November 20, 2023 - Ethical & Sustainable

The Best Ethical Gift Ideas for You or a Loved One

Ethical and sustainable Christmas gifts shop local and support small businesses

Are you looking for a unique and conscious gift for your partner, friend or relative that does good for people and the planet? Giving an ethical gift not only makes you feel good but also the person you purchase it for, as it shows you have put a lot of thought and consideration into it.

There are so many different ethical gifts available to buy that can go a long way, not only benefitting you and the planet but also the small businesses that need your support more than ever and crucially the people who make or grow the products behind the scenes.

Why You Should Go Ethical

Large chain stores and online giants, such as Amazon, make greater profit compared to small independent retailers. Your purchase doesn’t make much of an impact on large sized businesses. However, small independent businesses care deeply about every single purchase they make; there’s no better time to support local stores that need it and would really appreciate your help.

Trust us, it’s true when they say that every time you buy from a small business, a person does a little happy dance! Every small business is grateful for their customers support and each order makes them smile. 🙂

Support small independent retailers during Covid-19

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers have favored brands that care most about people and the environment. Local businesses that helped during the crisis by making PPE such as cloth face masks, for example, have been consumers’ first choice.

You can learn more about how our fashion habits have changed due to Covid-19 in our blog:

Ethical businesses also care more about the planet by adopting sustainable practices. Sustainable clothing brands source natural fabrics from sustainable sources and use recycled packaging. For example, Kitenge’s made to measure clothes are made-to-order which helps to reduce fabric wastage; garments are less likely to end up in landfills, as they fit the wearer perfectly and are made to last.

textile clothing waste landfill unwanted clothes sustainable fashion


Top 5 Sustainable Gift Ideas for Him or Her

Stylish Sustainable T’s

Good quality staple T’s, made from natural fabrics such as 100% organic cotton, are comfortable and useful gifts, as they get so much wear. We recently stumbled across an interesting sustainable brand called Son of a Tailor. They make custom-fitted durable t-shirts, polo, and sweatshirts in Portugal and are carbon neutral.

Kitenge’s unique made to measure shirts also make great sustainable gifts for both men and women. You can choose the fabric color/pattern and customize the shirt for a loved one or let them choose themselves.


Kitenge Store models wearing African print shirts for men at bar

Kitenge Store’s African print made to measure shirts


Kitenge Store models wearing plain coloured custom made shirts with optional African wax print fabric contrasts office

Kitenge Store’s plain-colored custom made shirts (optional African print contrasts)

It’s really easy to measure a shirt that fits your loved one at home by following our simple ‘how to measure’ guides. Your first purchase will be covered by our perfect fit guarantee. You can currently get another custom made shirt for FREE with your first purchase (use code: MTMFIRST). Find out more about this great special offer!

Ethical Candles Made with Love

Eco-friendly candles such as WXY are made using plant-based wax (palm oil-free) and natural essential oils. They are often inspired by nature and the natural world, which is good for relieving stress and anxiety when spending time relaxing at home.

These thoughtful gifts create a relaxing, cozy atmosphere and can make a home smell wonderful. Once the candle has finished burning, the glass can be recycled to store items such as pens or can be used to make another candle. WXY offer worldwide shipping from the UK.

Ethically-made African Print Bathrobes

Our good friends at Thread by S.O.F.T, based in Los Angeles, California, sell colourful, 100% cotton, African print bathrobes lovingly handmade by our highly-skilled master tailor, Abdallah, in Tanzania. A small number of these gorgeous, limited edition bathrobes were made in each unique African wax print fabric or Kanga design.

The Kanga bathrobes have a special Swahili message on the sash with a hidden meaning and a small number of Kitenge bathrobes have a mix of two different African wax print fabric patterns. These versatile bathrobes can also be worn outside the house as a kimono with leggings, pants or shorts. The bathrobes are available in two sizes, small/medium and large/XL.


Women's blue white flower Kanga African print fabric bathrobe model wearing Women's red blue pink orange flower African wax print fabric bathrobe by Kitenge Store model wearing Women's orange blue flower Kanga African print fabric bathrobe by Kitenge Store model wearing Kitenge Store master tailor cutting Kanga cloth make African print fabric bathrobes Tanzania


Head over to Thread by S.O.F.T’s online store to shop their Kanga bathrobes and Kitenge bathrobes, or Etsy shop, to browse their stunning collection. Thread by S.O.F.T ship their bathrobes within the US. Please contact us if you are located outside the US and would like to order a bathrobe. We can easily make a bathrobe especially for you and ship it directly from Tanzania!

Sustainable Skincare Gift Sets

Tropic is a skincare brand made from responsibly sourced, natural ingredients. Their products are kind to the skin and are freshly made in the UK. They have approval from The Vegan Society, as they never test their products on animals, and their packaging is recyclable and refillable.

Natural sustainable skincare ethical Christmas gift ideas

This ethical skincare comparison table is really interesting, helpful, and informative when looking for sustainable skincare. Did any of the beauty company rankings on the list surprise you?

Versatile Ethical Accessories

You can’t go wrong with fashionable accessories because they can easily transform an outfit that already exists in your loved one’s wardrobe. What’s even better is if they have a story behind them so the receiver can find out where they have come from including who made them.

Kitenge Store’s unique men’s African print accessories (including neckties, bow ties and pocket squares) are lovingly handmade by talented tailors in Tanzania, East Africa, sometimes using fabric offcuts which reduces waste and prevents it from ending up in landfills.


Men's red floral African print fabric bow tie

Kitenge Store’s African print Red Floral Bow Tie and Red/Blue Necktie 

Our colourful African style accessories also include stylish women’s headwraps, there are two sizes available that cover the sides or the whole head. We also sell gorgeous African beaded jewellery with 60% off in our ready-to-wear sale with free UK delivery (use code: FREEUKSHIPPING).


Black pewter Womens African Beaded Bracelet Front View Model Wearing  

Kitenge Store’s Black Pewter Beaded Bracelet and Light Blue Beaded Necklace 

Sustainable Clothing Gift Ideas

We’ve known Nick Hooper Design since we traded at our very first UK music festival back in 2015. We have since popped up near their stall at a number of different music festivals, including WOMAD, and were able to learn more about their fantastic family-run small independent business.

Watch Nick draw all his intricate designs by hand before screen-printing them onto plain-colored clothing in a shed in his garden using hand-built frames, a home-built darkroom, and environmentally friendly inks. Nick also tie-dyes some of the t-shirts before screen-printing his designs over the top.

Nick’s inspiration comes from adaptations of indigenous designs from around the world as well as wildlife including elephants, sharks, and bats. Each design has a history and a unique story behind it which is fascinating to discover. The clothing is 100% cotton which is comfortable to wear all year round and is long-lasting.

Shop Nick Hooper Design’s fun and sustainable clothing for men, women, and children online!

Shop Kitenge’s Popular Range of Ethical Clothing

Kitenge Store’s African menswear and women’s African print clothing is fashionable, stylish, and better yet – ethical!


Models wearing men's African print shirt and women's African print pencil skirt by Kitenge


From custom made shirts to extremely comfortable African print trousers, shorts, and flattering to wear African print pencil skirts. There is a tailored garment and African print fabric design that suits each unique and individual personality.

Shop Kitenge’s stunning range of ethical clothing items and authentic Ankara fabrics in our African boutique online and get in touch if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you and are always happy to help. Get 10% off your first purchase when you subscribe to our newsletter!

Other recommended ethical online gift shops:


The Ethical Superstore

The Big Issue Shop


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