The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Activist Lover
BY JENNIFER HAKIM
Another year, another Valentine’s Day. If you’re tired of the pressure to feed capitalism yet again so soon after Christmas, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Deep breath, you’re not alone.
There are alternative ways to please your lover (I’m talking about gifts here) without breaking the bank or making you look like a cheap date, and if said lover is an activist, they will thoroughly enjoy one that does a good deed too. Showing extra support for a cause close to their heart will not only help their mission but might strengthen your relationship, so this is what we call a win-win.
It might also get you extra kisses, you can thank us later. Here are the best Valentine’s Day gifts for your activist lover - and the people who need it the most.
1) A bundle of gifts and emergency items for refugees
On the Choose Love store, you can buy a gift for refugees and displaced people. You can choose a bundle of emergency items, essentials, supplies, services, and more, which will be directly given to people in their hour of need. There is something for everyone, every need, and every budget, from the Emergency Response Essentials (life-saving supplies like emergency blankets and waterproof ponchos, £5) to Buy The Store (one of every single urgently-needed item at every stage of the journey, £550). You can make this a personalised eGift by selecting items for refugees from the online store, then choosing from six beautiful card cover designs and writing your message. Choose Love will then email you a link to your personalised eGift card, which you can send to your loved one. Have a browse at choose.love
2) A t-shirt, sweatshirt, or tote bag that gives to women in marginalised communities
With Give Your Best, you can not only donate clothes for women who are refugees or seeking asylum, but you can also buy a cool t-shirt, sweatshirt, or tote bag made in collaboration with ethical and sustainable printing studio Wild & Kind. They will make a second one on your behalf, which they will ship directly to a woman in the community as a gift from you. All garments are made from 100% organic cotton, printed on demand, and come with free UK shipping. Prices start at £25 with the natural logo tote bag, printed by an organisation that uses 100% of its profits to tackle loneliness and isolation for people with marginalised gender identities. Find them at giveyourbest.uk
3) A tree planted in the UK and dedicated to your loved one
Non-for-profit eforests plants a tree for you on behalf of someone special, in nature reserves and community woodlands throughout the UK. This gift is not only romantic, it also maintains and improves new woodlands, and supports the organisation’s work to provide local people with opportunities to live healthier, more sustainable lives. A tree is a lasting gift for a partner who’s passionate about the environment, and future generations. It provides shelter and food for wildlife, improves soil conditions and air quality and so much more. For £9.99, a tree is planted on your behalf and dedicated to your loved one, and you get a tree dedication certificate you can gift wrap for that special Valentine’s dinner. More information on eforests.co.uk
4) A ‘craftism’ kit to relax, unwind, and practice the art of gentle protest
At this time of year and in this current climate, it is highly possible that your activist lover is feeling tired and in need of an activity that will bring them peace and quiet. The Craftivist Collective offers exactly that: craft kits for burnt out activists, introverts, highly sensitive people, people struggling with anxiety, and people who want to challenge injustice in the world but don’t know what to do or where to start. You don’t have to be a skilled crafter to enjoy them, and there’s a ‘gentle protest’ kit for everyone. Their Dream-Making Kit (£12) offers a way to picture a positive vision for the future and stitch it on a cotton cloud, while A Heart For Your Sleeve (£12) is literally a heart you can stitch as a reminder to protect the planet, a project that supports The Climate Coalition’s #ForTheLoveOf campaign. More gentle craftivist gifts on craftivist-collective.com
5) Black Lives Matter merchandise that makes a point while supporting the movement and emerging designers
All proceeds from sales made on the official #BlackLivesMatter store help fund the organisation’s work to eradicate white supremacy and state violence inflicted on Black communities. The store partners with Black designers, artists and influencers, and creates a space for Black imagination and innovation, with collections focusing on Black joy, such as the I'm Rooting For Everybody Black tee ($40), and stylish, unisex gear that can be worn all year long. You can also buy a gift card ($25.00 - $100.00), with the option to send a personalised gift certificate on a specific date in the future. Who said activism couldn’t be romantic? Shop now on store.blacklivesmatter.com
You can also donate to the charity of your choosing on behalf of your lucky partner, on Valentine’s Day and beyond. Our bi-weekly newsletter highlights the great work of charities working with marginalised communities in our regular feature #SpillTheGood, so why not sign up now?
Image credit: Black Lives Matter store, Craftivist Collective, Give Your Best