It may come to you as a bit of a shock to most, but I have actually curated a series of Christmas Gifts for this holiday season. I have been uncharacteristically ‘in the spirit’ this year, and have set out on a personal mission to shop more local and handmade. After all, by now we have exhausted every other gift avenue, from Lynx body sets to hoovers, so handmade is perfect to break up this monotony and add a little festive touch. This has all been aided smoothly along by Twitter and Insta; having dipped my toe in creating my own crafts and gaining the courage to share them online, I have been really enjoying seeing everyone’s unique and locally produced presents on threads, particularly the personalised and unique.
There should be something to suit every loved one this Christmas, no matter their wants or tastes! I took the liberty of finding some of my personal favourite brands and products that really stood out to me.
The first brand I would love to feature is Nancy Dee. Based in London, their logo really caught my eye, and their clean and professional website perfectly matched. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the styles were not only very wearable silhouettes, but also offered unique patterns at affordable prices. Their personal Styling segment is especially useful and beautiful to look at.
If there’s one complaint that isn’t nearly so common enough it is the lack of stylish options in larger sizes. This Christmas I have been struggling to find good quality clothing at a decent price to gift to the men in my life but I think Big Fox Apparel really meets that consumer need. Not only did I appreciate their geometric logo and honest break down of homegrown manufacturing costs on their blog, but also the founder’s ‘About’ section. “At Big Fox we know that some men love beer, kebabs, cake and pies and struggle to find designer labels that cater for the larger, sexier size of man.” You can’t get more British than that! Find their range of big and tall clothing here
What sort of a lifestyle blogger would I be if I didn’t tout this fantastic British brand? Founded by spouses in 2008 in rural Hampshire, the founders are experienced beekeepers, with associations with the British Beekeeper’s Association and supporters of bee keeping apprentices under the Bee Farmers Association accredited scheme. Not only do they save British Bees, along with the art of beekeeping itself, but their gift set pricing rivals that of Highstreet shops (which let’s face it, sadly pay less UK tax than their minimum wage employees do). BeeGood’s packaging is also gorgeously rustic, so I know these would be the perfect gift for my mother, and the lip balm trio may just make its way into my own Christmas stocking. They also use ingredients to support British farms, don’t test on animals, or use any royal jelly or bee venom which harms or kills bees and their larvae. These products aren’t ones to miss!
This rebellious Brighton brand prides itself on having close working relationships with its British manufacturers, and although they have no physical store as of yet, their website is a joy to navigate, featuring models reminiscent of teddy boys, twiggy and new wave alternatives. The slogan ‘Dress like a prince, accessorise like a punk’ really says it best. They ooze cool effortlessly, but I especially wanted to celebrate their guest artist section, where fresh new designs and talent can be showcased on their locally made silk scarves, pocket squares and tote bags. They make the perfect gift for any fashionista in your phonebook.
Home & Garden
I will happily discuss the importance of throw pillows and quilts until I’m blue in the face, so I was pleased as punch to find these Herringbone Wool Throws featured on the Made in Great Britain website. Winter is of course a cosy time of year, and to wrap up warm with a high quality, gifted blanket is a moment I always cherish, hot chocolate in one hand and happy memories of the gifter clear as crystal! Ambunti Warehouse is one such seller of some truly beautiful, high quality throws perfect for all year round. According to their website they support weavers throughout the British Isles, but they also support sustainable growth projects in Papua New Guinea, nearby the ancient village of ‘Ambunti’ in which they visited traveling along the Sepik River, hence the company’s name sake. Oh how I love a good origin story!
Food & Drink
Upon first glance Harry Specters produces some of the most luxurious and delicious look chocolates to ever grace my laptop screen, but that’s not all. Inspired by creating positive change for those with employment prospects negatively impacted by autism, this couple set to combining love for their autistic son and the art of chocolate making to found the business. Their wonderful website tells me not only that they have some fantastic subscription boxes available (who wouldn’t want to receive regular chocolate as a gift this Christmas!?) but they also provide regular social impact reports with some fantastic infographics; something which the marketing and business geek in me is absolutely delighted to see.
I think the importance of a practical gift is one often not spoken about. The joke that you receive a household appliance is one reminiscent of the 1950’s and implicated as being impersonal, however I for one love a good practical gift. I have actually asked for a sat nav this year! So while I am not in any need of a washing machine just yet (touch wood!) I know where I would go for one. Ebac have returned to their 1970’s roots of washing machine manufacturing, and are currently the sole manufacturer of washing machines in Britain. I must say I am impressed and not at all surprised that they are proud of this fact, but if such a large appliance is neither in your remit nor need this Christmas, I turn your attention to their Dehumidifiers. When renting during my student years a dehumidifier rescued us from many a times overheated and mould caked flat; Ebac boasts number one spot for bestselling dehumidifiers in the UK. I know I would appreciate such a sleekly designed yet useful gift.
Finally, this beautiful gift couldn’t be neglected. Move over Polar Express, these ‘suit case trains’ are stunning craftmanship and I for one would love to receive one of these as well as gift one to all manner of people, but especially my other half. He loves model trains, and like most people his collection started in early childhood. I am a firm believer in such gifts transcending age and gender; maybe one day we will have the Beetlejuice style miniature village of our dreams one day when space permits!
In the mean time, we may just invest in one of these bespoke trunks. The company creates vintage train-trunks from the midlands, and are most active on their social medias linked from their website below. Just look at them go!
Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by the wide variety and genuine originality of the products the UK have to offer. I hope this years holiday gift guide has given some food for thought about buying sustainably and locally this Christmas.
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