Our favourite Christmas gift ideas for 2017
Ho, ho, ho – the season is upon us. Santa Claus is well prepared, and will soon pack up his sleigh and head out to deliver all his presents. If you are lagging behind, and still have no idea what to get your friends and loved ones, check out this year’s top Tea Christmas gifts! Read More
Clothing with a conscience
A fancy new piece of clothing is sure to cheer up your fashion-aficionado friends. Looking for something a little different, something that makes a statement? Have a look at these stunning pieces made from retired postal uniforms! Not only are they absolutely in vogue; the story behind them is also attention-worthy. Back in 2012, the New Zealand Post identified that up to 9,000 of its uniforms were still in good condition, but were ending up being used as rags or shredded each year. It seemed like a terrible waste, so they contacted the Space Between start-up, a New Zealand based social enterprise run by staff, students and graduates of Massey University. The re-used and re-fashioned postal uniforms became the brand-new social enterprise’s first collection, fulfilling their goal to transform waste material into gorgeous, new garments.
Get the full story
Know some art lovers who would love a truly special gift? This is your chance to get them a piece from a famous artist they’ve probably never heard of before: Pigcasso. Granted a last-minute reprieve from the butcher’s knife, this South African swine lives at an animal sanctuary in South Africa, where it discovered an impressive, hidden talent: painting. Its expressionistic pieces are selling like hotcakes and the sales bring in much needed revenue for the animal sanctuary.
More about Pigcasso
Here’s how to make the dreams of all your women friends come true: These magical shoes transform from high heels into flats – or stilettos, block heels, and anything in-between – in seconds. A new technology developed by the German Mime et Moi start-up allows you to simply switch out the heels. So you are ready to put your best foot forward in any situation: Walk to work in comfy flats, add a modest heel for the office, then go all out in 10cm heels at the after-work party. And if your feet start to tire, simply click the flat heel back in so your tender tootsies don’t ruin the evening…
More about Mime et Moi
Power reading for rebel girls
A great present for your little nieces and grown-up rebel girls: These two beautifully designed books portray the lives of outstanding women throughout history.
For her book “Bad Girls throughout History”, author and illustrator Ann Shen looked for women who were the very first in their fields. The stories will tell you who the first self-made female millionaire was, and that Hedy Lamarr wasn’t just a famous Hollywood actor in the 40s, but also the inventor of what we know as Wi-Fi today.
Set up as a children’s book, “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. 100 tales of extraordinary women” is like a guidebook to breaking the rules. It portrays some of the most exceptional women in history, from mathematician Ada Lovelace and pirate Grace O’Malley, to Coco Chanel, Evita Peron and Frida Kahlo. The book wants to send out a strong message to all the rebel girls of this world: “Dream bigger. Aim higher. Fight harder. And, when in doubt, remember you are right.”
More about books for rebel girls.
Design in Space
Inspiration, beautiful design and a dash of history is what you’ll find in the book “Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme”. While you might never expect to find beautiful and sophisticated artistic design in space, this is exactly what first Russian space architect and interior designer Galina Balaschova created. Galina Balaschova’s designs were instrumental in shaping life in space for decades: harmonious, cosy and pretty much the opposite of high tech. And her personal story is a touching example of the highly influential, but hidden legacy of an exceptional woman in history. While thumbing through the book to learn more about her life, you can admire the highly aesthetic designs which – once highly classified – went public only recently.
Galina Balaschova’s life story
Interior design online voucher
Wouldn’t we all like to turn our living spaces into our own designer dream – if only we knew how? If you know someone who has just moved, this is a unique opportunity for an unforgettable gift. It’s a bit pricy, so get some other friends on board, and book an interior designer for the recently relocated on the Milray Park website. The designer will then develop a concrete interior design proposal for their apartment or house complete with a detailed shopping list. All they have to do is go out and pick up their new furnishings.
More information on how it works
Dinner at Robin Hood Restaurant
The greatest gift you can give is time – which is why a voucher for a shared adventure or delicious meal is always a good idea. What makes a present even better? If your gift benefits many other people in addition to the recipient. You could take your favorite person out for a meal at Robin Hood Restaurant in Madrid, for example. What might look like a perfectly normal restaurant is in fact a social project: The money the restaurant takes in during the day is used to provide the homeless and others in need with a warm evening meal. So your gift really does keep on giving in keeping with the true Christmas spirit. If you don’t happen to live in Madrid, check your local area for similar initiatives.
More about Robin Hood Restaurant
Healthy food for healthy souls
Another great gift idea for spending time with your loved ones while doing good: Take them out to a cafe or restaurant that serves locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables. The Severn Project from Bristol in the UK is just one example. The social enterprise supplies around 120 cafes with fresh and locally grown food, and offers ex-offenders and drug-addicts a new perspective on life at the same time. Initially founder Steve Glover, himself a former addict and recovery counsellor, intended mainly to support fellow addicts and ex-offenders after treatment, but he ended up creating one of the UK’s leading sustainable urban food businesses. And urban growing initiatives are springing up in all the larger cities right now, so look for the one closest to you.
Hypothermia monitoring bracelet
If you live in a developing country, this is probably THE present for all your pregnant friends: a hypothermia monitoring bracelet. In places where early childhood and infant mortality rates are high and hypothermia figures among the causes, this tiny bracelet can save lives: It sends out an alarm signal when an infant’s body temperature drops to warn parents so they can take their child to a hospital on time.
More about the hypothermia monitoring bracelet