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Conscious Christmas: How and Why You Should Get Involved

Posted on November 12 2018

This year, Sancho's is dedicated to having a Conscious Christmas and to provide solutions, making it easier for our customers and the local community to have a Conscious Christmas too. Today we are very excited to introduce our Conscious Christmas collection! We will also be sharing why it is so important to have a Conscious Christmas and how you can have a Conscious Christmas too. 

 

What is so unconscious about Christmas?

Unfortunately, Christmas is very much associated with materialism, consumerism and excessiveness. The holiday pressures people from all walks of life, religious or not, to buy presents for people that they will never use and will inevitably end up in landfill. 

We love Christmas here at Sancho's, but we also recognise the depth of the problem around wastefulness. So this year we hope to inspire, and also share inspiration we find along the way to create a more Conscious Christmas together.

 

What is a Conscious Christmas?

Rather than turning a blind eye to the consumerism that is so synonymous with this holiday, why not make a difference this Christmas? As Maya Angelou famously once said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

So what is a Conscious Christmas? A Conscious Christmas is the antidote to wasteful consumerism. It encourages people to be far more selective when it comes to the items we choose to own and the items we gift others. This is important in terms of both quantity and quality. Not only should you be reducing the amount you purchase but also taking into account the quality of what you purchase. This means looking at how things are made, what they are made from and who is actually involved in the making.

By reading (and hopefully sharing!) this blog, you are already taking a step in the right direction towards a more Conscious Christmas. The most important way to get involved is through education; to read more and teach yourself and others why consumerism and fast fashion is so exploitative and unsustainable in the first place. The next step is to act on what you learn.

You can make this year a Conscious Christmas by encouraging everyone around you to stop buying presents for your loved ones that they will not use or enjoy for very long. Instead, opt for things that will be treasured for a year or longer (or forever), that are useful or are absolutely beautiful. As William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

 

Five Ways You Can Have a Conscious Christmas

 

1. Buy plastic free presents

No matter what you're buying someone as a present, if you can buy something plastic-free then that is a huge step towards becoming more conscious and reducing plastic pollution. This is especially important when it comes to buying clothes. Most people don't think that clothing contains plastic but much of our clothing nowadays is composed of polyester and acrylic, two fabrics that are completely made from synthetic plastic fibres.

There are countless environmental downsides to the manufacture and destruction of plastic including upsetting the food chain, groundwater pollution, land pollution, air pollution and injury, entanglement, or suffocation of wildlife. If you want more plastic free tips, read Could You Be Plastic-Free? and 10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste.

 

2. Buy presents that are made to last

 

Always value quality above quantity when it comes to buying presents. You should only invest in presents that are made to last so that your loved one can get good use out of them for years to come. Rather than buying cheap, throwaway presents that will either break or your loved one will get bored of, spend more money on presents that are made to last and will have a longer and more meaningful impact.

 

3. Buy fairly made presents

Whether it is the materials that are used to make the product or the people who are making these products, it is important to always opt for fairly made presents. If you are buying clothes, jewellery, accessories or homeware, ensure they are made using all-natural fabrics rather than synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic that take hundreds of years to decompose.

Similarly, you should also try to ensure where you can that the workers who make the presents you are buying are treated fairly. Much of the fast fashion industry is infamous for its low wages and unsafe working conditions for garment workers. By buying ethical, fair-trade clothing you are also helping the lives of those who work in clothing production, by ensuring that they are working in safe conditions and are paid fairly.

 

4. Buy presents from local makers

Small, independent businesses are sources of employment and provide consumers with goods and services that sustain the local economy. Whilst shopping locally is important it's also important to ensure that the local businesses you are supporting support local ecology, minimise energy use and waste, and utilise recycled products and materials. If you are looking for local makers here in Devon, read our blog on Exeter's Best Independent Shops for Christmas Gifts for inspiration on where to go.

 

5. Use the hashtag #ConsciousChristmas and tag us on social media to spread the word and tell us what you are doing this year to have a Conscious Christmas!

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