Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 19 January, 2021

9 last-minute eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas near Grafton Street

Consumerism doesn’t have to be mindless, and eco-friendly doesn’t mean boring.

ALTHOUGH JUST 100 companies are responsible for 71 per cent of global carbon emissions, as consumers we can initiate change through our buying habits. If you’re stuck this weekend for inspiration, here are nine eco-friendly gift ideas. 

The list is divided into:

  • Books
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Random


1. A Vegan Cookbook

Did you know that you can decrease your carbon footprint by 73 per cent if you cut out dairy and meat from your diet? Whilst suddenly going ‘cold turkey’ (don’t hate me for that pun) on every single animal product might be an extreme change, a realistic alternative could be adding one or two scrumptious vegan recipes into your repertoire.

vegan Source: Holly White

To help you get started, here’s Irish blogger Holly White‘s excellent ‘Vegan-ish’ cookbook, which contains much more than just delicious recipes – there’s advice about how to transition to a plant-based diet, ideas for food swaps and tips on how to shop economically for plant-based foods. 

Available in most bookstores for €22.99.   

2. Climate Justice: Hope Resilience and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson

9781408888452 Source: Bloomsbury

In 2010 our former President, Mary Robinson, set up ‘The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice‘ to advocate for the oft-forgotten victims of climate change: the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised. Since 2014, she’s been the UN’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and this short but insightful book is packed full of the human stories Robinson has encountered during her role. Robinson has seen firsthand the lives of those most adversely affected by climate change, as well as those, mostly women, who have developed grassroots movements to create innovative solutions to what has become the most pressing humanitarian issue of our times.

Get it from €14.69 in Easons or from most bookstores.     


3. Fresh Cuts – 60A South William Street

This is your one-stop ‘ethical, sustainable and fashion fair trade clothing shop’ for your sibling/other half. There’s cool beanies made from recycled polyester, priced from €25.00 to €35.00.

The shoes and belts are all vegan-friendly. Get these sleek New York White runners for €89.95.

Or Converse lookalikes for €64.90. The Lo Cut runners are made with natural rubbers soles and are Fairtrade certified organic cotton, meaning that there are fairer trading conditions and opportunities for cotton producers in developing countries. 

There’s also some stand-out bags made from recycled cotton, that are machine washable, for €44.95.

There’s also women’s and men’s t-shirts, jeans, hoodies, sweatshirts and jackets.

Seriously this shop has it all.  

There’s a current deal in store whereby you can buy two t-shirts and a pair of Irish branded Stór socks (made from sustainable bamboo) for €50. 

4. Siopaella – 8 Cecilia Street (Temple Bar) and 29 Wicklow St

With an extensive range of high street and high end clothing, Siopaella is an Aladdin’s cave of pre-worn treasures. The items, ranging from Zara to Karen Millen, from River Island to Reiss, are of superb quality. 

If you have a bit more extra cash to splash, then there’s also a huge range of designer bags. 


5. Skinfull Affairs - 34 Exchequer St

This shop prides itself on being conscientious yet also indulgent. There’s a huge range of cruelty-free, organic and vegan beauty products that prove you don’t have to skimp on luxury when you shop ethically.

Ecooking is one such brand, so called because it’s ‘food for your skin’ made up of products that you would find in your kitchen. Their ethos being akin to if you wouldn’t put it in your body, why would you put it on your body?

This 50ml Day Cream and 50ml Night Cream Christmas set available is a bargain, retailing at €65.00 (each sold separately is €39.95). 

day Source: Skinfull Affairs

Another product that is sure to become a cult favourite is Pinks Boutique Hand Balm. It’s unbelievably hydrating and free of petrochemicals. It costs  €36.50 and lasts for six months.

pink Source: Skinfull Afffairs

There’s also a huge selection of nail polishes from Ella + Mila, a vegan and cruelty-free brand, that costs €14.95. 

nail polish Source: Skinfull Affairs

6. Nourish - 16 Wicklow St

Another bargain beauty set is Dr. Hauschka’s Lavender Christmas set which is priced at €10.95, but worth €17.95. The organic and indulgent set contains a Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Wash 30ml, Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Cream 30ml and Moore Lavender Calming Bath Essence 10ml.

ha Source: Nourish

Rose Hip Oil is another beauty cult product that is said to help minimise the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin moisture levels. It costs €19.95, down from €22.95. 

rose hip Source: Nourish


7. Vouchers for Local Businesses

One of the best ways to help the environment is to support small local businesses. Get vouchers from independently-owned cafes, restaurants, beauticians, shops, and boutiques. 

8. Avoca - 11-13 Suffolk St, D2 

Every time there’s a bit of stormy weather, our streets become littered with broken umbrellas which seem to fall apart at the merest hint of a gust of wind. An alternative solution is to invest in a great waterproof coat that you don’t need to keep buying umbrellas. 

Avoca has a large selection of unisex jackets from RAINS, a Scandinavian lifestyle brand. 

48379566_199633344318415_5644547205537726464_n Source: Avoca

The genius duck bill hood ensures that the water drips right off your head away from your face.

rains Source: Rains

Another way to cut down on plastic packaging is to start using bar soap. Avoca has a diverse range of soaps to choose from, but a lovely Irish brand from Sligo is Voya, which is cruelty-free and organic. This luxurious and ‘invigorating seaweed soap in Spearmint & Rosemary’ is €14.00.

Cool fact: the packaging is made with seaweed too. 

voya Source: Avoca

9. Designist - 68 South Great George’s Street

If you’ve never been this shop before, you’re absolutely missing out. Designist is one of the best shops in Ireland for random presents that are useful, thoughtful and genius.

There’s ethically made toys (the whole process is carbon neutral) with non-formaldehyde glue, organic color pigments and water-colour dyes – like this toy phone or duck racer, both priced at €14

toy phone Source: Designist

duck Source: Designist

You can get sleek glass water bottles for €16… 

water Source: Designist

Or a Vegan cheese making kit from €32.00.

Vegan_Cheese_Making_Kit_1_Designist_LR_48c89f3b-bc94-42ec-aec6-bf48c16b21f0_large Source: Designist

You can also get stocking fillers like reusable straws from €3.00…

straws Source: Designist

or a bamboo toothbrush for €4.00. 

stooor Source: Designist

Speaking of toothbrushes…

Bonus Present: Bamboo Toothbrush Subscription

This last one is much nearer than Grafton Street – this present can be bought on your phone right now.

For that tricky relative – you know the one you always buy a pair of socks or a sports autobiography for? – how about being original and eco-friendly by getting an insanely practical gift like a bamboo toothbrush subscription from The Bam & Boom? 

toothbrush Source: Thebamandboo

The toothbrush comes in five colours and you have your choice of soft or medium bristles. It costs €4.99 per toothbrush (including shipping) and you can set up the account to get a new toothbrush every 1, 2, 3, or 4 months. 

tooth Source: Thebooandthebam

If you need more persuading, a mother albatross was recently spotted in Hawaii trying to regurgitate a plastic toothbrush for its chick. 

giphy Source: Giphy

Have you tried to be more sustainable and eco-friendly with your Christmas shopping this year?

Poll Results:

Yes, definitely (104)
Not at all (82)
I've tried, but it's hard (62)
No, but I will now  (54)

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