Christmas is almost upon us. Every year, people around the world spend billions of dollars on gifts, many of which are not made ethically. This year, instead of frantically purchasing a myriad of presents, how about carefully selecting a few instead? You can limit waste AND ensure that your dollars are making a positive impact at the same time.

My top pick of ethically-produced Christmas gifts for 2016 are:

An elephant from Hope Handicrafts

A perfect gift for teaching children about caring for others, these elephants are made in Cambodia by the graduated sewing students from Human and Hope Association. There is a family of 10, and each elephant has their own name and a purpose they serve. For example, Amao Jr, a small blue elephant, provides clean drinking water for a whole month to the students at Human and Hope Association when adopted!

The small elephants are $12AUD and large elephants are $17USD. All proceeds head straight back to Human and Hope Association. You can purchase them online here: www.hopehandicrafts.com.

A artisan gift box subscription from GlobeIn

Purchase a gift subscription for your loved one that is made ethically. The Artisan Box features exclusive and handcrafted products from global artisans, giving them access to a customer base they otherwise wouldn’t have had. Each box is curated around a monthly theme and connects the recipient with cultures around the world.

A three-month subscription costs $114USD plus postage. You can check them out online here: https://globein.com.

A beach coverup from Alexandria Main

These beach coverups are perfect for the woman who lives at the beach. They are made by Fair Sew in Cambodia, a socially conscious business that provides an airy and safe working space where the seamstresses are paid more than a garment factory minimum wage. Fair Sew also offers benefits and training programs which give employees greater stability, and better work life balance than a garment factory could offer.

A beach coverup costs $159AUD plus postage, and can be purchased online here: http://www.alexandriamain.com.

A vegan beauty box for men from Velvety

For the environmentally conscious man, this box contains four vegan products. In it, you will find a toothbrush made from Mao bamboo with charcoal bristles, a face serum for sensitive skin, an activated charcoal face mask and a coconut lime soy candle.

You can purchase this box for $65AUD plus postage. This, along with a range of other gift boxes, can be found online here: https://www.velvety.com.au.

Enjoy your ethical shopping, and have a very Merry Christmas!