Sustainable Gift Wrapping

Christmas season is approaching, so we teamed up with The Fabric Wrapping Co. for the best tips for Sustainable Gift Wrapping without harming the planet.

Sustainable Gift Wrapping

Wrapping. Unless you are a serious ‘uber-wrapper’ (you know who you are), our research shows that wrapping tends to be the last thing we think about when it comes to gift giving. The fact that every Christmas Britons use the equivalent of 50,000 trees just in wrapping paper however has given us pause for thought.

We’re on a mission to make more people consider and re-write the definition of ‘good wrapping’. In the past it may have meant neat corners, pleats and a fancy bow. We think that good wrapping should be about whether or not it’s good for the planet? A reused newspaper wrap with bold stars scrawled across it? Good wrapping. Slightly crumpled last year’s wrapping still sporting a shred of tape? Good wrapping!

Being more eco aware is a gradual journey. And like many sustainable changes, they require a little forethought and planning. Give yourself time to really consider your gift wrapping this year. For those looking to step towards a more eco-friendly Christmas, here are some suggestions on how you can limit your gift wrapping waste and delight friends and family with your creative ideas.

Sustainable Gift Wrapping The Fabric Wrapping Company

Reduce Your Wrapping Paper Waste

Experiences, not things

Increasingly people are valuing experiences over physical gifts, and this is a simple way to be waste free this Xmas. Appreciating less, chosen well over more chosen poorly. Ironically as it is easier to buy and receive things, we value them less. With a bit of forethought, what experience could you give a friend that you know that would be most meaningful to them? And how could you give it to them in a way that is zero-waste? As mentioned in the Euromonitor International:

“There is a fundamental shift in…values towards experiences over things that bring happiness and well-being…The trend extends beyond just young people, to every age bracket and socioeconomic class.”

Thoughtfulness is love

We got curious about the best gifts people have ever received. It was resoundingly clear that what people valued was not the size of their present mountain (albeit we didn’t interview children), it was those gifts that showed someone really ‘got’ someone else and what mattered to them. Some families have made it a tradition and a family challenge to see who can wrap without tape and re-use wrapping paper. Your grandma or uncle taught by post war austerity may have always been thrifty. They bought thoughtful of gifts and wrapping and had a special dresser drawer filled with wrap to be used again.

Here are some thought starters for reuse to make your gift wrap more eco-friendly.

Upcycle upcycle upcycle

Here’s a challenge – what could you use in your recycling bin to wrap a gift right now? Probably more than you think. If you paint it, stick some scrap fabric or unused clothing fabric to it or even post-it wrap it, it still counts!  We wanted to share some of the most common examples of upcycled wrapping we have stumbled upon. All of them work well on their own or even better with some personalised drawing, words or stamps to give some added wow. Or simply a sprig of Rosemary or winter foliage tied on with string.

More fabulous upcycling ideas can be found at Upcycle That, Remodelaholic and Confessions of a Refashionista and Reduce, reuse, renew.

  • Maps
  • Music books
  • Charity shop large size books
  • Scraps of wrapping paper
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Children’s artwork
  • Old clothes
  • household recycling

Reusable Gift Wrapping Made From Fabric

Lets think outside the box. You can use baskets, reusable storage containers, glass jars, cute tins and bento boxes instead of buying new gift boxes and bags. One of our favourite stories is from a fabulous eco-wrapper who for the men in her life used various T-shirts and socks as gift wrapping.

Our favourite however is reusable fabric gift wrap. Inspired by the Japanese art of Furoshiki, reusable fabric gift wrap is increasingly well known and available. One of the most commonly known examples is Lush for their bold and lovely reusable knot wraps. They have been using them for over 10 years!

(Right) Furoshiki linen gift wrap, from £9, Fabric Wrapping Co

Sustainable Gift Wrapping The Fabric Wrapping Company

Available in the UK in classic Japanese styles from the likes of Zusetsu or the stunningly modern and timeless Link Collective, there are many to choose from on The Fabric Wrapping Co. and Etsy. We also love Agnes Ldn’s Bento Bags and Bags of Ethics British designer bags

Alternatively, here are some affordable and eco-friendly ideas for sourcing or making your own furoshiki or wrapping scarves.

  • Vintage scarves and handkerchiefs from flea markets
  • Fabric or even garments you can cut up from charity shops (if you don’t fancy sewing you can use zig-zag scissors for a no-fray finish)
  • Fabric scraps or unwanted clothes you have at home
  • Do a friends ‘swap and make’ session sharing fabric remnants and unwanted clothes and sharing around sewing skills and kit.
  • Wrap in tea towels. You can source simple ones and for a small outlay print them with a stamp and fabric paint for a perfectly unique and reusable gift wrap.

Recycle Your Wrapping

A final brief note on recycling. Many still don’t realise that wrapping paper or cards with foil, glitter or fancy embellishments are not recyclable. So steering away from these options is a great first step. Look for wrapping paper that isn’t glossed or embellished and ask your giftees to recycle their wrap or reuse it. 

We hope that’s given you some inspiration to get creative and zero-waste this Christmas and join us as we re-think and share the message of good wrapping.

With thanks to The Fabric Wrapping Co.

Sustainable Gift Wrapping The Fabric Wrapping Company

Disclaimer: The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.

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