Chamber Charity of Choice Update | Manx Wildlife Trust | Dec 2023
19 December 2023
Buy Less (But Buy Better!) So why would a shop that, like all shops, needs to make money (in this case, our beloved Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) Gift Shop in Peel that helps to fund so much of the conservation work we do) be telling its customers to buy less?
Bad for business, right?
At MWT we’re passionate about finding innovative solutions to issues that matter, be it the climate crisis, wellbeing or biodiversity loss. There are so many ways we can do this, and yes, even through shopping! As mentioned, we rely heavily on the income our little shop brings to help us keep doing what we do best as an organisation: to protect and enhance our environment, create more spaces for wildlife, and inspire people to act for nature.
Our Gift Shop Buyer, Ali Hodgson, has been given free rein to begin restructuring what we buy for the shop and to source products that are not only beautiful, but help create change, celebrate good design & artisan skills and are at the cutting edge of helping us re-think the way we consume from the planet. Some of these changes have started to become visible on the shop floor, and there are plenty more to come.
So, to come back to our opening statement: ‘buy less’. Yes, we should. To quote the iconic designer Vivienne Westwood: “Buy less, buy better, make it last.”
These words have since come to represent a growing movement where considering what you buy, from whom, and the story behind your purchase becomes just as important as the purchase itself. It is time to re-evaluate what we really need and see beyond the charms of a cheap price tag or a throw-away thrill. Most likely someone, and the planet, has been hurt to give us that privilege.
Yes, we are in a cost-of-living-crisis, and we cannot always be perfect with our buying habits, but it feels really great to save up and get something that might be a little more expensive, but that is well made, will last, and has a beautiful story behind it. We know our hard-earned cash is going directly towards supporting a small business who is also passionate about making a difference in the world - and that feels really good.
We are now on the countdown to the holiday season and, in light of all of the above, we would love to invite everyone to think twice about what we buy during this time. Is it really needed? Will it be valued? Will it last? Who made it? What is it made of and what is the environmental impact?
And if you are curious about finding new ways to spend your money on gifts that have been researched and hand-picked for their fantastic eco-credentials and human stories, do pop into our special little shop in Peel. We are entirely run by the love and dedication of the volunteers who work behind the till, and you may notice some exciting changes continuing to appear in the run up to Christmas!
The MWT Peel Gift Shop Top Picks!
Here is a small selection of our top picks for gifts this winter season at the MWT Peel Gift Shop. These products all make the perfect present for anyone (or yourself!) who loves beautiful eco-conscious design, supporting nature and celebrating our planet.
The MWT peel Gift Shop is located at 7-9 Market Place in Peel and we are open Monday to Friday 10:30am to 5pm and Sundays 1pm to 4:30pm. Do come and say hello to our friendly volunteer team who are always happy to help you choose the perfect gift!
Our Beach Clean range is made from a clever mix of sustainably grown cork and recycled plastics, found on beaches and blended together to make all kinds of luxury products such as placemats, coasters and notebooks.
As the longer nights have drawn in, it is the perfect time to start reflecting on the year gone by with one of our seriously eco (and stunning) journals. What could be more bohemian than writing your big ideas in a notebook made from recycled coffee grounds, lavender and cherry husk and with a pencil made from recycled CDs?!
We have a selection of educational toys to help every young naturalist make new discoveries, including kits to help you with your rock pooling, bird watching and bug hunting. We also have a new selection of beautifully illustrated books to help inspire a love of nature - perfect for winter story time by the fire!
Cork is an amazing natural and sustainable material we should all be using more of and we have a range of products in the shop that utilise this versatile material. Cork oak forests play a crucial role in our world’s ecological balance, fighting climate change, desertification and sustaining biodiversity. Not only that, but cork continues to absorb CO2 as a product in your home!
Stocking Fillers for Kids
We have been working hard to source pocket-money friendly items for youngsters that are not made from cheap plastic or other un-sustainable materials. We have discovered some wonderful classics made from wood, as well as some exciting new toys made from things like silicone (sand) and other recycled materials.
Stocking Fillers for Adults
There is so much to choose from: organic soaps, fair-trade jewellery, bees wax wraps, luxury candles and cheeky mugs, all celebrating our natural world and the plants and animals that inhabit it. There is something for everyone and every budget.
Find out more about our Peel Gift shop here: mwt.im/visit/our-shop or, if you can’t make it to Peel in the run up to Christmas, you can browse our sustainable clothing range (featuring local artists) here: www.mwt.im/online-shop
We hope you have a happy, sustainable and wildlife filled festive period.