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Ethical Shopping

Cheap Christmas gifts: Affordable and ethical presents for budgets from £10 to £100

When it comes to Christmas present shopping, buying both ethically and affordably doesn’t have to be tough.

When it comes to Christmas present shopping, buying both ethically and affordably can be a tricky business. While most of us want to buy gifts for our loved ones, doing so without breaking the bank can be difficult and cheap Christmas gifts that don’t exploit workers or damage the environment is even harder.

Luckily, there is a way you can buy cheap Christmas gifts guilt-free. The Big Issue Shop offers an online marketplace for ethical, sustainable products which put people and planet first. 

All products on the site come from social enterprises, ethical traders or sustainable producers, meaning you can indulge your loved ones while helping others. 

Better yet, there are products for every price range, from under £10 to £100. We’ve put together a gift guide with a selection of the best products on offer – from stylish clothing to home decor. 

Cheap Christmas gifts: £10 and under 

Nemi green tea 125g, Loose leaf: £5.50 

This one’s for all the tea lovers in your life: delicate, loose-leaf green tea from a London-based company which employs refugees to give them a hand-up in the UK.

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Dog bandanas, £4.99

This will be a winner for anyone with a dog: stylish dog bandanas from Koko Collective. Koko collective make all their pet and people accessories with the charity Calcutta Rescue in India. The charity employs around 15 people who would otherwise find it difficult to seek employment.

Pack of 6 A6 Christmas cards with envelopes: £4.50 

This year you can make a difference with your Christmas cards – all profits from this pack of cards goes directly back to The Big Issue to give people living on the margins a hand up, not a handout.

The beautiful santa design – made up of images of our vendors – is printed on recycled paper. 

Big Issue anniversary tea towel, £7.99

The Big Issue recently celebrated its 30th anniversary – and this commemorative tea towel is the perfect way to celebrate.

All profits from sales will be channeled back into the Big Issue to support those facing poverty.

Selections of books from the Do Book Company: £8.99 each

The Do Book Company is an independent publishing house based in Shoreditch, London, which produces inspirational guides to inspire others to do good things.

Buy this book as a gift and you may well inspire someone to do something good – with royalties channeled back into the Do Lectures to keep the cycle going.

Big Issue Christmas baubles – £8.00

Do away with the plastic baubles and disposable decorations and get sustainable with these Big Issue baubles. Each one is custom made from bamboo, so you know you’ll be doing your bit to protect the planet.

You can also choose from a range of different designs: a reindeer, penguin, Christmas tree, polar bear or robin.

Little kisses knot hat, £7.90

This adorable unisex baby hat is perfect for anyone with young kids in your life, and every purchase will help an child in need. 

From Babies With love will channel every penny of profit from its ethically-sourced designs into helping abandoned children around the world. 

Every penny of profit from our unique, ethically sourced designs goes to support abandoned children around the world.

Geo layered paper earring, coral: £5

Handmade from 100 per cent waste magazine paper, these earrings are stylish and ethical.

They’re produced by Quazi Design, a company started in 2009 in order to create much needed employment in Swaziland, Southern Africa.

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The gift that keeps on giving

The Big Gift

As a non-profit, every penny we make goes back into the organisation. With a gift subscription to The Big Issue, not only will your friend receive an award-winning magazine each week, but you’re also contributing to The Big Issue’s fight to dismantle poverty – from employing our frontline staff, who provide vendors with vital support, to enabling us to campaign for policy change on a national level… each subscription really does make a difference.

Cheap Christmas gifts: £20 and under 

Will.I.Am Mug: £12.99

One for fans of the Black Eyed Peas or Will.I.Am: an exclusive mug designed by the Big Issue art director. A purchase of this mug will contribute to the Big Issue’s mission to tackle poverty.

Beneath the surface, street art print: £20

Every week in The Big Issue, the Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

Here, you can buy a print from Mary, who has been working as an artist in London for over 10 years.

Lady Muck hand cream: £13.99

A must-have for the colder seasons, this hand cream is scented with pomegranate and is a nurturing treat for hardworking hands.

The product supports ARTHOUSE Unlimited, a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities all of whom require varying levels of support.

Homeless tartan bowtie: £20

Perfect for special occasions, this tartan bow tie won’t only look good with a suit but purchasing it will do good too.

The “homeless” tartan product is produced by Slanj, which offers part of its profits to organisations tackling homelessness in the UK.

Compostable coffee capsules, taster selection: £17

Sendero sources sustainable specialty grade Arabica coffees from remote smallholder farmers, meaning this excellent coffee can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Even better, the capsules are biodegradable and compostable, avoiding the usual waste associated with coffee capsules.

Lamya earrings: £20 

These beautiful beaded earrings are sustainably and ethically handmade in India. Each is slightly unique due to this method of production, making them extra-special.

Daughters of the Ganges (DOTG) who produce the earrings employ women artisans in India to help them gain financial independence.

Elephant branded original wallet: £20 

For every one of these wallets you buy, company Elephant Branded will hand-deliver a school stationery to a child in Africa or Asia.

The wallet is crafted from recycled cement bags by villagers in Cambodia.

Organic elephant soft toy: £12.99

Why not avoid plastic presents for kids and go for this adorable elephant toy, which is ethically sourced and made from sustainably sourced cotton.

The product comes from Best Years, a fair trade cooperative which creates fairly paid and flexible jobs in rural Bangladesh.

Pebble unicorn rattle: £14.99

Another toy for the babies in your life, this rattle is handmade and ethically sourced.

This also comes from Best years, which  creates fairly paid and flexible jobs in rural Bangladesh.

Fight like a girl t-shirt: £20 

Buy Social with this Big Issue T-Shirt with a feminist message. All profits generated will go back into the Big Issue’s mission to help the most vulnerable in society.

Cheap Christmas gifts: £30 and under 

Sari yoga mat bag: £25 

These unique sari yoga mat bags are made by the woman and girls supported by Corkiyogis partner Destiny Reflection in Kolkata, India.

Destiny gives the women the skills to turn unwanted saris into beautiful yoga mat bags, thereby giving them the means to earn a living.

Power to the people hoodie: £27.20

Another design from the Big Issue’s clothing range, this power to the people hoodie is perfect for any changemakers in your life. 

All profits will be returned to the Big Issue to continue our social mission.

Stainless steel water bottle: £28

A water bottle that does good from social enterprise Leiho.

During the Summer, those experiencing homelessness are at high risk of dehydration and heat related illnesses. That’s why, for every Leiho bottle sells, it gives boxed and refillable cartons of water to someone in need.

Porcelain star decorations: £22

This set of four handmade porcelain stars are threaded with a Christmassy red ribbon and would make the perfect adornment for a Christmas tree.

It comes from Studio 306, a collective which was set up to aid recovery from mental health issues.

ADD dog lead: £20 

The Red Ombre Lead from the ‘A Dogs Dream’ collection comes in  warm autumnal tones, great for a dog who likes getting cosy by the fire.

It’s made by Koko Collective design, a charity which employs around 15 people in India who would otherwise find it difficult to seek employment.

A hug in a box: £28 

If there’s someone you can’t give a real hug to this year, try this “hug in a box”: A box full of tasty treats including biscuits and hot chocolate.

Each product comes with a “social story”, each of which is outlined along with each gift.

£40 and over

Helene sports leggings, glitch print: £79

Swerve fast fashion with these leggings, which are great to use for gym, running or hot yoga. They’re also suitable for a hike, waters sports, swimming or as surf leggings.

They come from Ruby Moon, a company with both a positive environmental and social impact.

Vanna multi sports crop top: £69

Also from Ruby Moon, this crop top comes fully lined without padding, and is perfect for low impact sports and use in the pool or at the beach.

Moyo tote shopper bag: £45

The Moyo tote shopper bag is perfect for carrying books or groceries with internal and external pockets to hold all key items and add a little colour to the everyday

Moyo uses Tanzanian artists to design its products, working with locals who are excited to use their craft skills in order to earn an income.

Rash guard cover up: £75

This beautiful top from Ruby Moon is great as a cover up when the sun goes down or as a swim shirt to protect your skin from the sun.

The cover up is named “Solange” after one of the women entrepreneurs Ruby Moon invested in from Benin in West Africa. It is sustainably made and sourced.

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Support The Big Issue and our vendors this Christmas

Every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a hand out.' You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their #BigWish

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