A Guide To Conscious Gifting
At QÄSA QÄSA we are big believers in buying less but better and as we head into the festive season, that counts more than ever. Giving is a huge part of Christmas in the UK, but let's reimagine what we choose to gift our loved ones by being more conscious.
As Vivienne Westwood said:
"buy less, choose well, make it last"
Rather than gift something for the sake of it, we opt for being considerate and keeping our planet in mind. Instead of the newest, trendiest things, it's the gifts that we've genuinely put a lot of thought into that are the ones that mean the most.
Trying to shop more consciously may require a little more planning and foresight, so we've put together eight ideas below to help you gift purposefully.
Gift an experience or subscription - a less wasteful and more meaningful option for many recipients:
Tickets to a live performance of a local up-and-coming artist in their town or city.
Teach children (ages 10-14) how to repair electronics through this amazing subscription service set up by students at Imperial College. Team Repair sends you a broken item, and teaches you through the app how to test, analyse and repair the item. A great way to veer the next generation away from throwaway culture.
Fun and interactive cooking classes with an impact - Migrateful offers some great ones that are led by refugees and vulnerable migrants from around the globe.
Foraging walks and courses with Totally Wild (available around the UK) for anyone excited by plants, fungi and seaweeds. For those who want to live a more sustainable life more interlinked with nature and for people truly excited by food & flavours.
Audible subscription - the gift of stories, words and knowledge while saving paper.
National Geographic subscription - for wonderful travel stories, fascinating science news and incredible photography.
Give personalised vouchers of something you can offer - babysitting, dinner, gardening help, a massage, or breakfast in bed. Use Canva to help make fun vouchers.
Make it green and give gifts that bloom - we can never go wrong with a plant and there's always a sense of health and well being with greenery around. We love fig plants and succulents but herbs or a chilli plant would make lovely gifts for someone who loves to cook. And a gardening kit and seeds for the avid gardener would certainly not go amiss. Le Petit Jardin has a lovely selection sourced from two Italian seed suppliers. If you have your own plants or houseplants which are easy to propagate, share a cutting in a lovely pot (often in charity shops or try this hack with a tetrapack). Petalon are Europe's first B-Corp florist offering seasonal, homegrown cut flowers grown on their regenerative flower farm in Cornwall. You can send a bouquet of flowers in the knowledge that 100% of profits are donated to conservation projects.
Shop sustainably and support small independent brands - we all know that mass-produced products are bad for the planet, wasteful in their production and have low conscious values. We choose businesses that match our beliefs by supporting small businesses and our local stores. Most of these shops endorse fair-trade practices and environmentally friendly production processes. Look out for certifications such as Fair Trade, B Corporations, GOTS & other eco-friendly initiatives. E-commerce platforms Glassette and ABASK offer a very unique selection of thoughtfully curated and hand crafted homewares from several independent brands. The Natural Collection offers a wide range of fair-trade, organic and eco-friendly products ranging from food, fashion, home and beauty.
Buy second hand / samples / imperfects - embrace the slight nuances and gift one of a kind pieces. This can be a great way to find unique and rare items at a reduced price. We have a selection of samples and imperfects that have the slightest imperfections but are still perfectly fine to use. Max & Mia Bath co sells 'Whoopsie' Bath bombs that may be broken, or slightly imperfect, they smell incredible, are kind to the environment and are perfect for self-gifting (or give the gift of a luxury soak in bath with one!). You can also grab a steal at charity shops, car boot sales, FB Marketplace, Vinted and thrift stores. Make sure the quality is good, as how it's made matters.
Cook them a meal - food is the fastest way to everyone's heart! Food gifts are symbols of happiness and celebration. When words or finding a material gift fail us, cooking a loved one their favourite dish can be a deeply meaningful gesture. Alternatively, gift them some home made cookies or a jar of preserve or achar that you can pair with one of our hand carved spoons. The brand Sylt have made making your own pickles a breeze, by selling flavoured pickling liquids, to which you have to just add your own choice of vegetables/fruits. A really easy way to offer a homemade and tasty condiment.
Plant a tree - perfect for that member of the family who never needs anything new. Donate to the International Tree Foundation in their name and contribute towards forest restoration and a greener planet.
Donate to charity - Christmas and many other festive celebrations throughout the year can be a time of indulgence for many, so it's important to remember those for whom that time is especially difficult. Some charities to consider are Unicef, the International Red Cross and the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Choose Love allows you to gift a meaningful charity donation. Your donation will gift someone a range of items from a hot meal, mental health support or a sleeping bag.
Wrap it consciously - reuse items from around your home and get creative with old newspapers, magazines, kids artworks, boxes, jars and fabrics. Our Abay Hand Towels (as seen below) work really well to wrap soaps and bath salts. You can also use tote bags to put a gift into that they can then reuse. Vintage saris will give you yards to use for wrapping. Or choose not to wrap your gifts and adorn it with some natural flowers and foliage or spoons like the image below!