My father runs a gift company called GiftsOnline4U.com. It’s small in size yet a very successful ‘family’ run business. It’s a business that I support with all my heart because of the hard work that my dad’s been trying to do over the past two years. It’s still a work in progress but he has worked really hard to improve what he does to become more ‘green’ – changing all of the packaging that the brand uses to eco-friendly packaging, adapting production practices to ensure that all his machines are energy efficient while also employing something that he refers to as ‘people-centric’ management. His people matter to him so he works hard to ensure that he manages his business with the values of morality and kindness at the forefront.
It’s quite inspiring. He is always doing something to try and be better and that is probably where I get it from. He is trying hard to transition a lot of his products to sustainable alternatives as well – it’s a hard slog as he has over 4000 gifts available but he is getting there slowly but surely, taking one step at a time but he knows there is still a long way for hime to go. However, one thing is really positive – the personalisation that he offers on all gifts makes each gift bespoke and therefore not disposable or at least that is his hope.
He has been able to stay open for business during the pandemic because he is an online retailer. By doing this, he has kept his team in work and been able to bring a smile to a lot of people’s faces through the gifts that he has sold. He’s also donating a portion of his profits to a children’s charity. Alongside this, he faced COVID-19 head on and chose to produce a range of free personalised ebooks for parents to use with their children as a way of keeping kids entertained at home.
Taking inspiration from some of the lovely messages and heartfelt gifts that he has been sending out. I wanted to share my top picks for gifts to send to your loved ones as the lockdown keeps us apart from one another and forces us to partake in special occasions in completely new ways.
A FEW IDEAS FOR GIFTS:
I wanted to share a list of gifts that you could send to your loved ones/donate during the lockdown as a way of showing you care or paying it forward in kindness:
- Engraved Wooden Watch: This is one of my favourite gifts that GiftsOnline4U offer. Firstly, because they look great and secondly because they are eco-friendly but also – how many people still wear watches or instead check the time using their phone. Lockdown gives us a chance to slow down.
- Zero Waste Kit – We’re going to leave lockdown at some point and one thing we all should have been able to learn during this time is living with less.. with this kit you’ve got everything you need to face the world from a different view point.
- Give Chocolate: Each of the nine flavours in Ocelot’s range has its own hand-drawn design by Edinburgh based co-owners Matt and Ish. The outer packaging is made in the UK from FSC certified paper stock. The inner film is 100% home and industrial compostable. They also take a smaller profit margin in order to create the most delicious, and most ethical product.
- Donate to digitally to a food bank: I personally think this is a great option for those friends or family that don’t really want a gift and are quite happy for you to donate to charity instead. Bankuet are a recent discovery of mine and I absolutely love it. I don’t have a local food bank to me so at least this way I know that I am actually donating to people who need it.
Every item Bankuet delivers has been chosen by specifically by the food bank because they know what they need. Food banks update Bankuet weekly ensuring that no donation goes to waste. ‘Bankuet Bundles’ are curated and only contain essentials that the food banks actually need.
It’s really easy to use, simply enter your postcode to find your local food bank or pick the food bank that you want to donate to and then select whether you want to provide a one-off donation or choose a subscription option.
- A Big Issue Subscription: I started buying ‘The Big Issue’ when I was about 20 years old. I didn’t really know much about it except hearing men and woman shouting ‘The Big Issue’ while I was walking down the street. It was only when I stopped to find out more about what it actually was, that I learned about all the good that it does.
The Big Issue launched in 1991, in response to the growing number of people sleeping rough on the streets of London. The concept is really simple, by selling a subscription to members of the public it enables those living in poverty to earn a legitimate wage.
Vendors buy their copy of the Big Issue for £1.25 and sell it on the street to passersby for £2.50, making each vendor a mini entrepreneur that is working for their wage rather than begging.
COVID-19 has stopped this right in it’s tracks, so having adapted quickly, they’ve launched a subscription of the magazine where 50% of the sales will be going to help their vendors who normally rely on the income from the sale of their copies in the street.
For only £38.99, you can subscribe for 3 months and have a weekly copy of The Big Issue delivered direct to someone’s door giving them something special to read and knowing that they will be helping people less fortunate.
- Sustainable Flowers: Every week, Petalon design two fresh bouquets using seasonal, interesting flowers. They deliver these throughout the week before designing another the following weekend and starting again. This means they have a constantly changing offering, keeping things seasonal while making sure wastage stays low. They offer a constantly evolving, beautiful product at a low price.
These are just some of the gifts that I have found. I love them because it’s supporting small businesses and also making sure that we take of those facing poverty too.