Ethical 366: Have Yourself A Very Ethical Christmas

So now we’ve passed the point of no return in the commercialised run-up to Christmas I feel I can safety roll out this new series of blog posts.

I’m not Christian, I will be honest, but the spirit of Yuletide festivities holds memories and warm and fuzzy feelings which enrich my life still.


So, I maintain the traditions and pass them on to my little girl, but, as I say I am also painfully aware that Christmas is big business. Where commercial level production kicks in, the cheap and readily available wares in shops mean someone is likely being exploited in the process.

Lurking in my memory was a 2014 Guardian piece on China’s “Christmas village”. This piece highlighted how 60 per cent of the world’s decorations were made in Yiwu – with migrant workers working 12 hour days to earn a pittance of just £200-£300 a month. The iconic pictures of workers mass spraying christmas trinkets with joyless looks in their eyes were as far as the mythical elves working in Santa’s workshop as possible.

The two biggest lessons I’ve learned from my #Ethical366 challenge have been:

1) Ethical shopping, whilst not always immediately available, is easily done with consideration

2) Your choices can change the lives of others

I don’t see how, at the time of goodwill to all men and women, how I can possibly continue to prop up such a system of exploitation and rampant commercialism. I’ve cut fast fashion out with value for money solutions – so why not cut out a conscienceless Christmas.

So I’m looking for all the hot tips on how to make my Christmas – from food to presents, from decorations to activities – an ethical one. I’m looking for exciting and interesting makes, top local producers and ethical companies so I might make choices which feel more in keeping with the Christmas spirit.

🎄 Any top tips for Christmas with a conscience? Tweet me up at @RubiesB4Swine

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4 comments

  1. Susan Cattermole · October 27

    As a child I used to collect teasels, pine cones and ivy leaves all of which could be sprayed gold or silver. Then there is the old Blue Peter decoration made with 2 metal coat hangers and tinsel. I still make gift tags from old Christmas cards. A roll of brown paper and some glitter pens to make your own wrapping paper with patterns drawn free hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. busygreenmum · November 6

    Last year I made a wreath for the door with metal coat hangers ( found for free on streetlife) and scraps of fabric cut from of T shirts, and some ribbon. I made our Christmas crackers from loo roll tubes covered in foil from chocolate bars and filled with jokes recycled from crackers at my work party and gifts from charity shop. We reused a wooden advent calendar placing sweets in a few drawers and clues or promises to do something together in others. Some gifts were homemade such as sloe gin or jam.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. busygreenmum · November 6

    The crackers didn’t look great but family still loved them!

    Liked by 1 person

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