It’s easier than ever to show a little love to your nearest and dearest, as well as the world around you, this Valentine’s Day, with gifts that don’t cost the Earth and dates that do good.
We’ve pulled together top tips to make it a celebration that’s genuinely full of heart – get inspired to be kind to your partner, other people and the planet.
Rethink real flowers
They might be a classic Valentine’s gift and symbol of romance, but bouquets of cut flowers can come with a hefty environmental price tag. Many have been grown using toxic polluting pesticides and are often imported to the UK from abroad, adding more harm to the environment.
Fear not though, as Page & Bloom presents a sustainable alternative. They’re reinventing floristry with intricate paper flowers, handmade by survivors of domestic abuse as part of the company’s fair employment commitment. From single roses to a whole bouquet crafted from recycled maps and books, these are every bit as impressive as the real deal and have the bonus of lasting long beyond Valentine’s Day.
If your heart (or your partner’s heart) is set on fresh flowers, seek out bunches that are Fair Trade certified or locally grown using organic methods.
Wine and dine them ethically
Research social enterprise restaurants in your local area to book a Valentine’s dinner that’s fairer or greener than your usual date night spot. Like the brilliant brands we stock, these restaurants give something back to their community and have a positive impact, whether through employment opportunities or where their profits go.
When it comes to everyone’s favourite Valentine’s sweet treat, Harry Specters whip up award-winning luxury chocolates with an inspiring story of social change behind every box. They create employment opportunities for young people with autism, who contribute in all areas of the business – from making and packaging, to design and photography. Swap your go-to chocolate gift box for their Champagne Truffles or A Little Bit of Everything selection.
For a whole array of sweet and savoury treats made by brands that are changing the world, order one of our hampers. They’re bursting with mindful alternatives to your usual foodie gifts, such as first-class Fair Trade coffee and delicious condiments made from surplus fruit.
Volunteer with your Valentine
As well as dining out at a socially conscious restaurant, another way to have a date that makes a difference is to volunteer. Spread the love in places that really need it, spend time together and bond over a new experience all at once. Browse websites like Do-it to find projects and charities that need a pair of helping hands, or get in touch with local organisations directly.
Pick upcycled presents
In recent years, there’s been a boom in luxury products made from reclaimed, recycled materials by high-end brands with an eco-friendly ethos.
One of them is Been London. This social enterprise saves landfill-bound materials and transforms them into beautiful accessories. From small keyrings to laptop cases and tote bags, every item is totally timeless and functional – a welcome change from many of the usual cute but not particularly useful Valentine’s gifts.
Often the stories behind the upcycled materials make the products even more special. That’s especially true of the collections by Elvis and Kresse, another brand that creates luxury accessories from would-be waste materials. Their fire-hose range is, as the name suggests, crafted from London’s decommissioned fire-hoses, making for super long-lasting bags, belts and travel accessories.
Pamper yourselves using products with purpose
Give the gift of self-care to your better half or plan a joint pampering using nourishing products with purpose, like those made by the Goodwash Company. Their all-natural, cruelty-free range features botanical body lotion, a post-workout shower wash, fragrant shampoo and more, with all profits funding local projects that improve the lives of animals and people. For total replenishment in one present, pick two of their products to go in a gift box.
Like the Goodwash Company, You’re So Kind donate 100% of the profits from their cruelty-free, natural handwashes to leading UK charities. Choose from two sweet-smelling products – either Jasmine and Honeysuckle or Rose and Orange Blossom – that are good for your skin as well as animals, the environment and other people.
Waste-busting brand UpCircle Beauty’s skincare range is all-natural too, made from rescued leftover ingredients like coffee grounds and olive stones, which are repurposed into quality scrubs, balms and soaps. Read more about them on our blog: UpCircle Beauty: All-round better skincare for 2020
Search for more Valentine’s gift ideas in our valentines gift guide.
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