I read a horrifying statistic the other day- that we in Britain throw away two million tones of clothing every year.

Honesty works this Christmas
Honesty works this Christmas

This really opened my eyes to the extravagances of the Christmas season and how, in order to reduce these statistics, we all need to modify our consumer habits.

There won’t be one of us that can say that they have never received an unwanted gift at Christmas time, and this is particularly true of items of clothing that have been lovingly chosen and given to us by friends and family.

Although the exchanging and returning of unwanted gifts is an option for us all post Christmas there are still lots of us that feel that once given something, the obligation is there to hold on to that item, as we don’t want to offend the giver.

The way to combat this is to be brutally honest with each other by letting people know exactly what item of clothing you wish for.

Isn’t this taking the fun out of Christmas? You’re probably asking.

Well the answer is definitely “no” as we all need to start appreciating that making fashion sustainable and not disposable is an essential part of saving our planet.

If this all seems very serious and un-festive, fear not, as there are lots of ways to  savor that fun, present buying experience, while being safe in the knowledge that you’re doing something worthwhile too.


Taking The Pain Out Of Giving And Receiving

Looking at things from the Giver’s perspective, a few basic rules apply:-

  • Remember that for most of us clothes are very personal and go a long way to reflect our personalities.  With this in mind take note of the style of the person you are buying for to enable your choice of gift to reflect this.
  • If you know that the recipient always purchases expensive clothing that would be out of your present buying budget, think of an alternative gift idea.
  • Bear in mind the lifestyle of the recipient so that something unsuitable is not purchased.  The classic example of this are ties which everybody loves giving but not every man loves wearing!
  • Receiving an article of clothing as a gift which co-ordinates well with existing wardrobe pieces is always a joy and is less likely to be rendered redundant.  Having the knowledge of where the recipient usually shops and the brands they buy will dramatically increase your chances of purchasing a well- loved present.

From a receiver’s point of view it is a mistake to think that honesty is an all or nothing phenomenon.  Equipping the giver with a few essential criteria regarding the clothing gift you would like, still allows some element of surprise whilst reducing the chances of it being totally unsuitable and a potentially unworn gift.

Of course, if the thought of all this data gathering and detective work seems overwhelming you can always resort to on-line Christmas wish list companies.  Here, families and social groups can post their Christmas lists for the ultimate, no wastage present buying experience.

If all else fails try Facebook and Twitter to communicate your wishes or there is always the tried and tested gift voucher alternative.

Let’s give it our all this Christmas to try and be less wasteful, but without compromising our fun, after all it has always been a time for giving and receiving so why should that change.

All that remains, is to say a very Merry Christmas to all Hello Eco Living readers from all of us at Swop2Shop.co.uk and here’s to many happy hours of present buying!

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