• Zoe

The Make and Create Conscious Christmas Gift Guide 2020



It's HEEEERE! I've been working on this bad boy for weeks - and I've got some AMAZING brands to share with you - to inspire you to shop small and shop ethically this Christmas. All the brands included in my guide are trying their very best to tread lightly on Mother Earth as they run their business, and they are kicking ass while they do it. And best of all - they are all led by WOMEN.


Pssst - head over to my Instagram account here to find out how you can WIN YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING from this lovely lot. Yep - you read that right. Your WHOLE Christmas shopping. Done. Tick. And all from ethical brands. Whaddaya waiting for?! GO GO GO!



So without further ado - here is my Conscious Christmas Gift Guide!


1.CharKnots: @charknots https://www.casaethica.com/vendor/charknots/



First up in my conscious Christmas gift guide is the wonderful @charknots - who makes the most gorgeous macramé creations using recycled cotton twine. Charlotte sells her wares via @casaethica which is a new online marketplace that focuses on selling products by ethical brands who's values are rooted in creativity and inventiveness without harming Mother Earth.

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Here's what Charlotte has to say about her business:


"CharKnots is a brand born out of a love of sustainability, houseplants, and playing with colour. I had made macrame plant hangers as gifts in the past and finally decided to start the brand in the summer of last year. Working with just a spool of rope and my hands is so therapeutic and keeps me inspired to see what I can create next."

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I asked Charlotte about her ethical values and eco-credentials:

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"For all of my pieces, I use 100% recycled cotton rope. I try and create as little waste as possible and utilise waste rope in any way possible by making earrings, or pom poms to add to plant hangers! I use 100% recyclable paper packaging and use plant-based inks for all my branding."

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Charlotte's favourite product to make is her market bags - she finds the whole process meditative and she uses her market bag every day - aren't they beautiful?

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Finally - I asked Charlotte for a random fact about herself - here's what she had to say!

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"I have over 80 houseplants and I've named each one.. 😂" - she sounds like a woman after my own heart - house plant daft, meditative macrame enthusiast - and best of all she makes BOOBS out of macrame - out her amazing booby wall hanging here!

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Charlotte is most definitely 100% Make and Create approved! ✅❤️🙌


 

2. By Bri Jewellery @bybrijewellery https://www.bybrijewellery.com/shop


Next up we have @bybrijewellery who creates the most beautiful Art Deco inspired jewellery pieces and I. Am. Obsesssssed. Bri is another fellow Casa Ethica seller - an amazing online ethical marketplace I'm part of - which is perfect for a conscious Christmas gift!

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I asked Bri about her business and here's what she had to say:

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"I started Bybri Jewellery in 2017, mainly as an outlet for my own ideas, a chance to play and to become even more passionate about handmade and handcrafted items. I wanted handmade items to be accessible to everyone. Art Deco inspires my work, as do colourful buildings and artists such as Sabine Marcelis."

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Bri has some great eco-credentials too:


"I hand make my items in small batches, using recycled metals as much as possible. I believe this approach combats fast fashion and fleeting trends which produce so much waste.

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I asked Bri what her favourite product to make is:

"I love the process of making my new bracelet, the Bowline Bangle. I love the intricate winding and knotting of the gold wire!"

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I actually watched the video she put up of her making this - and I can see why it's her favourite!

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Lastly, a random fact Bri is that she's currently in the process of making her own wedding rings! What an amazing thing to be able to do!

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I'm in love with Bri's jewellery collection - its simple, geometric elegance at it's finest.


 

3. Tatty Moo @tatty_moo https://tattymoo.com/


Julia Brown is the hands, body and soul behind @tatty_moo which sticks two fingers up to the fast fashion industry by only using dead-stock fabric, damaged fabric, donated clothing and fabric remnants in her designs.

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I asked Julia about her business - here's what she had to say:

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"I left my fashion career behind me in 2017 after seeing so much textile waste on the streets of Leicester following a factory visit. I'm now taking in dead-stock and unwanted textiles to save them going to landfill.

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Early on in lockdown my parents bought me a laser cutting machine which I've been using to make eco accessories and home decor using sustainably sourced FSC certified timber."

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Julia is constantly inspired by her creative 7 year old son, who loves colour, adventure and nature

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Julia's favourite products to make are reworks and upcycles using her client's old clothing. She loves it because "It's totally personal and unique for them, and a joy to bring new life into their wardrobe."

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And finally - I asked Julia for a weird random fact about herself - here's what she said!

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"The weirdest fact about me is that I lost my last baby tooth when I was pregnant with my son. It had always amazed my dentist that I kept it in such good condition until I was 31. However saying that it fell out as it got stuck on a drumstick lolly 🤣"

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We love Julia's whole business ethos and think she's doing an amazing job.


 

4. Leim @weareleim https://weareleim.com/


I am SO excited to talk about these guys. Have you ever stood naked in a pub toilet cubicle with your jumpsuit round your ankles wondering why no-one has invented a better way of going to the toilet when wearing a jumpsuit?! Well Leim HAVE INVENTED IT!

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I spoke to Henrietta of Leim to find out a bit more about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I started designing the jumpsuits for Leim in 2018 but only officially launched in Jan 2020. I realised that it was ridiculous that you had to take the whole jumpsuit off when you needed the toilet. I like clothes that are practical but also beautiful, so I decided to do something about the jumpsuit-problem!

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My friends are a constant source of inspiration, as well as the people who buy the jumpsuits. I am also inspired by textures - which can make me imagine how it's going to look.

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I asked Henrietta about Leim's ethical and eco values - here's what she had to say:

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"All the jumpsuits are made in small quantities by myself. I source sustainable fabrics including GOTS-Certified organic cotton and linen. If I can't get organic cotton I choose ones that have been dyed with OEKO-TEX dyes - a sustainability standard which ensures the dyes used aren't harmful. I also try to work with suppliers who have a connection with the mills they get their fabrics from - it's super important to me that my supply chain is ethical."

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Henrietta's favourite product to make is her new style - The Alex ezp Boilersuit - she states:

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"it's quite a complicated pattern so it takes a long time to make - but I also feel the new styles are really 'me'."

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And finally - I asked Henrietta for a random fact about herself:

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"I'm an almost completely self-taught sewer! YouTube has been my very best friend for the past 2 years 😂"

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A self taught sewer smashing it in a much needed practical twist on the jumpsuit. That's our kinda business!


 

5. Works Beautifully @worksbeautifully https://worksbeautifully.co.uk/

If colourful stationery with something to say is your jam - then look no further than Works Beautifully - whose gorgeously designed ranges have something to SHOUT about mental health, LGBTQ+ pride, veganism, feminism and more.

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In her own word's - Kirsty says her products are for "people who love colour, who want their voice to be heard and who are proud of exactly who they are." And that is something we are TOTALLY down with here at Make and Create HQ. 🙌

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I spoke to Kirsty about her business, and here's what she had to say:

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"I started Works Beautifully in April 2016 while working as an Assistant Manager at a coffee shop. I started by selling digital prints of my illustrations on Etsy. I could have never dreamed that 4 years later I would be illustrating and running a small business full time! In September 2019, I left my employment and went full time with Works Beautifully, which allowed me to create a much better life for myself in terms of my mental and physical health. I was struggling to work full time in my Pre-School management job as I had been diagnosed with Endometriosis and my mental health was suffering as I was in the middle of my infertility journey. So being able to go full time doing something that I really loved, and allowed me to work in a healthy way was amazing!"

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"My work is inspired by colour and giving people a voice. A lot of my work is themed around ‘I Have A Voice’, including LGBTQIA pride, feminism, mental health and veganism. It’s so important to me that people have a voice and the way I can encourage that is to create artwork that people can wear and view that makes them feel proud of who they are."

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"I use fully recyclable packaging and reuse packaging such as bubble wrap that I receive in personal orders. I focus on recycled and recyclable materials in my paper products such as wrapping paper and gift tags, and a lot of my items are made to order so there is no waste."

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We love your business Kirsty! You are smashing it!


 

6. Studio Ides @studio_ides https://studioides.co.uk/


If there was ever a year that needed jewellery this colourful to exist - it's 2020. Just LOOK at those colours! EYE-GASM!

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The genius behind these designs is Kirsty who runs Studio Ides - she hand makes bold, colourful statement jewellery from polymer clay and resin.

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I asked Kirsty about why she started her business and what inspires her - here's what she said:

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"I started my business almost a year ago as a way to be creative and create things I loved but couldn't find to buy. As well as to fit around my newly extended family - we welcomed our first baby in 2019.

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My background is in Interior Design and I used to work as a Prop Buyer in film & TV. I find inspiration from many places but mostly interior design, architecture, nature and pattern design."

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Having an ethical business is important to Kirsty, and so she ensures that every single piece of clay she buys is used her work meaning there are no waste products from her design process. She makes her creations in small batches or makes to order, ensuring she doesn't have masses of surplus stock. She has also made sure that all her packaging is paper-based and recyclable.

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Her favourite products to make are her new collection inspired by the Northern Lights. She states: "The duo-chrome colour-shift on them is unreal. They are hand-cut and hand-painted using ethical mica powders meaning that every pair of earrings is completely unique!"


We absolutely love the colour popping jewellery that Kirsty makes and think they would make the perfect Christmas gift for the most colourful person in your life!


 

7. Inspiration Her @inspiration.her https://inspirationher.com/


Inspiration Her is the creation of Gabriele - who makes the most beautiful, boho 14k gold filled jewellery from her home in Lisbon, Portugal.

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I asked Gabriele about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I started Inspiration Her in Spring 2019. I had been making jewellery for myself and for my friends for a few years before that and I really wanted to share my work with the rest of the world. My main inspiration comes from all the different colours, shapes, and forms of natural minerals and crystals."

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Gabrielé is passionate about making her business as sustainable as possible - she is partnered with One Tree Planted so $1 from every order goes towards these guys who plant a tree! Yay trees! 🌳❤️

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Gabriele also had this to say about her work:

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"I believe the most sustainable purchase is the one that will last you for years and years to come, that's why I choose to work with high quality gold-filled. Unlike 24K gold plated jewellery, gold-filled jewellery can last beautifully for a very long time, yet it is still affordable. I make all of the pieces myself and I choose my suppliers very carefully to ensure that everybody in the supply chain is treated and paid fairly."

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I asked Gabriele about her favourite jewellery pieces to make: " I love love love crystals, so any piece of jewellery with a beautiful crystal is a delight to make!"

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Your jewellery is beautiful Gabriele, and so are your eco-conscious values. Amazing!

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Inspiration her ships internationally - so you can still shop for Gabriele's beautiful creations even though she's based in Portugal! Yay!


 

8. Alice Acreman Silks @alice_acreman_silks https://www.aliceacremansilks.com/


Next up is Alice Acreman Silks - and I can't wait to tell you all about Alice's amazing business. Alice is a fellow Walthamstonian, so it's even more exciting! She makes the dreamiest, sets of silk pyjamas you've ever seen - amongst many other gorgeous creations.

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I spoke to Alice about her business and what inspires her - here's what she had to say:

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"I first began way back in 2014 when I printed a very small collection of Silk Scarves but it wasn't until 2017 that it grew from a hobby to a business. After working for a huge fashion brand, I realised I wanted to be able to create more unique designs with environmentally conscious processes. My work is inspired by science, nature, mythology, and travel. I love combining exotic botanicals with pretty British florals and contrasting them with geometric shapes in unusual colour combinations."

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Alice has excellent eco-credentials too:

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"I aim to support charities and environmental issues with my work. I currently donate to Rainforest Foundation UK with all pieces sold in the Enticement collection which illustrates creatures from legendary stories told the native Amazonians. I am also helping to fundraise for several UK based charities this season. I've donated pieces to some fundraising events and profits from my 'Prowl' Vegan Suede Cushion are going to 'Mosiak' who help refugees go to university."

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Alice - we absolutely love your work - it's utterly stunning, you are smashing it girl!💪💥


 

9. Head and Hands @headandhands_ https://www.headandhands.co.uk/


Next up is Amanda's business Head and Hands. Amanda is another fellow Walthamstow based creative, and we share a lot of similar ideas and values - so it's lovely to be able to include her in this guide. I asked Amanda about her business and what inspires her - here's what she said:

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"I founded Head & Hands in July 2016, inspired by my chronic illness. I wanted to create a welcoming sanctuary selling products and running workshops that explore the art of slowing down and self-care, two of my biggest lessons in looking after my wellness. I'm inspired by nature walks, self-care rituals, handmade creations, beautiful design, earth-kindness, and slow mindful crafts."

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Amanda runs a sustainable business by supporting small-batch indie makers who craft handmade, cruelty-free, and sustainably packaged products with love and good intentions. She sells these both on her online store and in local Walthamstow shop The Everyspace.


I asked Amanda for a weird fact about herself - here's what she had to say!

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