How to shop ethically this Christmas

Here we share some advice on how to shop ethically this Christmas, from food and gifts to partywear and decorations.

Organic and Fairtrade Christmas Food

The best part about Christmas for me is definately the food; mince pies, cheese and crackers, roast dinners, and chocolate everything! It can be hard to resist all the delicious treats out there, but you don't have to give up your favourite festive foods while shopping ethically this year; almost all fruit and vegetables you need for any Christmas recipe can be bought organic for only a fraction more, as well as free range meats and dairy, and fairtrade chocolate!

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Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Food

There is so much choice now even for vegans when it comes to Christmas, from 'Tofurkey' (realistic tofu turkey!) to free-from advent calendars, from soya whisky cream to veggie nut loaf, even mainstream supermarkets are stocking pigs-in-blanket alternatives now, so you don't have to trek out to the overpriced heath food stores!

Ethical and Sustainable Christmas Party Outfits

It's the perfect time to shop for new clothes and accessories for party season, with office nights out, family gatherings and NYE parties galore. Fast fashion brands know just how to tempt us to buy endless sequined and sparkly goodies that fall apart on the dancefloor, but there are brands with sustainble alternatives that don't compromise on style. For dresses, head to Everlane, for jewellery try Made, and for bags and shoes, Matt & Natt is the place to go. Be sure to also check out your local vintage shops and indie boutiques to stand out from the crowd in something beautiful and still ethical.

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Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts

'Tis the season for excessive consumption and waste... but you can still get great gifts for everyone on your gift list while staying true to your ethics and values. Uncommon Goods has a HUGE selction of present ideas for even the pickiest of elves, and all held to the highest environmental standard and made by artisans. Another option is local art and craft fairs, where you can find beautiful handmade products along with the knowledge you're supporting the #shopsmall movement!

Recycled and Zero-Waste Christmas Decorations

A big problem at this time of year is the huge amount of packaging on all our shopping, but with a little creativity we can turn that waste into crafty Christmas decorations. Whether its snowflakes made from used wrapping paper, hanging pom poms made from unravelled ugly Christmas jumpers or tinsel made from shredding mince pie tins, there is no end to what you can adorn your home with, and no need to buy new every year!

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Ruth MacGilp is an Edinburgh based student and blogger. She's a activist for all things ethical in the fashion industry, as well as supporting the #shopsmall and #shoplocal movements through her work.
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