Junior finds beautiful gifts you can give, while giving back this Christmas.
Luxury goods that do good
Junior finds the best places to buy gorgeous Christmas gifts with real purpose. Not just for those you’re buying for - but for the people who make them, who support them and who depend on them.
We’ve found 12 of our favourite luxury social enterprise businesses and products, to help you make more of a difference this Christmas. Ideal for the conscientious consumer, or just to make the world a better place.
One for One with Toms
One of the most established, most loved and most successful in the sector, Toms have been donating shoes through their One for One scheme for over 10 years. Loved around the world, they never go out of style.
This season they have brought out a fun and fabulous fleece-lined Christmas light design that glows in the dark. For tots, for teens and for adults. We’ll say it again: glow in the dark Toms.
Glow in the Dark Tree Lights Classics, from tots to adults, £25.99 - £41.99, Toms.
Elvis & Kresse Reclaimed Luxury
UK-based sustainable luxury brand Elvis & Kresse have been using reclaimed materials to produce beautiful bags, wallets and more since 2005. The business started by reclaiming London Fire Brigade's decommissioned fire-hose and continues to reclaim, using parachute material for the linings and more.
The bags look fabulous and are a double-win for the conscientious consumer, by using reclaimed and recycled materials, with the added bonus of 50% of fire-hose range profits donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.
We love the handbag-sized Post Bag, from the Box Bag range, £150, Elvis & Kresse.
Scamp & Dude Superheroes
The brand new superhero fashion label, created by Jo Tutchener-Sharp, donates a bedtime buddy to a vulnerable child with every purchase. Created to help children facing anxious separations from their parents, or loved ones, the range is designed for kids as a way to offer additional comfort. Each buddy has a pocket on the back to store a picture of someone they want to stay close to. The motto, 'A superhero has my back' also extends to vulnerable children through the business.
For every Superhero Sleep Buddy that’s bought, another is donated to a child in need, through charities Don’t Forget the Kids, Grief Encounter and the leading London children’s hospital. Read our interview with founder Jo Tutchener-Sharp here.
Superhero Sleep Budddy - Super Bunny, £40, Scamp & Dude.
Superhero Sleep Budddy - Super Dino, £40, Scamp & Dude.
Samanata Yogi Sports Wear
Samanta means high-quality in Hindi, which gives an indication as to how seriously Samanta Yogi takes their yoga wear. Their colourful (and comfortable) yoga range is designed for purpose. The material itself is compression enhanced for muscle control, fade, shrink and UV resistant - as well as stitched to withstand the deepest of stretches.
In addition to sourcing environmentally sustainable materials, Samanta donates 10% of all profits to support survivors of human trafficking via Project Futures.
Yoga Pants, £59, Samanta Yogi.
Harry Specters Chocolates
Harry Specters produces luxury chocolates from its base in Ely, Cambridgeshire. There they commit to help young people with autism by providing employment and free training, enabling them to work within the business and equipping them with life skills. The business aims to demonstrate its ‘great product, great cause’ model constantly and for for every £1 profit, 60p goes towards improving lives of people with autism.
The award-winning chocolates are available in a range of assortments, but our favourite for a Christmas gift is a subscription to the Chocolate Club, for a little luxury every month.
Grand Selection and Grand Christmas selection, £39, Harry Specters.
Chocolate Club, monthly subscription, from £23 a month, Harry Specters.
We love the Stand4 Socks idea. Why support one cause, when you can support many through the power of socks? Founded in 2015 the company links every single pair of socks to one of the United Nations Global Goals, reflected by a cause logo on the ankle.
They are bright and they are fun (and there are even sensible office socks, for those who feel the need). Stand4 also gives special antibacterial socks to homeless shelters here in the UK, too. At last, a real reason to give socks for Christmas, with a twist: the more socks you give, the more you give back.
Socks of goodness: 1 sock = Vaccinate 3 kids against measles in Bangladesh, 1 sock = Antenatal check up in Africa, 1 sock = Plants 10 trees, 1 sock = 12 days education to a child affected by war, 1 sock = 1 year's safe water, 1 sock = 1 metre of land made safe in Laos, 1 sock = 12 hours in a safe house in Ethiopia.
The Week Pack, 7 pairs of socks / 7 impacts, £59.99, Stand4 Socks.
People Tree Organic Cotton
We love this classic stripe. It's made from 100% organic, fair trade cotton and has a timeless low hem; perfect for the Christmas season, for layering, for day-tonight chic. And we love it even more knowing the it's supporting communities where it's made.
The People Tree was founded in 2001 and has, since then, been continuing to be the change it want's to see in the fashion industry with its ‘slow fashion’ approach. People Tree believe that investing in the people who make garments is as important as investing in the material itself; that t’s not just about the respect for people, it's also a respect for the planet we live on. Garments are made with organic cotton and sustainable materials, using traditional skills that support the rural communities in which they are made.
Belinda Stripe Jumper in Grey, £95, People Tree.
The Finest Tea
Darjeeling Tea, tea from the district of Darjeeling, high in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas is one of the world’s finest teas. To taste tea as it was meant to be, a fine teapot is a must. And it also makes a lovely gift for a tea drinker of any shade, green, white, fruit... This clear glass teapot looks great in any office or kitchen and comes with an extra-fine stainless-steel tea infuser, which enables you to steep fine loose-leaf teas (such as Rooibos), to large whole-leaf teas like Oolong tea or White tea - and tea bags, too.
Couple it with a rejuvenating tea mix for an ideal gift. Lemon Verbena Detox is a caffeine-free tea, to help cleanse and rejuvenate. It won two gold stars at the Great Taste Awards, and has notes of citrus, mango and figs along with apple like notes of camomile, with a sweet aftertaste.
Even better than the tea, is the sweet taste of satisfaction knowing you're making a difference to children in India, with every sip, as 50% of all profits go to educational programmes in Darjeeling, where the tea is harvested.
Darjeeling Glass Teapot, 1litre, £26.95, Tea People.
Lemon Verbena Detox, 125g Loose Tea in Resealable Pouch, £8.20, Tea People.
Arthouse Lambswool Scarf
Arthouse Meath presents the skills and talents of those living with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. Over 70 artists work alongside instructors, helping groups or individuals to create artworks that are developed into designer products. All work derives from the skills each artist brings to the enterprise and every contribution holds true value.
Between them all they produce many beautiful products, but our pick for this season has to be the Limited Edition Dogs Design Lambswool scarf, by Margaret Mace. It is made in Scotland with 100% Superfine Geelong Lambswool - often described as the softest Lambswool in the world. It also takes two weeks to weave to order - so best hurry!
Limited Edition Dogs Design Lambswool Scarf, £70, Arthouse Meath.
Vintage Safari Woven Throw
Global Seesaw operates in the UK as a social enterprise with the aim of creating sustainable employment for women who have been trafficked into prostitution. All profits from Global SeeSaw are re-invested into the business to create more employment and freedom.
We love that Global Seesaw looks for contemporary designs and innovative use of recycled materials, but they also really focus on the way the products are made. All their manufacturing partners are social enterprises who reinvest their products and measure success in terms of human lives changed - rather than pure profit.
These vintage safari throws are made by Sari Bari, who focus on providing employment for women who have been trafficked. Each throw has a label showing the woman's name who made it and comes with a card tag that tells the story of a journey to freedom.
Vintage Safari Throw, £59, Sari Bari at Global Seesaw.
Hand-stitched Leather iPad Case
A platform for change, like Global Seesaw (above) Women Worldwide was developed in the UK by Susan Ma, to support global women in selling their artisan products. Everything sourced and sold is ethically handmade, unique - and often unusual - with its own story and imprint of the culture of where the products are made.
It was hard to choose just one product that represents the entire social enterprise, but we adore this iPad case. Perfect for busy women (and men - and stylish teens, perhaps) it's a work of leather art, by women apprentices in Ghana. This is a unique envelope style case finished with a magnetic catch; sophisticated and beautiful quality hand crafted.
iPad Carrier, Black Leather, £50, by Sole Inspiration for Women Worldwide.
Hand-poured Scented Candles
Seven Seventeen make beautiful mood-enhancing scented candles from natural plant wax that smell divine, look good and support other mothers. Their amusingly named scents 'And Breathe' being our favourite - burn cleanly and throw the scent thanks to the fine quality oils and natural wax. The brand name originates from the idea that most mothers manage to clock off from the chaos once the kids are in bed - which falls somewhere around Seven Seventeen (on a good day).
The candles are hand poured in England and the founders, two busy mums, donate £1 from every candle to help to light the way for those facing bigger daily struggles. Their cause is the PANDAS Foundation, which works to offer advice and support to mothers suffering from pre and postnatal mental illness.
Mood Enhancing Candles, from £14, at Seven Seventeen.