In a lot of ways, it’s never been easier to live an ethical life. You can invest your money in green banks, eat at green restaurants, drive cars powered by electricity and self-esteem. The list goes on. And you’d be surprised how easy it is to make the switch. Might cost you a tiny bit more, but if it stops the earth literally imploding into a nuclear husk, it’s probs worth it.
So here you go guys. Seven ethical brands that deserve your hard-earned dollarydoos this Christmas.
Who Gives A Crap
The big one. It ain’t glamorous, and it ain’t sexy, but everyone needs loo paper, and Who Gives A Crap have created something extraordinary from just about the most ordinary thing on the planet. 50% of profits go toward building toilets in developing nations, and every ply comes from 100% recycled timber. The funky designs don’t hurt either. As Christmas presents go, this might be a bit weird, but keep it in mind next time you’re hunting for loo rolls at Coles.
These guys market themselves as ‘Outdoor apparel, minus the ugly’. They produce hiking gear and active wear that looks like Lulu Lemon and Gorman created an adventuresome baby. We recommend the leggings: comfy, sparkly and made from recycled plastics. Better yet, 20% of the profits go back to businesses supporting people and the planet, like Waves of Wellness and FNPW. Mister Timbuktu have an Indiegogo campaign in the works, so if you want to get on board, now's the time.
Indie surfwear for women, made from recycled fishing nets. Salt Gypsy is the brainchild of former surf guide Danielle Clayton, who quit her job at Billabong to go ride waves in the Maldives for a few years. The gear is all made from ECONYL, 100% regenerated Nylon yarn coming from Nylon waste, mostly in net form. Cleaning up the oceans and helping you look slightly badass—no wonder it’s taking off.
Will & Bear
Another nifty little Aussie company. Will & Bear make Australian woollen hats from Australian woollen sheep, and they’ve recently expanded into a new straw range (think classy Gatsby-esque boaters). The brand has partnered up with trees.org to plant 10 trees for every hat sold, helping to reverse deforestation and land erosion in countries all over the world.
Socks for Christmas aren’t usually a big hit, but these guys are a little different. NorthSouth make high-performance socks for cyclists and travellers, woven from some space-age special fabric that fights blisters and features little reflective details on the back calf, so cars will see you coming. 50% of profits go toward environmental conservation projects like Bush Heritage Australia, and they look pretty spiffy, too.
Monsta Surf Co.
Monsta Founder Cam Greenwood visited Kenya back in 2013, working at the Huruma Children’s Home. It inspired him to start his own philanthropic brand—and Monsta was the result. These guys specialize in surf apparel and streetwear, supporting a bunch of excellent causes in Africa and the Philippines, including water filtration and disaster relief. Warning: their website kind of makes you want to tell your boss to shove it and travel the world. Tread carefully.
The Seek Society
In the market for a new tent? Might be worth checking out The Seek Society. They’re all about ‘Earth Aware Camping’, which means treading lightly and giving back to the wild. Their online store has some wicked looking bell tents, camping rugs and various outdoor bits and bobs, all made from ethically sourced materials. They’re big on not-for-profits too, and encourage their campers to donate to a variety of worthy causes.
Put those new surf stiches to good use: here's everywhere you can learn to surf in Victoria this summer.
Image credit: Will & Bear