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Nine sustainable and ethical gifts for a Greener Black Friday.

Until a few years ago, Black Friday at least here in the UK, was the last one before Christmas when the pubs were particularly busy. But now its better known as a shopping phenomenon that has spread out of its American base to inspire deals and offers in shops and online retailers around the world.

Here at Bio Market Insights, we aren’t necessarily the biggest fans of the concept. We like the approach made by some companies who use the day to donate a portion of their proceeds to good causes. Then there’s Patagonia, who in 2016 donated 100% of its Black Friday profits — estimated to be $10 million+  — to grassroots environmental groups.

And yes, most of us are trying to lower our environmental impact, but at this time of year it can be particularly tough. We know those Christmas gifts won’t buy themselves so once again, we are happy to again bring you some Christmas gifts ideas that will help delight your loved ones but not cost the earth and deliver a Greener Black Friday.

A bamboo toothbrush 

BlueRock toothbrush (Bio Market Insights)

Est. in 2017, BlueRock is a family-run business who specialise in eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes for adults and kids. Thanks to our customers, over 10,000 brushes have been saved from landfill or ending up in our oceans. You can either subscribe+save or browse our shop for one-off purchases.

BlueRock toothbrush ( @BlueRockLiving ) heads are loaded with medium-soft bristles and cut into a wavy shape to maximise cleaning. The handles are shaped and polished to produce the sleek design giving them a comfortable grip.

Designed with families in mind, the bristles come in a variety of colours and patterns to help know whose is whose. The bristles are made from Nylon-6, which is a recyclable plastic and are machine punched into the handles so there is no glue or other harmful adhesives used. After use, the bristles can be pulled out with pliers and recycled. Buy here.

An eco-educational board game.

Eco Warriors Board Game (Bio Market Insights)

Eco Warriors – a new educational “Treasure Hunt” card game that motivates kids aged 6-12 to take care of the environment, their home and belongings. Children care deeply about protecting the environment but don’t always know how. With this game they will learn 20 ways they can care for it- at home.

The added “bonus” is that many of these actions also equip them with “tidy habits” that will benefit them (and you!) for life. Buy a standard pack here for £12 , or a premier pack which includes a treasure chest plus seashells for (£18)


Better pants.

He Must Press Photo 8 (Photo Credit: Jasmine Malone)

Paris Penman Davies started sustainable men’s underwear brand, He Must for two reasons. He wanted to create the world’s most sustainable boxer, using the very best materials. And he was “was sick of the clichéd ‘man with bulging biceps photographed in black and white clutching himself’ advertising which seems to predominate in the world of men’s underwear. For Paris, this was hardly the most nuanced representation of what it means to be a man in the modern world.

They use modal instead of cotton, because it uses less water (20 times less in fact) and its even softer and more breathable. That means natural Corozo buttons, not plastic. It means 100% recyclable and re-usable packaging, not poly bags and pointless tissue paper. He Must have signed a code of conduct with a factory in Istanbul which follows the guidelines laid down by the Ethical Trading Initiative. This creates a framework in which the factory respects our workers, their rights and the environment. Buy here. 

Organic t-shirts.

The Level Collective’s T-Shirt (Bio Market Insights) All of The Level Collective’s outdoor adventure inspired graphic t-shirt designs are created from lino cut or pencil sketch through to being hand screen printed in Sheffield, UK using water-based inks onto Fairwear Foundation approved 100% GOTS organic cotton & organic cotton / part-recycled blend t-shirts and sweaters.

All their t-shirts are ethically made in India, with worldwide delivery in 100% recyclable paper packaging. The Level Collective ( @LevelCollective )  have a range of sweaters and waxed organic cotton backpacks which are handmade in the UK from all British sourced ingredients and designed to last many many years with a lifetime repair service offered. As they say – buy less, buy well and buy here.

A Bee Brick for your garden.

Green&BlueGreen&Blue Bee Brick (Bio Market Insights) are based in the beautiful seaside town of Perranporth in Cornwall, UK, co-founded in 2005 by husband and wife team Kate and Gavin Christman. After years working at Dyson and designing in their spare time, Kate and Gavin created the Birdball and moved down to Cornwall to start the company. Working from a garden shed for a few years the couple followed their passion of designing beautiful, stylish products that help wildlife.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the garden lover in your life then the Green&Blue ( @GreenandBlueUKrange of bee houses, including the award winning Bee Brick, is what you need. Designed to help your garden be more bee friendly and to provide a safe nesting place for non-swarming solitary bees like red masons and leafcutters.

Green&Blue bee houses look great just stood in the garden but can also be used in place of standard bricks or blocks within building work to create space for solitary bees to nest. Made in England, using 75% waste material from the Cornish China Clay industry ensures a Greener Black Friday for those with green fingers! Buy here. 

Organic, recycled baby comforters.

The Best Years Baby Comforter (Bio Market Insights) The Best Years baby comforters are all made from 100% organic cotton and are fair trade making them a perfect Christmas gift for a new born baby. They are made from the cloth left over from the manufacture of baby clothes. There is always cotton left on the reel which can’t be cut to shape so it is made in to baby comforters. Super soft, 100% organic and upcycled. They are machine washable and very soft in a variety of appealing designs including elephants, giraffes and lions as an all over design and would make a great new baby gift.

There are many experts that believe babies sleep better when they have a comforter, as they feel safe and more relaxed when they have their special toy with them. It’s certainly true of my kids! Lots of babies naturally adopt a beloved and special toy which they carry with them during the day and which then goes in to the cot at night time to help them sleep so make you sure make it is a green toy! Buy here.

Jewellery made from repurposed industrial plastics.

Bronwen GwillimBrowen Gwillim Jewellry (Bio Market Insights) makes sculptural jewellery from repurposed and recycled industrial plastics using hand processes and traditional jeweller’s tools. The shapes and surface textures she creates reference those worn by the sea and allude to the fact that these ubiquitous and non-biodegradable materials will be sadly washing up on our beaches for many years to come.

Bronwen originally trained as a jeweller and silversmith and ran a business in London before moving to Bristol via Somerset. In 2015 she completed an MA which saw her developing work using plastics and resins and the desire to combine these materials with silver to make jewellery made sense. Buy here.

A luxury but sustainable travel combo.

incognito Luxury Combo (Bio Market Insights) The incognito Luxury Combo contains one of each of incognito’s most important sustainable anti-mosquito products, to help you stay better protected from biting insects than ever before – and it makes the perfect present for someone who loves to travel. It features new flagship products: incognito suncream insect repellent SPF30, Moisturiser/After Sun and Hair & Body Wash, plus their famous award-winning Insect Repellent Spray, Luxury Loofah Soap, Room Refresher and Incense Sticks. All the products in the range are sustainable and the suncream has been formulated to be coral-reef friendly.

The Queen’s Award was made to incognito ( @incognitoUK )  in the category of Sustainable Development for applying outstanding ethical standards to developing a range insect repellents, which were the first products of their kind to be just as strong as pesticides, but 100% natural. incognito has also just shot up the ethical rankings to joint 3rd in The Good Shopping Guide. Buy here.

Sustainable high-performance socks.

Rockay is a premium Performance wear brand, with a mission to provide world-class products, but only ever using 100% recycled fabrics and ocean waste, thus reducing their impact on the planet. Thanks to Polygiene’s unique coating, Rockay socks also remain odor-free, resulting in wearing more and washing less, further increasing their eco credentials: saving water, energy, time and money.

Rockay sock range encompasses Performance, Comfort and Quality, which incorporates some important key performance features, including: seamless toes, carefully positioned performance cushioning; breathable mesh zones; and special built-in arch compression support. Some of our socks include compression which increases blood flow, and thus, ensures better movement and performance, for longer runs, less injuries and faster recoveries. They currently have a Black Friday Week deal offering free shipping + Double Rewards, buy here. 

If you like these products emerging from the bio-economy for a Greener Black Friday,  then you might also like: 

Read: Allbirds co-founder slams Amazon for unveiling ‘copycat’ shoe and ‘undermining sustainability efforts’.

Read: Plant-based toothbrush company aims for 100% bio-based and biodegradable portfolio goal by 2020.

Download: Issue #16 of the Bio Market Insights Quarterly 

Read: PrimaLoft teams up with Parley to turn marine plastic waste into insulation materials.

Attend: World Bio Markets 2020. 

Read: Prada to unveil recycled nylon bag collection made from ocean plastics, fishing nets and textile fibre waste.


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