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Christmas Gift Ideas 2011: Eco-friendly, Ethical and Crafty Gifts

A diverse range of gifts for the ecologically, environmentally aware and craft minded in your life: from Kirsty Allsopp's aspirational range for M&S to an arts activist pamphlet from Platform.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Christmas gifts by Sinead O’Leary.

Just in time for a last minute eco Christmas round up before the Royal Mail goes totally pear shaped….

Marks & Spencers baking set
Firstly, I am a bit in love with Kirsty Allsopp, either that or I am just really bloody jealous – how did she get to the position where she has managed to forge an entire career out of learning to craft? That’s like my ideal job. And her own entire range at Marks & Spencer? If you fancy yourself a bit of Kirsty why not take a peek at some of the gift packages she’s put together. They’re a bit girly for me, so I’m gunning for this Marks & Spencer baking set, currently on special offer for £15. With all the things you need to make festive treats over Christmas in a pretty red and white heart tin. Get in.

Candy Wrapper Stars
On a purely decorative from how about these? I love these candy wrapper stars from Re-Found – they’re the kind of thing that I would make out of my rubbish in that alternate Kirsty Allsopp world where I have lots of spare time… handily these ones come ready made.

Sparkling Silver T Light Holder Nigel Eco Store
One of the best place to hunt for interesting eco goodies is Nigel’s Eco Store, which is a veritable treasure trove of environmentally aware goodies, including this pretty silvered tea light holder, made from recycled glass.

Tara Starlet Patchwork Pooch
Tara Starlet Patchwork Pooch
Tara Starlet, an ethical fashion designer who is featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, has put together this adorable Patchwork Pooch kit from leftover fabrics, vintage buttons and recycled ribbons: so adorable, and the perfect project to keep crafty types happy over Christmas.

Culture beyond oil
Lastly, I couldn’t go without mentioning Culture Beyond Oil, a publication put together by my friends at Platform and perfect for the environmentalist and art enthusiast in your life: as recommended by me in a recent interview about arts and activism with Sierra Club online. Not If But When: Culture Beyond Oil is a long hard look at the way that oil funding has infiltrated our art institutions, with contributions from a range of top artists including Banksy and Matthew Herbert. This line of investigation could not come at a better time, as proved by an article in the Guardian only today which confirms that four of the UK’s biggest cultural organisations – the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and Tate – have announced they are to renew sponsorship deals with BP worth £10m despite protests from environmental campaigners. Here’s to more positive news on that front in 2012.


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One Response to “Christmas Gift Ideas 2011: Eco-friendly, Ethical and Crafty Gifts”

  1. Head Elf says:

    Great ideas! A great way to go green around the holidays is buy adopting a living Christmas tree, rather than gettting a cut down or fake one. At Adopt A Christmas Tree, we have potted Christmas trees delivered by singing elves. After the holidays the trees are collected and replanted in fire-devastated areas of San Diego. 32 million trees are cut down each Christmas and fake trees are even worse for the environment. Learn more at

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