A very co-op Christmas: Our ethical gift guide

Alternatives to Amazon if you're looking to support communities while buying your presents

Online Christmas shopping is likely to soar this year as lockdown uncertainty continues. Here are a few ideas for getting your festive fill in the UK while supporting co-ops and their communities…

Something to read …

Independent book stores have been campaigning for their survival this year, under the campaign ‘Don’t let indie bookstores become a work of fiction’. As well as general stores there are co-op bookshops that specialise in radical titles (newsfromnowhere.org.uk) and children’s books celebrating equality and diversity (letterboxlibrary.com). You can also search for other independent bookshops (and buy their books online) at uk.bookshop.org.

Co-op bookshops

malvernbook.coop

clevedoncommunitybookshop.coop

creditoncommunitybookshop.co.uk

allgoodbookshop.co.uk (Haringey) 

octoberbooks.org (Southampton)

georgestreetcommunitybookshop.co.uk (Glossop)

dartmouthcommunitybookshop.co.uk

… or subscribe to

As well as Co-op News itself (thenews.coop/join), there are a number of other co-operatively owned and run magazines in the UK worth gifting
a subscription to – or joining as a member.

Ethical Consumer: ethicalconsumer.org

Stir to Action: stirtoaction.com

Positive News: positive.news

New Internationalist: newint.org

Something to eat …

There are plenty of edible treats to be found in UK retail co-ops in 2020 – but there are ways to support smaller independent co-ops and social enterprises too. Our favourites include the organic oranges grown by Fairtrade co-ops in Greece – pre-order in bulk by 30 November for a pre-Christmas delivery (ethicalshop.org/organic-oranges.html)

Chocolate: divinechocolate.com

Palestinian produce: zaytoun.org

Flour, grain, sourdough starters and baking equipment: scotlandthebread.org

Palestinian produce from Zaytoun

… or drink

There are co-ops producing delicious drinks too. The Co-op Group’s Les Pionniers NV Champagne is multi-award winning and available at most UK retail societies – or for the very organised, the GlenWyvis Co-op is taking pre-orders of its single malt whisky inaugural release – to be delivered in time for Christmas 2021…

Beer: boundarybrewing.coop

Beer: dronevalleybrewery.com

Gin and whisky: glenwyvis.com/shop

Fairtrade tea, coffee and hot chocolate: revolverworld.com

Glenwyvis gin

Or just something a little different …

There are several places online that support Fairtrade organisations, including co-operatives. One of the largest is the Ethical Shop (ethicalshop.org) owned and managed by New Internationalist, which sources items from ethical, eco-friendly and Fairtrade suppliers around the world, from socks and jewellery to homeware, food hampers and stocking fillers, among other things.

Or for something completely different, check out the Wool Clip – a Cumbrian co-operative made up of local wool workers. The online shop sells yarns, fibres, felting kits homeware and more (woolclip.com).

Some traditional Lakeland gifts from Wool Clip

More Fairtrade items: fairtrader.info

Vegetable, flower and herb seeds: seedcooperative.org.uk

Clothing: www.thecope.ie

Online gig tickets from the Jazz Co-op: theglobenewcastle.bar

Music streaming credits: resonate.is

Ceramics class: ceramicsstudio.coop

Bikes: birminghambikefoundry.org

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