GUIDE: Last-minute Christmas shopping with a conscience

File: From highly-desired toys to a used vacuum cleaner, the answers were varied.

File: From highly-desired toys to a used vacuum cleaner, the answers were varied.

JOHANNESBURG - With Christmas around the corner, you might be envious of your over-zealous friends and family who have all their gifts sorted out well ahead of time. 

Never fear, if you have last-minute shopping to do, we have some handy pointers for where to buy those last-minute gifts from businesses that have a conscience, be they environmentally friendly, adhere to fair trade principles, and/or invest in skills development. 

Thuthuka Jewellery

The Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme aims to "radically" improve the design and conceptual skills of aspirant young jewellery makers across South Africa.

Thuthuka is an isiZulu word meaning to grow and develop. 

Through a hands-on mentorship programme, talented students are guided and nurtured by professional, practising jewellers not only to harness their creativity and improve their skills but, more importantly, to become active participants in the economy.

Thuthuka has a festive sale until Saturday at The Moral Kiosk, 7th St & 2nd Ave, Melville, Johannesburg, Gauteng, so you can even keep your budget in check this Christmas!


one.fine.begining sells proudly South African, hand-made accessories. They are based at Middelburg Mall Shop 107B, Corner Dr Mandela Drive & Samora Machell Street, Middelburg, Mpumalanga


The Joinery

The Joinery is a sustainable, ethical, fashion, product and lifestyle brand that strives for a high-end design aesthetic with an African conscience.

Its clothing, accessories, and bespoke products are produced by sewing cooperatives and artisans based in and around the townships of Cape Town.

They use organic, certified cotton, tencel, linen and hemp fabrics where they can, and fibres that are grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

They are based at 79 Roeland St, Gardens, Cape Town. 




Based in Cape Town, Spiritgirl offers custom-designed yoga pants for like-minded sisters.

Using recycled PET, a product made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, they aim to minimise the impact on the environment and to benefit humanity.

This product reduces the need for landfill space, demand for dyes and fixing agents, and demand for oil, resulting in less pollution and more energy saving (more than 80 percent are virgin products)

For information of stockists, click here




Fancypants started by designing and creating amazing washable cloth nappies that were super-absorbent and made of natural (bamboo) material. The successful development of the brand of nappies led to the development of bamboo nappy liners and soapnuts laundry detergent.

The company also offers potty training pants, swim nappies, night-time nappy covers, and booster pads, all made from natural fabrics. The latest offering is glass bottles made from toughened borosilicate glass so they are ultra-durable. A colour-changing silicon sleeve helps prevent the bottle from breaking and changes colour if the contents are too hot. 

For information on stockists in Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, and Namibia, click here

Real + Simple

Real + Simple is a sustainable denim lifestyle brand, based in Cape Town. Skilled local craftsmen make its products ethically. The jeans are made in limited quantities. 

Their concept stores can be found at 69 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, and The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Cape Town. 

Lola and Kiki ethnic dolls

Lola and Kiki ethnic dolls are hand-made with proudly South African materials, each one with a unique outfit. 

Based in North West, they offer a snapshot of SA tribes.


Online options

Yes, we realise it&39;s too late for online deliveries before Christmas, but most online shops offer a gift voucher option. 

Cape Coffe Beans is an online store dedicated to South African coffee lovers. It offers Bean There, a product by South Africa&39;s very first roaster of Fairtrade Certified beans. Bean There&39;s approach is to partner closely with African producers to source some of the continent&39;s best coffee beans while also making a sustainable difference to the lives of the people who grow them. 

Sitting Pretty offers environmentally friendly, ethical trading, and integrity-driven clothing labels. They source natural and environmentally friendly fibres, such as organic cotton and hemp.