It’s the season of love and the evenings and mornings are steadily getting lighter and brighter. The birds are waking up and spring is in the air, faint but full of promise, lifting the heart. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, this is the perfect time to express your love with a gift that’s thoughtful, ethical and great to look at. Whether it’s something practical or a little slice of luxurious indulgence, there are masses of beautiful ethical presents to choose from. Here are four of the best.
Deliver a floral chocolate treat to your loved one
It’s difficult to go wrong with chocolate. Never mind diamonds – quality chocolate is a girl’s best friend! Plenty of men admit to a passion for the brown stuff, too. Take Floral Chocolate, made with love in Ecuador with 60% cocoa, organic dried rose petals and a hint of vanilla. Or Cashew Nougat with Field Flowers, crated with lush flowery accents: dried daisies, marigolds and cornflowers. Awesome!
Fabulous organic herbs for the chef in your life
The North Yorkshire-based Steenbergs Organic Artisan spice company has been in business since 2003, creating an exceptionally fine line in quality organic spices and cooking ingredients. Their spices all come from ethical sources, grown organically, carbon neutral and packaged like a dream. Classy, creative and practical, they’re a great gift for men whose first passion is you… but for whom cooking comes a close second!
The Thai Spice Gift Box is popular with adventurous cooks and contains 8 mini jars: Freeze-dried Thai Lime leaves, Cassia, Lemongrass, Galangal, White Peppercorns, Thai Spice Mix, Nasi Goreng Mix and tangy crushed Bird’s Eye Chillies.
A funky couples gift for extra together-ness!
If you love to buy gifts for yourselves as a couple, bookends made from real vinyl albums are great fun. Around 22cm high and 30cm in diameter, they’re ideal for bedside tables and mantelpieces, great storage for books with room at either end for knick-knacks, a fine example of top quality re-purposing. With a smooth black wood base, they’re bang on for shabby chic styling and look equally good in a cool minimalist setting. And they’re made in Britain so haven’t travelled far.
Love me, love my dog?
Are you buying a Valentine’s gift for your furry friend? If so, Animal Pure make dog collars and leads from soft, strong hemp webbing in a choice of fabulous bright and subtle colours. Hemp is amazingly hard wearing but it’s lovely and comfy, with no chafing. And it gets even softer over time. The leads and collars are naturally hypoallergenic, ideal if your pooch has sensitive skin. They’re dyed using eco-friendly, pet friendly dyes and the catches, which are rugged and strong, are made from material that’s been part-recycled.
Hemp is magical stuff, a seriously eco-friendly alternative to cotton. It grows like lightning, going from seed to harvest in just four months. It’s drought tolerant, excellent for conserving precious water. It grows like a weed, thriving even in poor soils. And it needs little or no pesticide, fertilizer or other chemicals. Which is all good news.
Specialist online retailers are expecting a rush on ethical gifts for Valentine’s Day – it looks like more of us than ever will be spreading the love ethically in 2013!