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Avoiding the Christmas gift overload: how to ask for sustainable gifts & what to ask for

Christmas can be a difficult time for the sustainable and minimalist minded, facing the mounds of gifts that your children probably don't want. Keep reading for our top tips on how to be more conscious (and encourage others to be too!) this Christmas!

Create an open dialog around gifting

The first step towards receiving (and giving) conscious Christmas presents is to simply have a conversation with those around you on what this means, and how you'd like to do it.

Be specific about what your children do or don't need (for example, 'please try to avoid plastic') and share your expectations such as letting your family know that your children are happy (or would even prefer!) to receive second-hand gifts and books. I even send links to second-hand toys that I've found on Vinted for family members to buy, making it as easy as possible for them.

TIP: Show how much your children loved the gifts by sending photos to loved ones of them enjoying them!

Gift lists

How do you tell your friends and family what is on your wishlist in the most effective and organised way?

Outdated is the physical wishlist, there are now great sites such as Giftster which makes everybody's lives much easier.

You can pop all of the items you'd like in Giftster and send out to everyone at once, and if an item is purchased it then marks it as purchased. No accidental duplicates of gifts, no chatter in the family group chat trying to work out who is getting what, and no time wasted separating items into different lists to give to different people. With one swoop, the wishlist is out and ready!

What to ask for

What *are* good, sustainable gifts to ask for on behalf of your children? Here are our top ideas:

1. Subscription/Rental Services

Baby Clothing (Belles and Babes)

A baby clothes subscription is an ideal way to be able to dress your baby in clothing they need, but also can swap items back in and out as they grow to continue to fit them.

If you already have a subscription with us at Belles and Babes, we now have gift cards available on our website which you can redeem against your subscription!

Toy Subscriptions (Whirli)

Whirli is a superb choice for a toy rental service, with over 1000 toys to choose from and no time limit on when to return the items.

Bike Rentals (The Bike Club)

Exchange your bike in as your kids grow with The Bike Club, and you'll never have to buy new again!

Lawrence with his rented Bike Club bike on Christmas Day a few years ago

TIP: Pair a rental subscription gift with a small 'open on the day' present for your little one, for example a new woolly hat with a bike rental for them to ride in.

2. Experiences or days out membership (National Trust, English Heritage)

Organisations like The National Trust offer great yearly memberships for families that provide benefits such as entry to more than 500 sites and free parking at most National Trust car parks.

3. Second hand gift ideas

Charity Shop Gift Cards

Asking for a gift card from charity shops such as The Red Cross is a great way to be able to choose what your child needs/ wants from the store directly.

Second Hand Books (World of Books)

With over 250,000 second hand children's books currently listed on World of Books, there will absolutely be something on there your child with love. Not to mention that they are a B-Corp company!


Are you new here? Read on to find out a little bit more about us...

Belles and Babes is a UK-based rental business specialising in sustainable maternity, baby, and nursing clothes. Founded by Emma Gillespie in 2017, the company is driven by her corporate sustainability background and has a mission to provide a more sustainable alternative for parents seeking to move away from fast fashion and reduce clothing waste.

B&B offers maternity and nursing clothes to rent as part of its capsule wardrobe service for £5 per item each month, with the option to swap items and add on extras such as a maternity coat, and also has styles available to buy new or pre-loved. Baby capsule wardrobes start from £25 a month for a personalised bundle of 18 items of sustainable organic clothing which are replaced as your baby grows.

If you are a parent seeking a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, you can find out more about our rental options by clicking the links in the menu above.

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