Gift shopping is stressful, so right we are to be grateful for department stores that house everything under one roof. Off you go, gliding between concessions and categories; one minute, a Le Creuset, another, an LG TV. But it makes us lazy, as we vow to tick off all giftees in one place, regardless of their character or preferences. If Selfridges doesn’t sell it, then it’s not an option. Sorry, Simon. But this is where small brands suffer, because despite our best intent, convenience trumps our consciences.
This year however, because shopping will largely take place from the comfort of the sofa, things might change. Opening up a new tab in search of a family owned and run shop, is very different to traipsing the back streets of Oxford Circus, feeling all the while magnetised to that gorgeous canary yellow.
This is not to woke school or shame you, by the way. That would be silly - we need department stores and they need us, but it’s wise to splice your selections with independents, too. This is especially true of beauty, where small and brilliant brands are often drowned out by the heritage, luxury and legacy ones. Their products deserve a place in stockings and on shelves, because not only are their formulas brilliant – take it from nau's Body Lotion, which with coffee extract and vitamin E, makes limbs feel like they've bathed in silk – but the majority are also commitment to sustainability. And transparent supply chains. And ethical ethics... the list goes on.
Whether beauty stuff or not, this year, try not to buy for the sake of it. One thoughtful, useful and beautiful present is better than a mountain of tat. And swerve those designed-purely-for-a-laugh stocking fillers, that elicit a token laugh for no more than one minute, before being resigned to a I Don’t Know What To Do With This pile. Anyway, enjoy the below, They're goodies.