Let’s talk baubles. You know, the shiny, plasticky ones that come in boxes of 50. They are sprayed with some kind of peeling paint, they look terrible after one year? And don’t even get us started on tinsel.

Each year millions of pounds is spent on new – almost certainly – manmade Christmas decorations and the amount of plastic needed to sate our tree decorating hunger is out of control. Even most wrapping paper is filled with tiny microplastics from the coating and foil.

But it needn’t be like this! Across the country, there are scores of wonderful ethical brands making the most wonderful decorations. They look great, and they don’t harm the planet which is a great reason to dive into our handy guide.

So let’s start with a tree…


Handmade – Plastic Free – Sustainably Coppiced

The branches of each tree are handcrafted from sustainably sourced hazel coppice which is cut as part of traditional woodland management – so no trees are harmed in the making of each Eco Christmas Tree!

This Norfolk-based enterprise is gearing up for it’s fourth Christmas and have a wonderful mission to ensure less impact on the planet. 

Best thing is that come January you just unhook it all and stash away for next year – not a needle in sight.


Handmade – Hand Drawn – Sustainable Beech

This gorgeous hand drawn ornament is handmade from local beech and each one comes beautifully boxed alongside its own sustainable Christmas story.

We think this is a really classy little bauble with a wonderful story.


Reusable – Recyclable – Made in UK

Big snaps to these crackers. Leave the bad jokes and terrible hats to other people this year and create your own crackers! Not only are you in control of the little gifts but the eco creds are stonking from this UK based maker.

The crackers and ecosnaps are recyclable card, the wallet is compostable too. They are printed with vegetable based inks and the satin ribbons are woven in the UK using yarns made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Everything can be kept and packed away for next year too – just buy some more snaps!


Handmade – Upcycled – Zero Waste

A beautiful rag wreath made from sari offcuts. Guaranteed to add colour to any festive occasion! The wreaths all use upcycled sari waste and hand cut by underprivileged women in India who have been trained in tailoring.

Each one is completely unique and they are a sustainable way to decorate your home and welcome the festive season!

£36, from Pri Pri


Recycled – Plastic Free – Fully Recyclable

Plastic coating, glitter and foiling on gift wrap breaks down into microplastics which impacts our entire ecosystem. By choosing this gift wrap you show your love for the planet – and it’s undeniably cute too!

With a beautiful print designed by artisans, all the paper is 100% recycled, plastic-free and fully recyclable. They also use vegetable-based ink, so the paper is vegan, and they use a waterless and chemical-free printing process to be kinder to the environment.

£6.75, from Curlicue


Hand Made – Economic Empowerment – Female-Led Business

This eye catching Toucan Ornament will add some sparkle and fun to your Christmas tree. Hand crafted and embroidered by women artisans Saina and Shabana in India.

The fabric is fixed to a wooden frame called an adda to be hand embroidered. Once the embroidery is completed it is stitched by hand to give it its Toucan shape. The embroidery technique used is a historical traditional art, flourishing in India for more than a century.


Handmade – Upcycled – Zero Waste

Our friends at Pri Pri have introduced us to the concept of Furoshiki – the art of wrapping in reusable cloth packaging. Handsewn in India, they are a beautiful and eco-friendly way to give your gifts this year.

And look stunning under the tree!

£12, from Pri Pri

#EthicalHour is running #ShopEthicalInstead as a campaign to promote small businesses, brands featured on #EthicalHour or as part of #ShopEthicalInstead or in any of our gift guides have not paid for promotion and #EthicalHour is not using affiliate links in this campaign. Prices correct at time of publication.