It’s soon that time of the year again. Christmas. A day that generally involves being surrounded by loved ones and sharing great food (woe betide the person who brings ANOTHER green salad – all hail the dessert makers, oh and cousin Viv, I’m putting in an order for 38 dumplings just for me). It’s a time of year you can have an afternoon nap without judgement and uncles share their unwanted opinions such as “girls can’t play cricket”. Another thing that people tend to share are gifts. Some people choose to forgo gift giving and that’s fantastic, the world doesn’t really need more material possessions. But giving others presents can also be a really beautiful way of saying “Hey, I think about you, I bought this because I care about you.” So why not care about the people that helped make it?
One thing that some of our friends do, is to buy gift cards via Kiva.org and the person you give that gift card to can then decide who they want to fund around the world with micro-financing. Or you can visit our wonderful friends at Oxfam whose gifts include goats and chickens for people in rural areas in developing countries. Huzzah!
The thing is…people still appreciate having something that they can keep for themselves, something they can look at and say “Yeah my Auntie got me this beautiful hat and I think of her when I wear it.” It’s a token of love, it’s something to hold and say “Someone cares about me.” That’s not something to take lightly.
Australians are expected to spend over 48 billion dollars for Christmas. That’s a whole lot of cash. We could do a whole lot of good with that money flow. So this Christmas, why not spend money where it is going to make the most difference and do the most good? On a day where a lot of people will be surrounded by over-indulgence, it can leave you feeling with a bit of a hangover. A guilty one. Whilst we surround ourselves with presents and piles of food, others are working desperately to meet demands for toy companies and fast-fashion outlets, on a pittance of pay and with no holidays to speak of. Happy holidays? More like Sad Slavor-days (I tried mixing slavery and labor together, just go with it). If you’re lucky enough to celebrate Christmas, why not make it a celebration for the people who helped you get there? That way each gift you give is not only a beautiful way of telling someone you love them, it has a beautiful story behind it as well. Nawww the true spirit of Christmas (you can throw up in your stocking if this is getting too feel-good, you’re probably going to do the same on Boxing day anyway).
Want to give someone some dope sportswear? Try Girlfriend Collective. Got a kid starting school? Get a Beekeeper backpack. Giving your partner a piece of jewellery to wear with pride? Try Emi & Eve or Faire Collection. Want to share your love of summer with your bestie? Try Dorsu. Have an outdoor fanatic in the family? Try Patagonia. Want your mum to feel stylish in comfort and have the kids clothes to match? Try ReCreate. Want to get the man in your life a nice wallet and shoes to match? Try Efaisto. Get that coffee fiend fair trade beans and a Keep Cup. The opportunities to spend money in the right places are so massive! Go out there and find some, it’s called the internet people, USE IT!!
Trust us, no one wants to be that guy, who gives little Charlie the vegan a new lipstick that’s been tested on mice. That’s the day ruined before homophobic Aunt Cheryl is even on her second bottle of Chardonnay.
You can check out the places we visited here, or go to other sites like ecomono.com.au and shop there. At the very least download the Good on You App so when you shop you can do a bit of research before you buy. A perfect place to head this weekend is the Fair@Square Ethical Lifestyle Festival by Moral Fairground, go and get yourself some gift ideas and maybe even pick up a present or two for the ones you love. Federation square, Saturday Dec 2nd from 11am onwards. You can come and say a big fat HELLO to Walk Sew Good + New Mode Collective.
Good luck, sew some good.