Reused or recycled gifts are not just for hippies and geeks – Hayley Matthews

Presents, wrapped inside biodegradable brown paper and cloth ribbon, can also be sustainable (Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)Presents, wrapped inside biodegradable brown paper and cloth ribbon, can also be sustainable (Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)
Presents, wrapped inside biodegradable brown paper and cloth ribbon, can also be sustainable (Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)
I've been on BBC Radio Scotland a lot over the past few weeks talking about a range of things from regifting presents to budget presents.

However, the one that made the most impact on me was talking about sustainable presents. Who knew sustainable gifting was a thing?

I’d heard about sustainable fashion so I suppose presents go with the territory. And it’s really opened my eyes to items and brands that are leading the way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There was mention of me being challenged to buy in a sustainable way and, as I love a challenge, I was up for finding all my presents from such a source.

As I started my search, I looked at companies who are really going for it in terms of using 100 per cent recycled polyester, sustainable materials and everything in between. And I mean completely using recycled items, not just the odd zip.

I was also looking for fashionable, high-end items to blow away any preconceptions that recycled and sustainable is hippy-ish or geeky and how it's actually the way forward as far as fashion goes.

Trying to source sustainable or recycled toys for the kids was a challenge but we found a second-hand car for £40 (normally £200) for the wee one, so I'm classing that as a win.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Edinburgh vintage shops: 11 of the best places in the Capital to buy pre-loved c...

I've found that it tends to be more the fashion industry though who are leading the way in using recycled materials. Adidas makes trainers from old plastic bottles, Nike says it uses up to 50 per cent recycled materials and many smaller independents are using more items such as recycled polyester.

One of my favourites though has to be The North Face (TNF) who do their Thermoball eco-coat, which is made from 100 per cent recycled materials. I knew my challenge was going in the right direction when I saw this. It’s also a great option if you want outdoor weather protection but with no down from our feathered friends as the material is all synthetic.

I then stumbled on something that was right up Mr Hayley’s street because he's still complaining about being cold, wet and miserable when taking our dog out for a walk.

She's from Cyprus so I'm sure she finds the cold a struggle more than he does. But seriously, short of getting him a villa in Spain my other option was something waterproof, windproof, with big pockets for his hat and gloves (he won't carry a man bag). And of course, it needed to be from recycled materials.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So it's lucky TNF have something that ticks all the boxes with their Search and Rescue Dryvent Jacket. And yes, my challenge was successful as “made from recycled polyester was also in the description”.

Boom, I win! He's happy and cosy, dry and warm. And who doesn't want to wear something that's putting discarded plastic to good use? He felt extra special when I told him it was originally crafted for national park rescue crews in the 90s, so he should be set for all weathers.

Challenge completed, now I just need to find a dog coat from recycled materials for our Cypriot four-legged lady because she really feels the cold. I might just have to recycle one of Mr Hayley's coats for her, keeping in with the challenge and all that.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.