Conscious Living: Give the gift of shopping small

Each month, Aksara Inamdar of to Woke Souls shines a light on conscious eating, sustainable living and wellbeing. With Christmas upon us, she gives suggestions for thoughtful gifts which support local businesses

Catkins Illustrations (42941556)
Catkins Illustrations (42941556)

Choosing to shop at a small business means that you are not enabling a CEO to buy their fourth sports car. You are instead making an impact where it’s meaningful. You are directly helping a single-parent to put food on the table, a family to pay the mortgage, and/or supporting the potential of an innovative mind to truly make a difference.

So why not vote with your wallet this year by sourcing your gifts locally, or at least via an independent and/or ethical retailer? There’s no doubt that Amazon Prime can be a handy asset this time of year - but there are so many more thoughtful, unique and special ways to gift a loved one and in a much more rewarding way.

This Christmas, I’m sharing some of my most favourite brands, products and experiences with you, many of which are based in and around Cambridge.

Indie Products

Chakra Roller Gift Set, £120, Eve & Keel

Whether it's your solar plexus, base, or heart chakra that feels out of sync, re-align with this complete set of crystal-infused aromatherapy rollers. Each roller contains a different crystal to keep you in check and in addition to this, Founder Jennie is a real gem herself. Pun intended.

E2 Road Bag, £80, Akatue

Named after the world famous Columbia Road flower market, this Elephant grass shopper would make a beautiful addition to any lucky individual’s wardrobe. Founder and visionary, 29 year-old local gal Liberty Clayton endeavours to create an inclusive, impactful, and ethical brand with her woven, timeless creations.

Nude Crochet Plant Pot, £18, Sarora Knots

Handmade crochet plant hangers and pots, created by yet another young and innovative, local entrepreneur - Sara Albander. Expect to find simple home accessories which are bound to add style and texture to any home.

Gold Dangle Earrings, £120, Toke Jewellery

Handcrafted earrings, rings, and necklaces that don’t cost the earth. Made from recycled gold and silver, Luisa Howe’s pieces are stunning and one of a kind; her dainty designs make special gifts for even the finickiest of friends.

Indie Experiences

From zen yoga classes and romantic outdoor cinema screenings, through to adrenaline-boosting activities, below are some of the best local spots to create those memorable moments.

Satyam Yoga & Wellbeing Centre

The city’s only floatation tank paired with authentic yoga and meditation classes, unique workshops and exceptional courses. For full mind, body and spirit rejuvenation, look no further.

Enchanted Cinema

The best outdoor cinema experience in our city which only gets better each year. Enjoy the big screen the way it should be: with a combination of live music, street food, fairylights and other delights.

Liquid Skillz at Lake Ashmore

This hidden resort offers wakeboarding, paddleboarding, inflatable rides and open swimming. A short 20 minute car-ride from the city and you’ll feel as though you’ve emerged someplace down south.

Anna’s Flower Farm

Anna is your go-to for any conscious and boutique craft experience. Check out her made-to-order artisan crafts, guided workshops, classes and seasonal one-off events.

Dome Dining at The Willow Tree

A Cambridgeshire doppelganger of the Coppa Club igloos by the River Thames. Dine beneath the stars in these fairy-lit domes by the countryside.

Mindful Subscriptions

I believe the best kind of gift is one that the recipient will truly benefit from but wouldn’t necessarily purchase for themselves. Here are my favourite versions of gifts that keep on giving: Oddbox, Lost Stock, Lifebox, Gaia, Books That Matter and Masterclass.

For other ideas on alternative gift-giving, check out the following: Good Gift, Social Stories Club, and Wearth London.

Meet Aksara

Aksara Inamdar (42941554)
Aksara Inamdar (42941554)

Aksara Inamdar is an advocate for the conscious living movement and founder of to Woke Souls. As a creative writer, entrepreneur, and soon to be podcaster, she is passionate about making a real difference by using her platforms to inform, inspire and motivate others to live a more enlightened and fulfilled life.

to Woke Souls is a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living and self-love. The site features insights from our city’s most purpose-led, inspired individuals and serves an engaged readership of people seeking to better care for themselves, their communities and the planet.

Find out more about Aksara and to Woke Souls at / @towokesouls

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