Bleats

6 Ethical Christmas Gifts That'll Give You Good Karma

A gift that's festive... yet woke.

At the beginning of the year, many of us make full-fledged commitments to do more for society – like sign up to that charity walk or volunteer for a good cause. Inevitably our goals get buried in the business of life and, often, we find ourselves wishing we’d done more when the year comes to its end. Thankfully, there’s still time left and the silly season is the perfect chance to do something meaningful and give ethical Christmas gifts.

Aussies receive around 20 million unwanted pressies at Christmas time, according to New Galaxy research. So to avoid gifting something your mate just doesn’t want, gift them with something that’ll inspire them.

Here are 6 Aussie brands that not only back a wholesome cause but are trendy, edgy, and, in some cases, downright adorable.

Haus of Dizzy

Founded by Indigenous Australian Jewellery Designer, Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy is the place to shop for that friend who can pull off bold and edgy accessories. Considering the Australian art scene is pretty saturated with non-indigenous creatives, this brand isn’t to be glazed over. These earrings give off some serious protest vibes and we’re all about it.

Who Gives A Crap

Perhaps gifting toilet paper seems a bit left-of-field but I’d be flummoxed if anyone were to judge a present like this. Who Gives A Crap are a very special company – all their products are made without trees and they don’t use any inks or dyes.

But they also support a seriously cool and worthy cause – 50% of the profits from their loo rolls helps to build toilets and improve sanitation in developing countries around the world. This is a gift for that friend who isn’t “extra” and likes organisation and practicality. Also, have you ever seen a toilet paper roll this cute? I THINK NOT.

Made 590 

This Sydney-based clothing brand is trailblazing inclusivity with sizing that extends to a 4X in their Every Body range. By purchasing from Made 950 you’re not only supporting a small Aussie business but you’re supporting a range of Aussie artists. Made 590 partners with local knitting experts, digital experts and screen printers to help them produce their unique clothes and knick-knacks. This is ethical production and ethical present-giving all at once.

The Rescue Collective

Ok, we all have an animal-obsessed friend and I’ve discovered the perfect gift for such a type: a Koala care package. Australia’s critical fire conditions have meant that, as of the 9th of November, an estimated 350 koalas perished in NSW’s fires, according to The Rescue Collective.

During bushfire season, this non-for-profit will be needing resources to care for all of the dehydrated and suffering koalas. Volunteers are accepting donations but have also included a postal address on their social media sites, encouraging people to post essential products such as Sorbolene cream, paw paw ointment and baby wipes. Why not make a koala care package and send it off in the name of Koalas AND Christmas?

The Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation provides services for Australians living with an eating disorder and does a lot of advocating for improved services from both government and independent bodies. Considering eating disorders have affected around 16% of our Australia’s population, according to the national eating disorders collaboration, its a cause well-worth getting behind.

You can check out their merchandise which features cute tote bags, water bottles and other knick-knacks that raise awareness for eating conditions. Just make sure you’re sensitive and thoughtful when giving ethical Christmas gifts like this.

Shuturp

Shuturp is for the meme-obsessed friend. Queensland based designer, Ellie Hopley produces unique, hilarious and uplifting clothes, all of which are unisex. What’s the good cause here? Supporting an Aussie designer who says “eff off” to gender norms and is all about spreading good vibes through her work. If you have a friend who’s had a particularly rough year Shurtup is your one-stop-shop for all of the pick-me-up pressies.

So there ya have it, six Aussie brands that’ll rescue you from your gift-buying dread. Just be warned, these ethical Christmas gifts are so loveable there’s a high risk you’ll end up adding two to cart.

6 Fun Summer Activities That Aren’t Going To The Beach

Add a bit of flavour to your warm weekends.

At the end of the day, humans are creatures of habit and that’s why when the heat rolls in we stick to our favourite summer activities – going to the beach.

I’ll be the first to admit it. Since the weather’s warmed up I’ve become a raging “beach gal.” I simply can’t do anything with my weekend but lie on the sand until I’m too hot, then swim, then lie on the sand some more. I’m one step away from buying a puka shell anklet, donning a few dreadlocks and smelling like a coconut for the rest of my life.

So if you too go a little “beach-mad” at the beginning of summer here are some other activities that will add a bit of flavour to your warm weekends:

Art and Crafternoon

This activity is 100% worth it for the sole reason that you’ll be able to make an FB event under the name of ‘Crafternoon.’ An arty evening is best held outdoors so suss out the friend with the best garden.

The next stop: the two dollar shop. You don’t need to spend big bucks on art supplies, watercolour paints and a simple art book can be turned into a night of live painting (you’ll need a model) or even drunk painting for the alcohol-inclined. If your friends are plant-enthusiasts head to Bunnings to pick up a few cheap pots to paint.

A Christmas-Themed Potluck

The basis of this one is simple: each mate cooks a different dish, then you all go to someone’s house to spend the day eating, resulting in feeling more stuffed than a Christmas turkey. Try to find a friend with a pool so that, after all the food, you can float around in total bliss. There’s a big emphasis on family time around Christmas but why not use a hot summers day to celebrate friendship – while wearing Santa hats of course.

Dog Watching

Because people watching was so last year. Step one: locate the dog park or dog-permitting beach near you. Step two: consider dog park prime time. Dog owners usually head out in droves early morning or late evening on Saturdays and Sundays. Step three: regardless of whether you own a dog or not, head to the area with a friend, snacks at the ready, to suss out all the good boys. This activity is boosted if you make it a thing to speculate about each doggos history and give them a name. Just remember to practice your best dog patting etiquette.

Flunky Ball

In Germany, Flunky Ball is a popular drinking game best played outdoors, in warm weather and it certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. One or two rounds will do you – attempting any more is asking for trouble. The rules are simple: find a big backyard, form two teams and line them up on either side of the ‘field.’ All opponents crouch down on one knee with a beer is placed in front of them. The aim of the game is to knock over a water bottle in the middle of the field by pelting it with… you guessed it… another water bottle. If your teammate successfully knocks over the bottle you all drink until the other team places it upright again. The first team to all finish their drink wins.

Hula hooping, Frisbee Or Double Dutch

There’s something about being an adult that makes you averse to summer activities. We go to the beach to lie there or the park to sit. We lead such busy lives that getting active in our “down-time” is a pretty unattractive idea. So why not make free-time fun by reliving the childhood mems and picking up a hula-hoop or a set of skipping ropes? Even if you make this a once-off shebang, it’ll be a day more memorable than the 100 other times you’ve spent your summer days simply laying in the sun.

An Overnight Hike

This is for the outdoorsy ones amongst us. A lot of people like hiking but not a lot of people can say they’ve done the hardcore version – an overnight trip. Pick up a cheap, two-man tent, enlist a friend and check-out nearby national parks for a long track but one that suits your ability. The challenge will be worth it when you get a glimpse of the thousands of stars you’ll be able to see at night and waking up to the sounds of nature.

Don’t let summer roll past you and honestly, stuff the notion of “hot girl summer.” When winter creeps up, you won’t be reminiscing about your perfect beach bod or the countless days spent lying on the sand, you’ll be remembering the memories you made and the fun summer activities you did.

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