Show your loved one just how much you care with a Valentine’s Day gift that helps the environment and impoverished communities. By Karen Pasquali Jones
Remember when your usual Valentine’s Gift was a giant padded card, a bunch of tired flowers bought at the gas station and a box of chocolates from the Milk Tray Man? Luckily we are all a bit more sophisticated now and would prefer something a little longer-lasting and philanthropic than roses and chocolates – unless they’re fair trade, of course.
Here’s The Ethicalist’s wish list of gorgeously ethical goodies to celebrate all things love — and don’t forget if he doesn’t buy them for you then treat yourself and hand him the bill (that’s a great bit of recycling after all!)
Fair trade Earrings
Who wants to wear their heart on their sleeve when they can show them off as gorgeous earrings instead? This silver and river pearl pair are handmade by artisans at a fair trade co-operative in Peru.
The heart has been hand-hammered by skilled jewellery makers from Peruvian communities who have suspended it below a natural river pearl. Environmentally-friendly as well as beautiful, the £35 earrings are available through Traidcraft, the original pioneers of fair trade.
His & Hers Lovin Massage Gift Set
What could be more relaxing than a massage from your loved one using an organic, cruelty-free and vegan oil? Turn off your phone, put on your favourite Barry White records and unwrap this £20 Naissance massage set for the perfect Valentine’s.
Containing two essential oils — a blend of Patchouli and Ylang Ylang for her in the Knotty but Nice massage oil and rosemary in the Lean, Mean Knot-Free Machine Massage Oil for him — and a wooden massager for those tense shoulders, you’ll soon be putty in each other’s hands…
Sarah’s Bag: Red Confetti Love Clutch
It’s called Sarah’s bag but I’m hoping it will be Karen’s bag this Valentine’s after a serious case of love at first sight. Yes, it’s ridiculously expensive at $1050, but this clutch from luxury ethical fashion site Maison De Mode is beyond cool and makes a style statement that will never date. Made out of Perspex, this chic mini clutch has been hollowed out into the shape of a pill capsule. The only headache it will give you though is which dress to wear it with to brunch.
Glowing Skin Day Cream
Love the feeling of clean skin? Then you’ll adore this Atlantis Skincare natural day cream made from a blend of natural seed oils, including macadamia and red raspberry seed, and exotic butters with antioxidant protect to regenerate cells to give you a healthy glow. The entire brand is hand made and free from any irritants, as well as vegan, so it’s cruelty-free. Every product is made to order using where possible organically-certified formulations and the brand practices sustainable sourcing direct from mindful farms in Latvia and Tuscany. It’s a steal at £64.99 as a little will go a long way.
The Leaf Purse
Created using sustainably sourced leaves from the Sal tree growing in India, this Thamon vegan purse proves that you don’t need to use leather to look good. The ethical fashion designers don’t use any toxins to treat and colour the leaves to create a uniquely patterned material which is water-resistant. Thamon give 15 per cent of their revenue to the Indian harvesters who grow the leaves.
You can buy the £48 purse, and other ethical fashion accessories created with the leaves on Thamon’s website, or at Camden Market during a flying visit to London.
Grab a pair of these ethical Pala sunglasses and you’ll be helping give the gift of sight by supporting life-changing vision projects in Africa. The Farai 60s-style sunnies will look good all year round too. They come in a multitude of shades but we love them in berry crystal for a burst of colour on V-Day. The £70 acetate sunglasses come in a case woven by artisans from 100 per cent recycled plastic waste.
Kiss Me Kiss Me Vegan Lipstick
We’re going back to the ’80s with this £15.99 Neek fuchsia lipstick which is 100 per cent natural and stays put for hours. Made with a shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil base, this is the perfect shade of blue and pink tones to wear every day. Use one coat for the office and layer up for a colour punch for evenings – no wonder this has been seen on models strutting the runway recently. The all natural ingredients and recycled packaging make this Australian company’s products standout from the crowd.
Antipodes Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream
This cult organic brand has a collection of 16 products that are also vegan including this non-oily day cream. It’s made from Manuka honey, sweet almond and avocado oil – which boosts collagen – while macadamia and jojoba moisturise and leave skin feeling fresh and positively glowing. Hint that you’d like it for Valentine’s and then show how much you care by sharing it with him so you both have beautiful skin. Available at feelunique.com for £28.99
Stella McCartney keychain
Hold onto your love 24/7 with this All Is Love keychain by artist Urs Fischer. Made in Italy, using non-leather, cruelty-free materials, you’ll never misplace your car and house keys again. Perfect for him too, this is a subtle way of showing just how much you care in style. Yes it’s a tad expensive at £225 but, like him, it’s a keeper.
Sicilian Rose Body Oil
A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet as this body oil bursting with safflower, lemon, verbena, macadamia and rose organic oils. It’s a beautiful way to pamper yourself after a shower, and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins A and E and omega 3, 6 and 9. It’s enough to get you spouting Shakespeare at your very own Rome. Available at Bodhi and Birch, £42.
Rose Liquid Soap
Roses are beautiful but they wither and die after a week. This best-selling Dr Bronner’s pure castile soap will last much longer than that and you’ll love it because it’s a multi-tasker. You can use it on your hair, face, body, pets and even for doing the dishes, mopping the floor and the laundry. In all, it has 18 uses, is made using a blend of organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils as well as other natural ingredients and comes in a 100 per cent recycled bottle. And at just £6.99 what’s not to love?
BRYT Skincare set for men
PETA approved vegan brand Bryt have the ultimate gift box for the man in your life – and it’s so good you’ll want to use them too. This £45 Valentine’s Day gift box includes cruelty-free goodies including BRYT Hair & Body Wash for Him, BRYT Foaming Cleanser for Him, and BRYT Shave and BRYT Moisturiser.