Well. This has been quite a year hasn't it? Who'd have thought, eh?
I think it's safe to say that absolutely everyone cannot wait to see the back of 2020, and with all this talk of a potential vaccine, we can't help but feel a sense of hope in the run up to Christmas.
If we've learned anything from the turmoil this year has inflicted on us, it's that when everything is stripped back, and life isn't normal, it just highlights what really matters most.
After this life-changing year we've all had, there's no doubt that Christmas is going to look very different this time around. Probably more subdued and pared-back than the usual (often pretty stressful!) gaudy cacophony we're all used to. I think for all of us it will carry more meaning, and perhaps in some way something positive can come out of it.
So as we enter this festive season with a slower-paced, more mindful approach, maybe we can choose to spend our time and money with a fresh perspective; treasuring those around us and investing wisely in creative small businesses and companies who are working towards a sustainable future.
In a year where peace on earth, and goodwill to all men never sounded more appealing, we've hand-picked a collection of desirable, ethically and sustainably produced gifts for men to help you give gifts that have meaning. There's a story behind each brand, and the people who have started businesses and designed the products with people and the planet in mind.
Plus, we've partnered with all the featured brands to run a competition where you can win everything from the gift guide - a grand prize worth over £300. Find out how to enter below.
Ok, hands up, who remembers Christmas selection boxes being totally amazing as a kid? That row of Chocolate bars ready to absolutely demolish whilst playing with all your new toys in that weird bit between Christmas and New Year. Well this selection box is a bit different but still a delight for your (now grown up) tastebuds.
The Teaspoon Club provides fresh, ethically-sourced spices in quantities designed to reduce waste. Their packaging is home-compostable and plastic-free, and with every order placed, they plant a tree in a country where their spices come from.
Their Curry Spice Selection Box contains all the spices needed for 6 delicious curries. All the recipe kits inside serve a minimum of 4 people. The perfect gift for the budding chef in the family, or that cousin who's a massive foodie; as curry is Britain's favourite dish, you can't go too far wrong with this gift.
The Teaspoon Club sources all of their spices from Soil Associate Organic Certified producers, plus they plant a tree for every order to reinvest into the earth that provides us with these incredible ingredients, regenerating land and reducing atmospheric CO2.
Forget your Cadbury's Curly Wurlys and Nestle Lion Bars (do they still make those?), included in this selection box are the recipe kits for: Chicken Korma, Chicken Madras, Vegetable Jalfrezi, Delhian butter chicken, Goan fish curry and Hyderabadi Dopiaza chicken. Pretty sure they'd work wonders with all those turkey leftovers too!
Impressively highly rated (we've scoured the internet and read basically nothing but good reviews), this advanced high-quality toothbrush uses sonic technology and high frequency vibrations to remove plaque and prevent tartar build up. The superior clean this provides will improve overall oral health, preventing gingivitis, bleeding and swollen gums. Its unique 3 stroke speed adjustments also makes it ideal for those who are going through orthodontics treatments i.e. fixed braces.
Getting a new piece of tech for Christmas is always hugely exciting. It's that brand new toy feeling, with a grown-up edge. And with the astronomical cost of gadgets these days, a protective case needs to be your first port of call. Not only does this case protect your phone, it's also protecting the planet. It's made from a biodegradable material - making it a perfect choice for those looking for a sustainable alternative.
These stylish yet biodegradable phone cases are made from wheat straw. Available in seven vibrant colours across models in the iPhone and Samsung range, the wave case is designed to have a minimal impact upon the planet. To match, there are also biodegradable cases to protect your shiny new AirPods from scratches and scrapes!
For the well-groomed gentleman, this shave kit gift set combines the classic elegance and functionality of a traditional razor, with the assurance of a low environmental impact.
After experiencing the devastating damage that was being done by waste plastics, brand founder Jim started Naked Necessities with a commitment to eliminate plastic from the supply chain. Their products are designed for minimising waste, and reducing the impact on the environment, and they ensure that manufacturers in their supply chain meet high ethical and environmental standards.
The quality of this razor speaks for itself. You do not need to apply pressure, just hold the handle in your finger tips, and let the weight of the razor head glide over your skin, giving you the closest shave and the smoothest skin. With a unique high strength brass core, this razor will last a lifetime.
Vegan-friendly, paraben, palm oil and cruelty free, the shaving soap bar in this kit is packed full of essential oils and goodies for your skin. Orange and Lavender essential oils give this shaving soap a bold character. Clay extracts help to create a silky smooth shave, and soothing aloe vera clams the skin.
Also included in the Naked Shave Kit are 5 spare blades. These superior platinum double edge blades fit snugly in your razor, giving you the closest shave and smoothest skin time and time again. The added benefit of the traditional safety razor is the gap between the blade and the frame, allowing hairs to escape the head of the razor, rather than getting stuck, as with disposable heads.
Hand turned on the lathe from Spalted Beech, this set of cheese knives has been ebonized and finished with a mix of organic tung oil, hemp oil and an ethically sourced beeswax to compliment the stainless steel detailing.
This bold, versatile and sustainable jacket is made from 30 recycled plastic bottles and designed for everyday adventures. Fully waterproof, with a stowaway hood, the jacket is jam-packed with 19 urban-friendly features. It is a technical jacket that doesn’t look like one.
Labo Mono was born in 2018 by Ali Namdari, a designer living in London. The idea sparked after being caught out in the rainstorm, while cycling home.
After looking online for a good waterproof jacket, comfortable when cycling and that looked casual for everyday wear, he quickly realised his choices were limited. The few jackets on the market that came close looked very plain and were far from being sustainably made.
This led to the idea of creating practical, versatile and sustainable clothes, that look casually cool. Labo Mono was born, and their first product: The Urban Jacket.
Labo Mono wants to show that technical outdoor clothing can be also be fashionable. Moreover, each jacket is designed to be unisex. “That’s coming straight from a personal frustration. I’ve seen so may awesome designs in clothing stores, only to find out that were only made for kids, or only for women. Grown up men can wear bold prints and colours too!” says Ali. "We’re on a mission to encourage adventure, big or small, without ruining the planet. We do this by creating pieces of clothing that aren’t just pleasant to look at, but also cleverly functional, whether you want to chill in town or jump on a bike and explore the world. All that while using the most sustainable materials possible."
As well as using recycled materials, the company also attaches great importance to transparency in their manufacturing process. They share all their visits on their blog.
Sop - or "Scents of place" is a bodycare and fragrance brand made in Norfolk and inspired by the local landscape and language. The brand was founded by Fiona Burrage, a photographer and creative director. Inspired by meandering rivers, vast sandy beaches, and the serene spaces in between, each product’s name is also rooted in the region, adopting Norfolk’s dialect to summon the scent and experience.
Smur, is a noun, meaning "a fine drizzle". This Smur Shampoo comes in a 250ml aluminium bottle and is scented with Neroli and Ylang Ylang.
Sop products are always cruelty free and Vegan. They contain no GM ingredients, parabens, SLS, silicones & mineral oils, artificial colours or fragrance and no palm oil. Made in Norwich, Norfolk.
Fellow Mancunian brand Tom & Dicks are cushioning the impact of plastic waste on the environment by using recycled plastic bottles to make the soft, soft filling to go inside their sustainably produced home furnishings.
This cushion contains 17 recycled plastic bottles, and has been designed and made here in the UK. Inspired by the designs of Thomas Hoyle, a textile pioneer who helped establish Manchester as ‘Cottonopolis’ in the 1700s, the brand have re-reworked Hoyle's original “Medlock” print with a contemporary feel. "We’re picking up where Tom left off, and have commissioned our very own pattern master to re-imagine his work for the 21st century, as a tribute to his innovation." explains Amar Gangani, founder of Tom & Dicks.
Continuing that proud Manchester tradition of being at the forefront of technology, the brand is committed to sustainability and ethical resourcing. Not only is the 100% Panama Cotton cushion filled with a recycled plastic filling, but Tom & Dicks also have a zero-plastic approach to all packaging. Their cushions are delivered in 100% biodegradable sugar cane sacks.
As well as their environmentally-conscious production, the brand also has an impressive social conscience. Their products are supplied in boxes, which can be filled with your old bedding, clothes, and books, and sent back to Tom & Dicks — free postage. The items are then donated to local charities in Manchester.
They also donate a percentage from each sale to local charities facilitating real change for individuals affected by homelessness in Manchester. We love that by buying bedding from this brand, you are contributing to helping those without a bed this Christmas.
Onegreenbottle was started over 12 years ago when mother Heather Nicholson was looking for a drinks bottle for her son to take to school each day. Having worked as an industrial chemist in Europe and Asia, she was aware of the chemical composition of plastics and how readily they leach into drinks. Identifying stainless steel as the most inert, safe and toxin-free material around, the brand was born.
Huge amounts of plastic single use bottles are thrown into landfill or our oceans each year. Plastic takes 500 years to decompose, but does break down into plastic ‘nurdles’ which get into our food chain. We can all make a big difference by not buying single use plastic bottles.
One green bottle partner with plasticbank and for every single bottle they sell, they recover 25 single use plastics from the ocean by working with plasticbank.
This stainless steel 1000ml thermal insulated canteen has a black screw cap and handle. The cap also has stainless steel inner part. It is easy to clean, toxin free, non leaching, odour and taste free, recyclable and robust for continued usage. This bottle is big enough to cover all your hydration needs for the day and will stay cool on the hottest of days.
Here at RUN&FELL, we like to do things properly. We source organic fabrics, and select them for their quality and "feel appeal". We cut and sew each garment here in Manchester, England. We collaborate with local businesses to apply the print designs using both traditional screen print methods and digital printing technology. Our aim is to avoid exploitation across our supply chain, so that our customers can be confident that their clothing has been made fairly and made well.
This T-shirt has been constructed from luxuriously soft Organic Cotton stretch jersey. This fabric is always a customer favourite, being so high quality, substantial, and soft.
Inspired by vintage menswear garments, this piece has been hand-finished with cotton tape across the back, for an industrial, work-wear inspired feel.
From our "Rainy City" collection, inspired by our city, Manchester, this design features a vintage-inspired print.
Organic Cotton is skin-friendly, soothing and a harmless natural fibre. Chemical-free, it's not going to have any adverse affects on your skin or your health.(Find out more about why we use Organic Cotton here.)
As with all our garments, the fabric has been meticulously cut and sewn by hand in Manchester, England. We believe that in selecting luxuriously soft, organic fabrics, our products have a noticeably high quality and comfortably soft feel. The print has then been applied directly to the finished garment, here in Manchester.
In our competition, we're giving you the chance to enter to win each item above. That's a grand prize worth over £300.
How to Enter:
To be in with a chance of winning over £300 worth of gifts just follow the following steps:
1. Follow our instagram:
2. Like this post:
3. Tag a friend in the comments section who would love our Gift Guide
T&Cs: The competition will close at midnight on the 18th December 2020. One winner will be chosen at random to win all of the prizes listed above. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash. The winner will be chosen and notified after 18th December 2020. Open to entrants based in the United Kingdom only.