Ethical gift guide: Shop the presents that give back these holidays

By Frances Leach
Sindiso Khumalo printed look

Photo: Sindiso Khumalo

From helping woman and children in need to keeping plastic out of the ocean, this holiday season, shower your loved ones with unique gifts from across the globe that do good

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Christmas is a season meant for gifting. But when you’re a sustainability conscious buyer, the pressure to give a long-lasting present that doesn’t come with a hefty environmental price-tag can be a little overwhelming.

But worry no more, Vogue Scandinavia has put together an international sustainable gift guide to solve your woes.


AAKS was founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi with the goal of introducing the world to her favourite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. The brand has also recently launched ‘Weaving for Change’, an initiative that aims at creating fair and dignified work for refugee artisans in Burkina Faso with beautiful homeware offerings.

The GORE ASYI and the LISI BUCKET will add a splash of colour to any outfit. Handcrafted in Ghana, A A K S creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts characterised by bright exuberant colours.


Gore Asyi


Lisi Bucket


LRNCE is a Marrakesh based lifestyle brand focusing on interior decoration and accessories. By sourcing its production in Morocco, LRNCE captures the essence of craftsmanship and stays close to the creating process of its carefully handmade products. Designer and founder Laurence Leenaert works with local artisans to design her wares such as the wrought iron candle AFIAA 3 and the NADOR Berber rug. LRNCE releases fixed collections each year, so you have to get in quick as some designs only come around once.


Wrought Iron Candle Holder

LRNCE candle holder


100% New Zealand Sheep Wool Runner


Ocean Bottle supports the livelihoods of people in coastal communities in the Global South, whilst keeping plastic out of our ocean - a win win. For every Ocean Bottle sold the brand commits to the collection of the equivalent of 1000 plastic bottles which is equiavelet to about 11.4kg of plastic.. The collectors trade plastic for access to money, healthcare, tuition, tech, and microfinance.

The bottle was also co-designed with K8 Design in Oslo, adding itself to a long line of pioneering Scandinavian eco-designs. The bottles is available in 6 different colours, but splash out on a vibrant orange if you’re looking to make a bold entrance.

The Ocean Bottle

K8 Design

water bottle

Stine Goya is celebrating Christmas this year with baubles that give back. They’re partnering with Mødrehjælpen for the re-launch of the brand’s exclusive Christmas ornaments, with 100% of the profits being donated to the charity which works to support vulnerable families with children, and pregnant women in Copenhagen.

Stine Goya x Mødrehjælpen

Christmas Baubles

Christmas baubles

Swedish Hasbeens makes classic clog-like shoes from chrome-free leather and wood that comes from forests in Europe. For every tree cut down for a pair, a new one is planted back into the forest. Every pair of shoes is made by an artisan in a small factory to ensure quality craftsmanship, fair labor and fair wages. Plus they look great. Try out their Hippie Low for a comfortable winter boot.

Swedish Hasbeens

Hippie Low

Swedish Hasbeens

Omi Woods is one of several ethical luxury jewellery brands that partners with small-scale artisanal gold mines to support African communities with fair trade wages, health care, and educational opportunities. Materials available for designs include conflict-free solid gold, vermeil (18K gold topping sterling silver), and sterling silver. Omi means 'water' in the Yoruba language. Together with Woods, it pays tribute to founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane's Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage; the word Jamaica derives from the indigenous Taino word 'Xaymaca', meaning 'land of wood and water'.

Omi Woods

Fula Earrings

Gold Earrings

Sindiso Khumalo is a sustainable textile designer based in Cape Town. Central St Martins of London graduate, Khumalo, studied architecture at the University of Cape Town prior to moving to the UK. Khumalo founded her eponymous label with a focus on creating modern sustainable textiles with a strong emphasis on African storytelling. Sustainability, craft and empowerment lie at the heart of the label and she works closely with local NGOs when sourcing the handmade textiles for her collections.

Need a dress for various Christmas parties that you can dress down for lunch and glam up for dancing? Khumalo has you covered with her bold prints and flattering cuts.

Sindiso Khumalo

+ The Vanguard Miss Celie Ruffled Printed Cotton-Poplin Midi Dress


James Shaw is a designer and a maker exploring the material landscape in a hands-on way. His work aims to interrogate the material, systemic and formal approaches to the creation of objects. Frequently his work considers the resources around us challenging the notion of ‘waste’ to create new beautiful materials. Check out the Bookends for an interior design treat.

Fans of Shaw’s work include supermodel and eco-advocate, Edie Campbell.


Australian label Dinosaur Designs is the king of sustainable homeware. Their pieces are handmade using low-energy intensive production methods and waste materials, such as the bi-products of oil, to make their iconic resin products. Check out their marbled pepper grinder or salad servers to bring some modern warmth to your Christmas table.

Dinosaur Designs

Resin Boulder Grinder

salt and pepper shaker

Support the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women with a one-off or monthly donation to their vital work. Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. It’s not a very festive subject, but giving a gift to a woman in need doesn’t always have to be something wrapped up and put under the tree…