Five Tips For Shopping Smarter This Christmas

Woman putting Christmas presents in a gift bag next to a tree

Shopping smarter and more sustainably this Christmas can ensure that your festive plans don’t cost the earth. Making small changes in certain areas of your festivities can add up to a huge difference.

Sustainable shopping expert at British Wool, Graham Clark shares five practical top tips to guilt-free Christmas shopping.

Say no to fast-fashion gifts

As the pounds start to add up it can be easy to turn to fast-fashion outlets at this time of year. A recent study found that nearly two in three (62%) Brits admit to finding it hard to avoid fast-fashion options whilst shopping. A quick scan of a fast-fashion retailers’ website and you’ll be served numerous tempting discount codes whilst on site, and via social media ads, emails and more. But ask yourself, how can they afford to discount so heavily?

Whilst a purchase like this may help you to save money in the short-term, the long-term cost on the environment is unavoidable. You’ll likely end up with a poor-quality gift that won’t see next Christmas. Opt for more durable and sustainable items like a British Wool knit sweater or a cosy pair of quality socks or gloves for those winter nights in or out.

Gift something that your loved one can treasure for years to come, by buying better, you’ll ultimately help them to buy less.

Support local

Shopping sustainably doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money on an expensive brand. Investing in local businesses can be a great way to find gorgeous, one-of-a-kind gifts or decorations that will help to support a family or small business owner over the festive season.

Why not create a sustainability check list? Before you buy, think carefully if this garment fulfils the criteria on your list. Is it biodegradable? Recyclable? Organic? Is it made using sustainable manufacturing? Is it traceable? Has it already been recycled? One garment probably won’t tick every box but if you feel like it’s ticking most then that’s a good start!

Ditch throwaway décor

If this year is anything like previous, 75% of Brits will be gearing up to spend a shocking £185.00 on Christmas decorations. From extravagant Christmas trees, to covering your house from top to bottom in festive cheer, it’s safe to say the trend of excess is taking over.

Look out for eco-friendly décor such as wooden hanging ornaments or recycled festive bunting. Put simply, just avoid buying poor quality decorations which will result in you binning and rebuying next year.

Get crafty and create your own, why not knit Christmas decorations for the family or get the kids involved and create dried orange garlands or leaf baubles. And if at all possible, avoid the tinsel!

Reduce, reuse, recycle

There’s plenty of initiatives now that help make Christmas more sustainable. If they offer it in your area sign up to have your Christmas tree replanted after use – or even do it yourself and replant and reuse year after year.

Look to recycle throughout Christmas wherever you can. Things like reusing wrapping paper and gift bags can be a great thing to do. It prevents waste and also helping you to get your money’s worth.

This advice stands across almost anything you’re purchasing at Christmas, look to reuse first and if that isn’t possible go for the most sustainable option.

Get creative

Thankfully a lot more people are considering and aware of conscious consumerism in 2022. But rather than immediately switching to new shopping resources, why not consider if you’re purchasing too much?

Is a new outfit for the Christmas party an absolute must? Will anyone notice you wore this Christmas jumper last year? If you must purchase for a special event or occasion, look outside of the box.

You can find really amazing pieces at wardrobe swaps. Or in vintage stores that will allow you to create a stylish wardrobe without costing the earth. Or why not try your hand at upcycling older clothing items? You’d be surprised at how different an outfit can be using a little creativity.

For more information on British Wool and sustainable shopping tips, please visit:

Read more tips on shopping smarter and how to have a more sustainable Christmas.

Jacqueline Munro

Jacqueline is the Digital Content Editor at "The People's Friend", looking after our website, social media channels and podcast.