The annual gifting dilemma
Christmas: the annual gifting dilemma. What you want is something that fits your budget, is sure to please and has an awesome story behind it. I have three solutions at three price points and what links them is something special: Positive Luxury’s butterfly mark.
Positive Luxury’s stringent process evaluates brands across five areas:
- Social framework
- Environmental framework
To put it simply, to be on their books you need to care about people and the planet, not just your profits.
Positive Luxury represents 160 brands, ranging from the very small to the well known, and there really is something for everyone.
I’ve chosen three of my favourites to help you out this December. To kick things off, I’ll start with the usual Christmas suspect: skincare.
Seascape Island Apothecary
Seascape Island Apothecary peppermint lip balm, £10
Seascape Island Apothecary are based in Hampshire and all their products are produced with ingredients from local producers on the island of Jersey.
What I love about this brand is the information they give you on all the ingredients. Their peppermint lip balm (pictured above) contains beeswax, peppermint oil, honey and jojoba seed oil.
Francois De Luyer’s apiary provides the beeswax for Seascape Island products
Peppermint oil has a “natural cooling effect” and also relieves skin irritations and inflammations. Beeswax has “antioxidant properties” and remains “biologically active when added to balms”, softening the skin and locking in moisture. Honey is a “natural healing agent with antiseptic and antibacterial properties”, to name just a few of its powers. And jojoba seed oil helps your skin heal.
That’s what I’d call a MEGA balm and I definitely haven’t come across something with so much authenticity for a tenner in a while.
Penrose Products alpaca wool pillow, £49
Having been to Peru in October and fallen in love with the alpaca, finding a brand that uses this fibre in the UK is exciting. Based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, the team of only seven at Penrose manage everything, from paddock to product (all alpaca fibre is from the UK).
All their bedding items are handmade and one of the company’s many visions is to raise awareness of textile manufacturing skills to the UK while developing a sustainable business centred around quality.
Some interesting alpaca facts for you:
- The fibre is unrivalled in its ability to regulate body temperature for a perfect night’s sleep.
- Alpacas are comparatively carbon neutral animals – ten alpacas to one cow in terms of carbon footprint.
- Due to its hollow nature, the fibre has excellent wicking properties, drawing moisture away from the body.
And one final note: all stitching on Penrose duvets goes right to the edge, so no floppy corners on your covers this Christmas.
Robe de Voyage
Okay, we’ve officially moved into pricier territory – but this robe is worth it. Robe de Voyage is new to the block, having only launched this year.
The fabric printing process in Delhi
The fabric used for this garment is woven in Bihar, East India. The founder, RCA graduate Jessica Linklater, says “India is a great place to find things”, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Khadi (handwoven cloth) suppliers proved hard to come by initially, but eventually a small community of traditional weavers was located, supported by NGOs who make sure they are paid fairly for their work.
The printing of the fabric in Delhi didn’t come without compromise. Jessica had to pay double in order to print small quantities while mixing the colours for printing in situ herself.
She says of the development process, “It’s slow and variable because we are relying on eyes, hands and the weather. It’s quite temperamental so to be on the safe side, one has to allow six months”.
But boy are they worth the wait.
Robe de Voyage Long Zanzibar, £275
The timeless colours, perfect length and the unisex appeal of the Long Zanzibar (pictured above) make it my favourite.
What else is there to say, except “Dear Father Christmas…”?
Robe de Voyage packaging
So if you’re shopping last minute this Christmas, take a step back and ask yourself, how much do you know about what you’re buying? If it’s not enough, ask more questions and if in doubt rely on Positive Luxury’s butterfly mark.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.