Gift giving is an inherently cultural practice. In India you should never give a gift with only the left hand, the value of the gift is not considered as important as the feelings attached to the gift and gifts are generally not opened in front of everyone. In Turkey, at weddings, the couple will come to your table to welcome you and at that moment the guests will give their gift of a gold coin and the bride has a small white bag where you can leave the coin, or you can pin it on her dress. Gift giving differs depending on where you are in the world, what religion you practice, what time of year it is and who you are giving the gift to. The one thing you can be sure of is that giving gifts is personal to you.
In the United Kingdom (and perhaps the rest of Europe and the United States too), it can feel like our gift giving ceremonies are a perfect example of our generation’s wasteful lifestyle and obsession with material things. It makes you wonder, can giving gifts be ethical?
For me, I want to be generous with my loved ones. I like to focus on giving something that is meaningful, that they might not necessarily have purchased for themselves and I want that present to remind them of our friendship. Recently, I visited a friend who has moved to Dublin so I purchased the April Showers bracelet from La Juniper below to remind her of the UK (and the abundance of rain we enjoy here). I hope that she appreciated the thought behind the gift and will be reminded of me when she wears it. I also hope that she appreciated that this delicate bracelet was handmade by the fair-trade group of women workers, Flowering Desert Project, in Tamil Nadu, India.
If you would like to give an ethical gift to a loved one then here is a selection of my favourites, each with their own ethical story. You can use the discount code 'feather20' until 15th September 2017 to save 20% on your purchase at La Juniper (the discount does not apply to sale items).
1. April Showers Brass Bracelet Fair-trade (£12.50)
2. Blue Feather Mug (£12.50)
3. Shakti Scarf (£75.00)
4. Bee and Butterfly Wildflower Seeds (£0.95)
5. Happy Gift Set (£9.95)
6. Geometric Silk Fair-trade Cushion (£54.00)
7. Bone China Contemporary Tea Set (£28.00)
8. Handmade Linen Make-up Bag (£19.95)
9. Large Walnut Wood Board - Handmade in Devon (£45.00)
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Disclaimer: I did not receive payment in return for writing this post but I did receive a discount on my ethical gift purchase.