At this time of year, there is a lot of pressure on us to buy gifts for those that we love, and we want to make it special. But have you ever thought that when you are buying something, that there are two people in the transaction? The person you are buying it for, and the person you are buying it from - the producer, farmer or worker.

And thanks to Sir David Attenborough and others there is an ever-increasing global movement to reduce the amount of packaging, particularly plastics in our supply chains, and so this becomes a challenging time to do the right thing. But even if we only switch one gift for one person, and ensure it is ethical and sustainable, or one food item such as chocolate or wine, we can collectively have a strong impact. 

There are independent world shops dotted around the UK, with many part of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers 

Here are some ideas and examples of some lovely things to inspire you online:  

  • Recycled tyres that are turned into beautiful jewellery by Paguro, that are not only fair trade, but also re-use a waste product. 
  • Home and lifestyle store Nkuku have some beautiful glass, metal and naturebased products that would look beautiful in anyone’s home. 
  • Oxfam and Friends of the Earth have again this year created fun and exciting ways to support others less fortunate than us including a pile of poo to help fertilise and improve soil quality and yields and the Bee Saver Kit. 
  • Big Issue has an online shop with a vast array of ethical and sustainable gifts. 
  • Buying food and drink from around the world through the Co-operative and becoming a member can get a 5% dividend off your shopping and 1% goes back to your community too.  
  • Check out the zero waste store in Cardiff, Ripple that sells food and gifts and Natural Weigh in Crickhowell, which has won Britain’s best high street award.  

There are plenty of opportunities for all of us to support small, local and ethical businesses this Christmas, and the simple changes within the ‘journey to a prosperous Wales’, contain plenty of ideas.  

And before we go off and start wrapping the presents with a glass of sherry and a mince pie, if you want to be creative with your wrapping and reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill, why not use plain old brown paper, decorate it, and wrap it with garden twine, which can then be reused or go straight in the compost.