Our Ethical Gift Guide for the holidays

Chocolate ChunksWhether you’ve left it a little late, or want some ethical inspiration, check out our holiday gift guide that is kind to people and the planet.

This time of year is a chance to treat our loved ones to gifts and experiences they will cherish, but it’s also a chance to support businesses that are kind to their employees and suppliers. Check out our ideas below, and get in touch on Twitter with your own suggestions!

Local Ethical Christmas Markets

Keep an eye out for local craft fairs and Christmas markets in Brighton & Hove. These are a great way to buy something unique and to support local producers. One Church Brighton is hosting a Conscious Christmas Market on Saturday 16th December, with food, drinks, art and clothes, as well as a pay-as-you-feel plant-based buffet from our friends the Real Junk Food Project.

Good Money Vouchers

Can’t decide what to get? Good Money vouchers are perfect if you want to support local, ethical businesses while offering up choice to your gift recipient. Research shows that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy. Vouchers can be spent at over 140 businesses, including cafes, restaurants, boutiques, galleries and health & well-being centres.

Support ethical agriculture

Sadly, our agriculture and livestock sectors are rife with workers rights abuses, even now as the Gangmasters and Labour Rights Authority ramps up its investigations. Why not give a gift that supports smaller, sustainably-minded farms, which are more likely to pay their workers a bigger percentage of what the customer pays for the food, and who are finding it increasingly harder to compete in a market driven by cheaper prices. You can buy a veg box subscription from one of a number of local veg box schemes or a voucher to one of the city’s stockists who commit to sourcing from producers that are fair to workers and to the environment.

Choose chocolate with conscience

What’s better than a bar of lovely chocolate as a simple, crowd-pleasing stocking stuffer? There are so many brands to choose from, including locally launched brands like Montezuma’s or brands like Divine that are supporting growers cooperatives. Many other brands that are go-to favourites for presents have supply chains that have been implicated in using child slave labour in recent years. Check out Ethical Consumer’s Guide to Chocolate, a must read for any conscious chocoholic everywhere. Some brands that trail the bottom may surprise you!

Support Living Wage Employers

Check out the Brighton & Hove Living Wage Directory to find food businesses that pay their staff a fair wage commensurate with living costs and quality of life. Some of our favourites are HiSbe, Infinity Retail, and of course, Foodshed at Brighton Open Market, where you can also buy tasty treats created by home kitchen micro-producers, and get a discount for bringing in your containers for bulk goods and refills.

Buy experiences

In an effort to cut down on clutter, many people are opting for gifts that are experiences, whether these are bread-making sessions with Stoneham Bakehouse or regional cuisines with the Community Chefcheese tastings and pop up supper experiences. We also like the Foodini Club recipe kit subscription, which helps little ones get into cooking, and uses seasonal ingredients and compostable packaging.

Whatever you go with, we hope you enjoy the holiday season and plenty of joyous shared meals.

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