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Ethical Shopping

Affordable and ethical gift ideas for budgets from £10 to £100

When it comes to Christmas present shopping, buying both ethically and affordably doesn’t have to be tough.

When it comes to Christmas present shopping, buying both ethically and affordably doesn’t have to be tough.

Shopping both ethically and affordably can be a tricky business at Christmas time. Most of us want to buy our loved ones something special, but doing so without breaking the bank can be difficult.

Finding cheap gifts that don’t exploit workers or damage the planet can be even harder.

Luckily, there are now more options than ever for ethical shoppers on a tight budget, with plenty of outlets for buying Christmas gifts guilt-free.

The Big Issue shop is one such outlet: an online marketplace for ethical and sustainable products which put the planet and people first.

All the products on the site come from ethical traders, sustainable producers or social enterprises, meaning that your purchase for a loved one will go on to help others in turn.

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Every product on the site comes with information about the supplier, meaning you can make informed decisions about who to buy from.

There are gift ideas on the site for all price ranges, whether you’re working with £10 or £100. We’ve pulled together the ultimate guide to help you pick the best of what’s on offer – from home decor to stylish clothing.

Cheap Christmas gifts: £10 and under 

Nemi Cardamom Chai 125g, Loose leaf: £5.95 

This expertly blended loose-leaf whole leaf Assam black tea is the perfect gift for the tea-lovers in your life. It comes from a London-based company which employs refugees in the UK to help them settle in their new home country.

Save the Sloths’ bamboo socks, £9.50

We all feel like a sloth sometimes. And now you can save them too! 10 per cent of profits from these thermo-regulating bamboo socks made by Bare Kind are donated to an animal conservation or rescue charity that supports the animal on the sock.

Pack of 6 A6 Christmas cards with envelopes: £4.50 

Put a smile on someone’s face and make a difference to someone’s life with these Christmas cards from the Big Issue.

All profits made from this pack of cards will go to the Big Issue and help give people living on the margins of society a hand up, rather than a handout.

The beautiful santa design – made up of images of our vendors – is printed on recycled paper. 

Big Issue anniversary tea towel, £7.99

Celebrate the Big Issue’s 30th birthday with this commemorative tea towel, which would make the perfect addition to someone’s kitchen.

Your purchase will help those facing poverty, with all profits funding the Big Issue’s mission.

Selections of books from the Do Book Company: £8.99 each

Give the gift of practical knowledge this year with a book from the Do Book Company.

The company is based in Shoreditch, London, and publishes guides which inspire people to take action and do good things for themselves and others.

Profits from your purchase will go back into the company to fund the “Do Lectures”, keeping the cycle of doing good going.

Big Issue Christmas baubles – £8.00

Do away with plastic on the tree this year and give the gift of sustainable Big Issue baubles. All decorations are made from bamboo, and you can choose from a range of designs, including a polar bear or a robin.

Every purchase will go towards helping the Big Issue dismantle poverty in today’s society.

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Little kisses knot hat, £7.90

This cute unisex baby hat is perfect for anyone with young kids in your life, and every purchase will help an child in need. 

From Babies With love will channel every penny of profit from its ethically-sourced designs into helping abandoned children around the world. 

Every penny of profit from our unique, ethically sourced designs goes to support abandoned children around the world.

Elderflower lip balm: £9.60

This buttery lip balm keeps dry and chapped lips at bay.

Infused with the delicate sweetness of elderflower, Scintilla donates 10 per cent of profits to support communities in Madagascar and those with mental health issues in the UK. 

Cheap Christmas gifts: £20 and under 

Will.I.Am Mug: £12.99

This exclusive mug designed by the Big Issue would make a great present for fans of the Black Eyed Peas or Will.I.Am.

Your purchase will go towards the Big Issue’s work with the most vulnerable people in society.

Beneath the surface, street art print: £20

The Big Issue’s Street Art Page gives marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as offering them a platform to sell their artwork through the Big Issue shop.

Here, you can buy a print from Mary, who has been working as an artist in London for over 10 years.

Lady Muck hand cream: £13.99

Winter can be a nightmare for your hands – which makes this delicately-scented hand cream an excellent stocking filler.

The product supports ARTHOUSE Unlimited, a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities all of whom require varying levels of support.

Homeless tartan bowtie: £20

This bow tie is perfect for formal occasions throughout the year and comes in a gorgeous tartan pattern.

The design is “homeless” tartan from Slanj, a company which offers part of its profits to organisations tackling homelessness in the UK.

Compostable coffee capsules, taster selection: £17

Give the gift of a great cup of coffee with these coffee capsules from Sendero, which sources sustainable specialty grade Arabica coffees from remote smallholder farmers.

Better yet, the capsules are biodegradable and compostable, avoiding the usual waste generated by coffee capsules.

Lamya earrings: £20 

Handmade in India by artisans, these beaded earrings are beautiful and sustainable.

Each design is unique due to being hand-crafted, and comes from Daughters of the Ganges, (DOTG) an organisation which employs women in India to help them achieve financial independence.

Elephant branded original wallet: £20 

For every one of these wallets you buy, company Elephant Branded will hand-deliver a school stationery to a child in Africa or Asia.

The wallet is crafted from recycled cement bags by villagers in Cambodia.

Organic elephant soft toy: £12.99

Why not avoid plastic presents for kids and go for this adorable elephant toy, which is ethically sourced and made from sustainably sourced cotton.

The product comes from Best Years, a fair trade cooperative which creates fairly paid and flexible jobs in rural Bangladesh.

Fight like a girl t-shirt: £20 

Buy Social with this Big Issue T-Shirt with a feminist message. All profits generated will go back into the Big Issue’s mission to help the most vulnerable in society.

Bethlehem Baubles, plum Christmas tree: £14

These beautiful Christmas decorations are perfect stocking fillers.

Each unique glass decoration is hand blown by the Muslim community in Hebron using recycled glass and then individually painted by a skilled team of Christian ladies in Bethlehem.

Green T Rex knitted dinosaur soft toy: £16.99

This is the ideal gift for a dinosaur mad child.

Soft enough for cuddles but robust enough for imaginative play, these pebble toys are hand made by a fair trade cooperative which creates fairly paid and flexible jobs in rural Bangladesh.

Adam mug: £20

Add joy to any table with this playful ceramic stoneware mug.

Handmade and painted in Stoke on Trent, Goldfinger profits go towards teaching marginalised young people the craft of woodworking so they can progress into meaningful work.

Christmas gifts for £30 and under 

Sari yoga mat bag: £25 

Perfect for yoga fanatics, these sari mat bags are great for carrying equipment to classes.

They come from Destiny, an organisation which gives women the skills to turn old saris into bags, giving them the means to earn their own money.

Power to the people hoodie: £27.20

This power to the people hoodie would make a great present for any changemakers in your life.

It’s designed by the Big Issue, with all profits funneled back into our mission to support vulnerable people in society.

Stainless steel water bottle: £28

During the hot summer months, homeless people are at particular risk of heat related illnesses and dehydration.

If you buy this brilliant water bottle, you’ll help someone in your life avoid plastic and help the homeless – with Leiho giving boxed and refillable cartons of water to someone in need with every purchase.

Porcelain star decorations: £22

If someone in your life is looking for gorgeous tree decorations, look no further: this set of four handmade porcelain would make the perfect addition to any Christmas tree.

The stars are designed by Studio 306, a collective which was set up to help people recover from mental health issues.

A hug in a box: £30 

You can give a hug this Christmas even if you’re apart from some people with this thoughtful “hug in a box”.

The box is full of delicious treats like hot chocolate and biscuits, all with their own “social story”.

Homeless tartan cushion: £25

This beautiful cushion is the perfect gift to keep your loved ones comfy. 

The design is “homeless” tartan from Slanj, a company which offers part of its profits to organisations tackling homelessness in the UK.

£40 and over

Helene sports leggings, glitch print: £79

Avoid buying fast fashion this year and give your sporty friend these leggings, which can be used for everything from running to hot yoga or the gym.

They’re also suitable for use in water for those who enjoy surfing and swimming.

They come from Ruby Moon, a company with both a positive environmental and social impact.

Vanna multi sports crop top: £69

Also from Ruby Moon, this comfy crop top is ideal for use in the pool, at the beach or in low-impact sports.

Moyo tote shopper bag: £45

The Moyo tote shopper bag is perfect for carrying books or groceries with internal and external pockets to hold all key items and add a little colour to the everyday

Moyo uses Tanzanian artists to design its products, working with locals who are excited to use their craft skills in order to earn an income.

The Big Issue Shop
Find the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one this festive season. Every purchase goes towards supporting the most vulnerable people in society.

Rash guard cover up: £95

This beautiful top from Ruby Moon is great as a cover up when the sun goes down or as a swim shirt to protect your skin from the sun.

The cover up is named “Solange” after one of the women entrepreneurs Ruby Moon invested in from Benin in West Africa. It is sustainably made and sourced.

The Compact Messenger bag, brown with black strap: £63

This petite and streamlined bag from Dece is both striking and eco-friendly. 

Dece work to educate, employ and empower families living in real poverty in Northwest Romania. 

Stellar organic muslin blanket: £49.90

This blanket is enormous, soft, sparkly and organic. 

Made with a quadruple layer of luxuriously soft organic muslin cotton, all profits go to support abandoned children around the world.

Premium Yogi Package: £100

What a treat! This Premium Yogi Package includes both a CorkYogis Premium yoga mat and bag handmade from recycled sari material.

CorkYogis support a charity partner which protects women and girls from sex trafficking.

EB original clippers: £50

This bag is perfect for travelling, beaches, books, weekends and gym visits.

And for every one you buy, Elephant Branded hand delivers a school kit to a child in Africa or Asia. Simple as that.

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Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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