February’s here, and with it comes love. Romance. Or do we just call it what it is: consumption under the guise of romantic tradition?
Whatever your attitude towards Valentine’s Day, it does feel like a good excuse to cosy up with a loved one – platonic, romantic, whatever. Self-love even, if you wish!
And as many of us will be feeling loved up, I wanted to share a few traditional romantic ideas for Valentine’s day, but with a sustainable twist. Think ethical jewellery, fairtrade flowers, and sustainable suppers… I’ve got you covered. Think of me as your eco-cupid…
Gold Rings & Ethical Jewellery
When it comes to jewellery, I’m big into symbolism. My 18th birthday present was a gold key on a chain, an icon of freedom, which I wore for a full year before taking it off for the first time.
I feel that same passion when it comes to rings, and these gold rings* gifted from Au-Rate New York are two of my favourite designs: a gold band, and a set of gold links.
One is a classic, commitment style ring. It has weight, and goes so well with my favourite Monarc Jewellery little chubby hoops. The second is a little more stylised, the links woven together forever. Both make for beautiful gifts.
In my guide to ethical jewellery, I noted how important it is for jewellery to have a backstory, both to the design, the wearer, and the way the pieces were made too. Au-Rate does this well, working with recycled metals, New York-based jewellers, and donating books to city schools with every purchase.
If instead you’re thinking along the lines of rings with sparkly rocks… go for lab-grown diamonds. These come without the cruel, high-impact practices that natural diamonds are often linked to, although I’d love to know how much energy it takes to make lab-grown diamonds…
Sustainable Ideas for Valentine’s Day
And for those of us aren’t quite ready to put a ring on it (i.e. me), here’s a few of my favourite lavish yet low-impact ideas for Valentine’s Day:
1. Wear (& Re-Wear) Your Date Night Outfit. Just like Joaquin Phoenix is wearing and re-wearing the same Stella McCartney suit (I mean, is that really the bar we’re setting for mens sustainable fashion?!), shop your wardrobe and wear a date night outfit from pieces you already love. Here’s my favourite date night outfit to wear out – although I think it needs some boots or tights in this weather.
2. Scent Yourself Consciously. I go weak at the knees for certain colognes, so I couldn’t forget to include ethical scents in this Valentine’s guide. My current favourite perfume comes from Sana Jardin (gifted), the world’s first socially-conscious luxury fragrance house. Alongside creating their intoxicating perfumes, they provide female flower harvesters in Morocco with support to upcycle floral waste and create their own small businesses.
3. Find Fairtrade Flowers. Late last year I joined forces with Fairtrade to highlight the issues within flower-farming. So if you’re thinking about gifting flowers, go for those with the Fairtrade mark – they may be flown from Kenya, but they’re actually be better than European flowers in terms of fair labour and carbon footprint!
4. Give Experiences. Teddies just aren’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. Forget giving stuff, and gift experiences instead. Even better if you can enjoy them together! My pasta cooking class gifted by Cookery School on Little Portland Street last year would make for a perfect foodie experience, and you can learn how to cook exquisite food for each other too! Otherwise, why not head to Life Lessons Festival, for a day of thought-provoking talks on environmentalism, feminism, mindfulness, and more? I’m excited to be going (gifted)!
5. Dine Sustainably. If you’re in charge of arranging dinner, book in at one of my favourite sustainable date night spots, or better yet, take that special someone to The Frog Hoxton. Not only is their food delicious, service excellent, but you know what they say happens when you kiss a frog…
6. Loved Lingerie Lasts. In my guide to ethical underwear, I highlighted how there aren’t many people making sustainable lingerie – but the ones that are make incredible pieces! Take a peek at Studio Pia, Colie Co*, La Perla, or Stella McCartney*…
+ Strike for Climate!
As this year’s Valentine’s Day lands on a Friday – and the anniversary of Youth Strike 4 Climate – you could also spend the day holding hands and striking for climate change! Perfect way to discuss personal values and work up an appetite for date night dinner…
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AuRate New York. All views and opinions expressed remain my own. This post contains gifted products (denoted 'gifted') and affiliate links (denoted '*').