Hayley Matthews: I’ve done my best to be good for goodness’ sake

Boots was a favourite of Hayley's grandad. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Boots was a favourite of Hayley's grandad. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
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I braved the Christmas ­shopping frenzy this week and decided to go into town with the car. This turned out to be a bad and expensive idea.

I don’t normally take the car up the town. However, a newborn baby, bitter cold weather and having more bags than the Beckhams at the airport left me wanting it. After cruising about for an hour to find a space then shelling out £8 for a few hours when finding one, I wasn’t happy.

I do like to have a few things on my list when shopping and if I can’t go for local, then I at least make sure it’s cruelty-free. I decided for the next lot of shopping I’d go somewhere I could get some cruelty-free presents and hopefully get parked so I headed to the Fort as a few shops definitely do cruelty-free.

With regards to cruelty-free, it’s changing all the time and if you don’t know what you’re looking for it can be hard to find. I know that M&S have the leaping bunny on all their own-brand items so it’s clear, but I’ve also read that, despite the lack of leaping bunny logo, Boots’ No7 (and their natural collection) are cruelty-free too. This fills me with joy as I have a wee soft spot for Boots.

I always remember my grandad, who was a huge lover of Boots, ­coming back from his Saturday shopping trip with a carrier bag full of his essentials (think Fisherman’s Friends and ­Rennies). The bag then later got recycled into my lucky bag that I would get after he and auntie Joyce babysat me.

It was the highlight of my week and included a packet of Smarties, a tangerine and a 50p piece. Anyway I wasn’t in for any Fisherman’s Friends and after the lovely woman at the No7 counter cuddled baby Oryn whilst I picked up a few gift sets for the beauty lovers on my list, I decided to ask why there was no mention about cruelty-free.

She said that it’s very expensive to have the leaping bunny logo on products so that’s why it’s not there. It was reassuring to hear many companies are going cruelty-free so here’s hoping one day we’ll see the leaping bunny on all products.

It was also really nice to see a huge vegan beauty range by Naomi Smart, a lifestyle blogger who has a successful YouTube channel. The bloggers of today have so much influence on our shopping habits that it’s reassuring to see the cruelty-free ethos is there too. Her gift sets and bath bombs smelt amazing and, oops, a few rolled themselves into the bathroom for a wee Hayley treat when I got home. Don’t tell me you haven’t don’t it either.

I also manged to find as close to an ethical tree as possible at Fort Trees round the back of Fort Kinnaird. I was asking if I could replant my tree but was told no. However, for every tree cut down, three are planted by Spurways up in Stirling so I was put at ease that my want for a tree hadn’t completely been detrimental to the environment.

I do think a lot about how our Christmas consumerism has a huge impact on the environment, animals and those being paid pennies to make the products, so if I do my bit to stick to buying products that have been involved in as little cruelty as possible then I’ve checked a big tick on my Christmas list.

Now I just need to find some local items on my list and some hand-made gifts and I can genuinely tell Santa I’ve been good.