What to do if you receive a gift that doesn't align with your values.
Updated: Apr 13
As you delve further into the realms of sustainability, environmentalism and ethical products, what you buy really means more. Your dollar votes for a better system. You can avoid things you don't like, like plastic, you turn to minimalism and so that super specialised kitchen equipment, that you know will sit in the back of the cupboard that you just Marie Kondo-ed.
So what do you do if a loved one gifts you something you wouldn't normally buy?
1. Be grateful.
If you are lucky enough, to have somebody who loves you enough to buy you a gift, be grateful! It's honestly that simple. If they buy you a big box of plastic wrapped chocolate, and you're normally vegan, or plastic free. BE GRATEFUL! Celebrate that you have somebody in your life that loves you enough to spend their money and time giving you something to bring you joy. I'm a flexitarian, reducing plastic - so sure, normally I don't buy myself boxes of individually wrapped chocolates. But it's the best thing EVER if I'm gifted some. I'll share them out, eat some, ensure the wrappers are disposed of properly. Thank my loved one. If I receive ethical gifts I'm even more ecstatic, especially those Lush gift boxes at Christmas.. Someone has gone to the extra length to buy something highly specialised and put that much thought into me. I count myself very lucky and fortunate.
With the ethical world, there is a risk of becoming an echo chamber. Of becoming so insulated that you repel away those that love you. Excel light and love! Be grateful!
2. Gift it on.
If you really cannot stomach the gift, discreetly gift it on. Making a scene- over a kind gesture is a dick move! But is there somebody that you know will appreciate gift? Perhaps somebody who is a kitchen wizz and would use that obscure kitchen gift? Pass it over at a suitable time- i.e. a few weeks later. If you aren't going to use/ consume your gift somebody else probably will!
3. Sell it.
A slightly contraversial option for gifts that you won't use, is to sell it on. Again, it makes sure it's utilised and somebody else will enjoy it!
3. Think ahead for next birthday/ occasion. If there is really nothing you need or would like, ask ahead of time for alternative gifts/ experiences or for no gifts! Talk to your family, if you don't want to receive a certain gift anymore, but know that gifting means a lot to the special person, discuss what you can receive instead. Check out our ethical gifting ideas if you're needing inspiration.
The most important part of straddling this uncomfortable dilemma is gratitude. Pushing your friends and family away in pursuit of your beliefs is not something that will make you or your family happy long term.
What gifts have you been gifted that you have felt awkward about and not used? Comment below or via our social media.