Morning- welcome to What to Eat, although this week, strictly-speaking it’s What to Buy if you want a more ethical Christmas.
I don’t know what ethical might mean to you, but keeping the spirit of Christmas (the season of goodwill to all men etc), I’d prefer it if my Christmas shopping didn’t come with a side order of slave labour, dangerous working conditions or tax avoidance.
Seasonal favourite Amazon, has been the news this year- workers in its Coventry warehouse have striked for 30 days in 2023 in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. Amazon does not encourage unionisation, but has for years, crushed any threat of worker cohesion- explained more fully here in the NY Times.
The global giant doesn’t much like paying taxes either, especially here in the UK. According to research, it has reportedly avoided paying a frankly criminal £2.8 bn in UK corporation tax over the last 10 years. That’s funding for schools, teacher’s pay and the NHS right there.
It’s particularly galling when we, the taxpayer, via the very same NHS, local and central government and ironically HMRC, have spent £684m on procuring Amazon services since 2018. Laughable indeed.
Do we all use Amazon because we need something quickly? That’s for sure when I resort to it. Cake decorations I forgot to order for tomorrow? Tick. Weird ingredients for our recipe bags (that I forgot to order)? Tick. Dirt cheap books from second-hand bookshops? Tick. But it’s got to stop.
I’ve signed up to Ethical Consumer’s Amazon Free Month, now I just have to get my husband with the big Amazon habit on board.
How the other companies on our Christmas List shape up
1. Clothing BEST
See the Independent Top 10 brands here
A personal favourite is WAWWA.. Carhartt with an edge- with a women’s line too. Will be buying for the husband this year. Patagonia are exemplary if you have an outdoorsy type to buy for.
And there’s always a vintage find at Oxfam. Baukjen is probably the most stylish for women’s clothes.
Essentially my daughter’s (and probably everyone else’s 13 yo) Christmas list.
2. Small Electronics BEST
Small Electronics WORST
I love Weleda and Dr. Haushka, as much for their products as for their green credentials.
Here’s a list of ethical beauty brands too
Have a look at these Best Ethical Jewellery brands for 2023
My go-to for local handmade earrings is Qlemontine
And the world’s funniest fashion blogger, Hanwell’s Kate Hiscox (Wears My Money) is great at showcasing vintage gold jewellery.
Denalis is a local designer making creations with reclaimed sliver.
5.. General gifts and decorations
I’m LOVING Social Supermarket- it’s gorgeous! Everything from crackers to candles, socks to spirits.
And, if you’re local, check out the craft Night Markets coming up:
Home of Modern Makers 18th November, Kingsdown Methodist Hall, Northfields W13 and Soane’s Kitchen at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery on the 9th (11-5 & 10th December 11-4).
Fox Market W7 18th November and 9th December at The Fox in Hanwell. 11am -3pm
And for gorgeous jesmonite homewares, have a look at The Custard Tart. My plants have never looked so good!
*****And last but not least, you can buy dinner for a friend!****
Give someone you love the gift of good food
Order our TASTER BAG, tick GIFT and get it delivered with a nice message to someone you love. Or just like.
Perfect for friends, lovers, colleagues and co-workers, teachers, employees and dogsbodies.
All Christmas Gift Deliveries on the 12th December!
I’m away next Saturday so no email.
Have a great week!