With lockdown 2.0 in full swing, thoughts are now turning to Christmas and to what gifts we might buy for our loved ones this year . Now, more than ever, our purchasing choices can really impact the world we live in and its future, if we consider both what we buy and where we buy it from.
With our son, we have always tried to keep gifts sustainable where possible. I love the quality you get from wooden toys; the wooden Noah's Ark he had at six months old he still plays with now at nearly 3. I feel it is much easier to find wooden toys for babies, but as they get older, plastic toys can start to creep in one by one. We are by no means a plastic toy free house, however, the plastic toys that we do have are mostly second hand or something I know he will get a lot of use out of.
This Christmas we have opted for a mud kitchen. Extremely popular with toddlers and pre-schoolers alike, mud kitchens are a great garden toy to spark free imaginative play and a connection with nature. Whilst several of the big supermarkets stock mud kitchens, we opted to buy one handmade from a local company - Mud Kitchens and More. They offer a lovely range of different types and sizes of mud kitchens to suit all budgets, with a range of beautiful colours available.
More and more people now are starting to shop local at Christmas, with big name high street stores going into administration on a near weekly basis, now is the time to support your local businesses. The rumours are true, a real person does do a happy dance with every order you place! You don't get that from Amazon...
Here in Derbyshire we are blessed with a range of fantastic small businesses that make shopping local easy. When it comes to Christmas cards, we have a brilliant local illustrator who has made some wonderful cards - perfect for a 2020 Christmas. Hannah Bluish Illustrations also designs beautiful prints, children's birthday cards and more.
I recently received some beautiful home decor from SJ Elite Interiors, a family run business just over the border in Staffordshire, who sell perfect home accessories for those finishing touches, and ideal gifts for Christmas. Definitely a great little store for a gift for that special friend. And if house plants are your thing, JJ's Flowers have a wonderful range and make beautiful bouquets for every occasion.
When you shop small, you become part of something. You become part of the growth of that business. You become part of a movement to support the economy in this country and to support the people that run these businesses. Each have their own story to tell and a passion for their business. We are extremely grateful for everyone that chooses to shop small business and buy their reusable nappies from us here at Project Eco. If you are looking for Scandi inspired handmade clothing perfectly cut for cloth nappies check out Fox and Stitch Clothing for legging, dungarees and more.
It's not just with your Christmas shopping that you can shop small, many local restaurants and coffee shops have now moved to takeaway service during lockdown. We wouldn't be without baked Christmas treats from Jackson's Bakery at this time of year to keep our spirits high.
It's also not just with your wallet that you can support small businesses. A share of a Facebook page or post, a like or a comment all helps spread the word and is all greatly appreciated.
What are your favourite small businesses you will be supporting this Christmas?
We would love to hear!