Our top 10 sustainable gift picks for the festive season

Tis the season to be buried under mountains of wrapping paper clutching plastic toys that will never be played with again. Or is it?

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One of the most energy consuming appliances in the home is the kettle. Give the tea drinker in your life the gift of a statement piece and fewer trips to the kitchen with an antique or vintage teapot. This stoneware teapot by Richard Batterham (1936-2021) goes under the hammer at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury during its British Art Pottery and Design sale of November 30-December 1.

Let’s get sustainable this season at look at some ways to use auctions to buy gifts responsibly with our pick of nifty lots.

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You choose how rustic you want them, but kitchen items, from decorative items of treen to second-hand appliances can be found at auction. Wilkinson’s Auctioneers of Doncaster offer several lots featuring wooden bowls and serving pieces, including this 18th century sycamore serving platter, 19th century ash till bowl of salt and 19th century turned sycamore bowl. The trio of items have an estimate of £100-200.

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Handbags and other accessories make great gifts, but production of new fashion items is a drain on the environment. Quite often, these items are thoughtlessly disposed of too. So the possibility of acquiring a lightly used (or even new) handbag at auction is a definite sustainable pick for us. This Christian Louboutin black patent Loubiposh Valentines clutch bag, estimated at £180-260, is one of the many handbags on offer at Fellows’ Designer Collection sale. It takes place on December 5 and features more than 400 lots of fashion and accessories.

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Mining of new gemstones comes with a massive carbon footprint. Why opt for new when there are so many fabulous antique, vintage and second hand items to be had? Offered with an estimate of £300-500, this pair of Edwardian diamond and tourmaline drop earrings are included in the Roseberys Jewellery and Watches sale of November 29.

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Vintage watches have never been more in style. As with jewellery, finding one at auction cuts way down on carbon emission. Why not try Lay’s Jewellery, Watches Luxury Fashion & Accessories sale on December 1, which includes this Cartier Pasha de Cartier 18ct gold automatic gentleman’s wristwatch. Dating to 2011, comes with its original box and has an estimate of £6000-7000.

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Shopping for kids? Ditch single-use plastics this year and opt for a pre-loved toy such as this Tri-ang Minic tinplate and clockwork double decker bus on its way to Putney. It has an estimate of £40-60 at Bamfords’ auction of December 13.

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In its Christmas Toy, Juvenalia, Advertising and Collectors auction on December 13, Bamfords of Derbyshire offers this Cotswold Bear Company Barnum teddy bear from its Circus Collection. It is estimated at £50-70.

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Notoriously expensive to buy new, children’s furniture can be had more fashionably, affordably and environmentally-consciously at auction (just make sure you check the item in person or at least read the condition report before putting it to use – that goes for most things on this list). Mallams of Abingdon offers a set of three painted children’s chairs, estimated at £30-50, at its interiors sale on December 5.

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Keep those hot drinks warm. This job lot of thermoses has something for the entire family – find them at Auktionshaus Bieberle on December 3. Bidding starts at €40.

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For the musical someone in your life, why not this electric guitar comprising a two-piece body and neck made from recycled wood, believed to be Iroko, with a carved flame maple cap. The item was entirely handmade to a high standard by an amateur local to Gardiner Houlgate of Corsham. Estimated at £300-500, it is part of their three-day guitar auction running from December 7-9.

Tags: Collectables
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