For me Mother’s Day is a day to reflect as well as get out of the ironing and washing up – no change there then, I hear them mutter. It’s a day when I remember my own lovely mum and when I can feel such gratitude to be a mother myself to such a smart and compassionate girl who fills my days with as much love and laughter as she does mess and exhaustion. It’s also the day, Mother’s Day 2016, I became vegan so it really is an extra, extra special day. Hopefully the morning will start with a nice cuppa and a burnt bit of toast, and if I’m really lucky a little pressie. In order to make it as easy as possible for James and Ruby to pick a nice cruelty-free gift, I have compiled this ultimate hint-list and am passing it off as a helpful guide to vegans everywhere!
Eleven vegan-friendly ethical gift ideas for you to spoil your mother – or any woman in your life who deserves a special treat – on this special day
Troffle chocolate What better way to say you love and appreciate someone than with the most beautifully designed dairy-free box of chocolates I’ve seen. Almost too good looking to eat, almost – don’t be silly now! Presented in a stylish box that itself announces a special occasion, these taste as wonderful as they look. Rich, high-quality, fair-trade single-origin Tanzanian chocolate with interesting delicate flavours in their vegan-friendly range such as cucumber and juniper that just begs to be enjoyed with a gin. Just don’t dare ask to share, the answer’s a firm no. Troffle.co.uk
Thought Vegan clothes I have recently discovered their vegan collection for both men and women. Unlike most high street retailers they take their ethical responsibility from start to finish seriously. From sustainably sourced fabrics to their code of conduct, which includes policies on forced or child labour, reasonable working hours, paying a living wage and no discrimination based on sex, race, religion, this is a company that is an example to stores such as M&S and other high street names that have been linked to child labour in a recent exposé. Not only do they run their company with a conscience, their designs and fabrics are stylish and practical and suitable for working and family life – check out their website for the vegan range here Wearethought.co.uk
Magpie homeware Absolutely everything Magpie sell is vegan. I shopped here long before my vegan enlightenment with no idea everything was vegan-friendly. They even have a range that supports Hugletts Wood Animal Sanctuary, one of the most wonderful places I know. The designs are interesting, practical and uber-cool, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something for everyone’s tastes and budget. From dainty tea sets adorned with skulls, planetaria tea towels and plates decorated with human organs to sailboat mugs and wall hangings – I can spend hours on here draining my wages away. Magpieline.com
Fairypants vegan cosmetics Made right here in the UK. Fairypants started off at Chester Market in 2009 bringing cruelty-free beauty to locals, family and friends alike. Growing quickly to supply demand, the range is extensive and now available online, at vegan festivals and from other stockists. Log on to see their selection of perfumes, nail varnishes, hand and body creams and cosmetic brushes made from sustainable wood and Tracklon. There are some great pre-selected gift boxes as well. Absolutely everything is vegan. Fairypants.co.uk
Anticarnist activist apparel I love the direct in-your-face messages on these designs and I often get stopped when wearing my “not your body, not your life, not your choice” tee which is my favourite. Again with these guys you can shop with your ethics intact and they also donate 10% of their profits to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Anticarnist.com
Plants4Presents Something a little different from a bunch of flowers, this fruity sloe gin gift set features a 35cl bottle of sloe gin, a young sloe bush and a gorgeous fruiting calamondin. I was very lucky to receive the lemon tree version a few years ago and my tree is still growing strong, providing plenty of lemons to garnish my G&T’s year round – Lord knows I need them. It’s a happy reminder throughout the year of a lovely Mothers Day. The calamondin tree and gin gift set is £50, but they have other plants for sale to suit all budgets, large and small. Plants4presents.co.uk
Wills vegan shoes Vegans, we have it all – the amazing food, the snug no-wool jumpers, the cruelty-free make-up and the super-cool shoes, thanks mainly to Wills. I have a pair of the grey Dock boots, which are far too nice to do any work in, and I also treated my husband to a pair of the Derbys for Christmas, which he is very pleased with. They are really well made, comfortable and of course not made from the skin of others. All footwear is certified vegan by the Vegan Society. Wills-vegan-shoes.com
Subscription to The Vegan Kind This really is the gift that keeps on giving! Each month your mum or special lady will receive a parcel full of new vegan finds, sourced especially by TVK. The different selection of goodies includes items such as chocolates, lip balms, drinks, candles, crisps, cookies, teas, mugs – the list is endless and great value for money. Plus you get a great recipe card with each box, a donation made to a vegan-friendly charity and often great discount codes on some of the products’ own websites. Just log on to social media to see how excited people get when their box arrives and share this joy with your special mum every month – because being a mum is a year-round job. They also do a quarterly beauty box.
Alkamy Candles Handmade in Whitley Bay in the northeast of England from soy wax, not beeswax, these look lovely in their minimalist packaging and they smell amazing. All they need is a bath tub to rest on, the promise of an undisturbed relaxing soak and a copy of Vegan Life! As well as candles they make lip balms, pillow mist, reed diffusers and body creams. Everything is free from paragons, paraffin, synthetic colourings, metal core wicks and animal testing – just gorgeous smells for your home. Alkamy.co.uk
Marie’s Artisan Soaps Part of being a parent usually involves being covered in all sorts of undesirable marks of family life – from baby vomit, pet hair, dried-on porridge, washable paints that are more permanent than a sharpie and everything unpleasant in between. These beautiful soaps are made in the Scottish lowlands by a small family-run business using traditional artisan methods and are perfect for scrubbing up and treating your skin to much-needed TLC. The entire range is vegan (including the oats and honey bar as it’s the blossom, not actual honey, that’s used) and great for sensitive skin as there are no nasty chemicals. Ingredients are carefully and responsibly sourced – more information and full range here. Marieartisansoaps.co.uk
Designer goods If you have a bigger budget and the mum in question loves all things designer then the Stella McCartney range is sustainable and free from animal materials – from shoes to clothing and bags. It’s just fantastic when big influential names like this bring ethics into fashion – with fur trying to rear its ugly head on our high street it’s all the more important to have designers like Stella not just sticking to her ethics but actively speaking up for the environment and animals. There won’t be many vegan mums out there who would be disappointed receiving one of her bags! stellamccartney.com
Big thanks to Troffle chocolates, Fairypants, Anticarnist, Plants4presents, Alkamy Candles and Marie’s Artisan Soaps for contributing to the giveaway.