From a hat that has royal approval to bags made from recycled bouncy castles, here’s our gift guide for ethical travellers
- There’s a sackful of environmentally friendly and charity-focused gifts on offer
- Gandys of London is an ethical travel clothing brand – Prince William is a fan
- Another idea is an upcycled tote or washbag from Wyatt & Jack
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week, he looks at gift ideas for ethical travellers.
There are 17 shopping days left until Christmas – and the good news is that you’ve got a lot of choice if you’re buying for a keen traveller or someone who loves to be on holiday. Better still, you can shop without any guilt.
There’s a sackful of environmentally friendly and charity-focused gifts on offer that won’t cost the earth. Here are some of the best.
Wear William’s hat
Royal approval: William, with Kate, wears a Gandys hat in Sweden
The travel clothing brand with a conscience and a Christmas message is Gandys of London. Founders Rob and Paul Forkan were taken out of school by their parents in 2001 to start a family adventure travelling the world, an adventure that cruelly ended in 2004 when their parents were killed in Sri Lanka’s Boxing Day tsunami. Back home, the brothers later set up Gandys and the company passes a share of its profits to the Forkans’ Orphans For Orphans Foundation, building children’s homes in Sri Lanka, Malawi, Brazil and Nepal.
Prince William is a fan of their garments. He wore a Gandys bobble hat on his tour of Scandinavia in 2018. Buy one for £14.99, or search for other travel clothing ideas online (gandyslondon.com).
Put a splash of colour and retro travel images on your loved one’s wrist with a Vagaband. It’s a gap year-ready bracelet with an ICE (In Case of Emergency) flap. Snap it open and any medical information and emergency contacts are there. Adult bands are £15 and colourful bracelets for children are £10. (vagaband.com).
Brush aside the plastic
Environmentalists estimate we use 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes a year – often buying new ones for holidays. Stem the tide with this stocking-filler, a Swedish-designed bamboo alternative called Humble. It’s biodegradable and a share of profits go to a dental charity for disadvantaged children. They cost £3.99 from Holland & Barrett (hollandandbarrett.com).
Bag up your eco worries
On the Isle of Wight, the Wyatt & Jack workshop produces bags made from recycled bouncy castles. A colourful weekend tote costs from £125, or a washbag costs £35 (wyattandjack.com).
Get your break off to a flyer
Upcycled: One of the colourful UPSO bags
If you know someone who won’t be satisfied dragging a standard black cabin bag on holiday then take a look at the range of upcycled UPSO bags. They are made out of old tarpaulins, car seatbelts and even fire hoses – tough materials that would otherwise stay in landfill sites for generations.
As well as bike bags and rucksacks, UPSO also has a new cabin bag to meet the carry-on rules of most airlines. Each bag is waterproof, colourful and made in Lancashire. The Corley costs £85 (upsobags.co.uk).
Hoping for postcards?
Give the person in your life the perfect pen this Christmas. Pilot has the B2P pen (Bottles to Pens) made from recycled water bottles. Packs of 12 cost around £19.99 online or in stationery shops.
Forget plastic bottles
Reusable water bottles are set to be popular gifts this year as we try to cut down on plastic waste. One of the best comes from travel firm Contiki. It’s tough enough to survive the most adventurous journey and it has two built-in filtration systems, removing 99.9 per cent of bacteria or protozoa. It also folds up small when not in use. Buy one for a not-for-profit price of £9.95 (contiki.com/waterbottle).