balm in Brighton, I can attest to this product’s sumptuous formula and impressive ability to keep my lips moisturised for hours. Grab a few while they’re still on offer!
These (mostly) very easy recipes prove that vegan eating is full of fun and variety. The mushroom and chia seed risotto is delicious and I owe my discovery of nutritional yeast – yes, it’s a thing, and it rules! – to Mary.
If anyone ever doubted the staying power and pigmentation of mineral eye makeup, then let them be well and truly silenced. UK brand Lily Lolo have a vast selection of gorgeous shades to choose from, many of which are vegan. Who needs MAC when you have such fabulous alternatives?
The winter weather demands a good beanie, and this one comes with some pretty reassuring ethical credentials. Made fairly from synthetic wool, this hat will keep its recipient’s head warm with no added guilt.
I hope this guide has given you some ideas for gifts you can give to your loved ones this year that will not only be useful but might also encourage them to shop cruelty-free themselves. It is upsetting to think of the waste we create at Christmas, not to mention the pain and suffering that animals go through for the sake of our traditions, so shopping a little more consciously will go some way towards making things better.
What do you think of these gift ideas? Have any further suggestions?