Christmas futureWritten by Amelia Boothman 15 November 2019
It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that Christmas has turned into a consumerist festival of conspicuous consumption in all its ugly forms and therefore it came as no surprise, in the current climate, to see organisations urge us to do something different in 2019.
How to have an ethical Christmas
This year our work with The Food People, uncovered that the theme ‘Securing the Future’ would drive 2020-2021 trends. This topic has already emerged as a central shift, following a series of big affirmative actions from Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg to name a few.
The hierarchy of gifting
- Ethical buy
- Buy second hand
- Give your time
- Give memories
With more ethical gift purchases on trend this year, retailers, services providers and manufacturers might be left playing catch up in the run up to Christmas.
How to be more ethical at Christmas
Asking friends, colleagues and clients I’ve rounded up a few festive examples.
‘The gift that keep on giving” with online subscriptions also offering a paperless alternative.
Smellies gift boxes
Who doesn’t get a selection box of smellies for Christmas from those more distant or perhaps elderly family members? Well, this year your Aunt is bang on trend with her old-fashioned soap gift which takes 5 times less energy to make than liquid soap, as well as saving on plastic packaging.
Charity secret Santa
Secret Santa isn’t just for the office, pick a family member out of the hat and buy them a present from your local charity shop. The Charity shop wins a second time if you decide to re-gift your present.
People are more likely to be posting Instagram pictures of wrapped presents rather than the present itself this year, with gift givers using beautiful brown recycled paper with handmade stamps, ribbon and mistletoe to add a festive touch.
Bliss balls, chocolate coated nuts and crystallised ginger, mincemeat, tomato ketchup, mince pies, Yule log and cranberry jelly all go down well as gifts. More personal, thoughtful and who doesn’t like festival food treats!
Upcycle your old Christmas cards by cutting them into gift tags.
Let’s be honest, crackers are usually a bit naff, with their funny bits of plastic you can’t identify, hats made from cheap tissue paper in boring colours and the jokes that are often the same each year. Surely, we can do better and not melt the planet?? John Lewis/Waitrose are making us wait until next year for their sustainable version and Dunelm apparently ran out sustainable ones straight away, so instead take a trip back to 1983 Girl Guides and make your own.
This one’s a little obvious, go Vegan! But what if you love your Turkey? Look for organic or local meat and get creative with leftovers: cold meat, curry, risotto, soup, stock, giblets for stuffing, livers for pate.
The dilemma of a tree got to me a few years ago, do I kill another tree or go plastic, save the trees but not the planet and miss out on the natural beauty Prince Albert encouraged us to use centuries ago? Instead, I bought a driftwood tree from Cornwall. Beautiful and unique and I can use it again and again guilt free…
This year, it seems that lots of people are re-creating ideas passed down from grandparents and great grandparents. Perhaps the Christmas Future may in fact look much like the Christmas Past and I’d raise a toast to that.