WEDDINGS | Our Guide to Ethical Wedding Registries


Ethical Wedding Registry

When we were getting married I didn't think of a registry until a friend asked (it could've been Emma H.) about ours. Eek! Where to go where to go? So the hunt began for gifts we wanted, and not just any gifts, but an equal number of ethical gifts and non-ethical essentials from the hubby's favourite department store--John Lewis.I also had to consider what would be convenient for both US & UK guests (we asked the Italia-bound guests just to bring themselves as that was gift enough).

You could imagine how easy it was to go onto John Lewis and click everything. TOO EASY for my liking, so I had to stop and move onto the ethical side. As I typed the obvious into Google--ethical wedding gift registry--quite a few online stores came up. Some of them did not have their registry set up at the moment, and those that did have their registries up and running were confusing, not consumer friendly, or didn't have things that I liked.

However, there were those few that stopped me dead in my tracks and caused me to go slightly overboard, so much so that I ended up featuring some of the registries I had set up onto our wedding website. We even managed to find fairtrade bedsheets from John Lewis, which we immediately added to our list.  What follows is a list of a few really great ethical registry sites we are happy to promote.

Afghan Pukhtadozi Accent Pillow from SERRV
1. SERRV - is hands down my favourite artisan-based, fairtrade e-retailer. Just visit the site and you'll understand why. Again, this e-retailer encourages small businesses and social entrepreneurship, by sourcing all of their items from local artisans. In addition, each item is accompanied with details about that artisan or social enterprise so that you know where and by whom each product is made. This offers quite a bit of transparency as to who we are buying these items from, how they make it, and how our purchases will go towards building stronger and sustainable livelihoods.

Tritone Fish Set from Greenhearts
2. GREENHEARTS - One might consider this the mecca of Aussie Green and Ethical Gift Registries. All aspects of this business is meant to reflect their "green" philosophy, from the use of greenpower to their green hosted website, which "extends to supporting you in a sustainable marriage and lifestyle that reflects shared values and ideals." At first it was not obvious how some of their products were ethical, but once I read about the companies they support and the design of products it became clear that in some cases the items are from sustainable and socially responsible companies, whereas others appeal to the more familiar environmentally and socially sound concepts of ethical gifts.

Teak Honey Jar and Stick from HH
3. HARABU HOUSE - One of the smaller US-based eco-friendly shops with a registry option. The Teak Honey Jar and Stick is one of the gifts we received from my friend in France, Audrey (we love it). Their producs are contemporary and stylish finds from all over the world. Where possible, they strive to find sustainable products, which provide economic, social and environmental benefits to those artisans who create them. We love a good artisan-focused retailer.

Owly Images
Recycled Glass Jars from Nkuku
4. NKUKU - Emma H. was the person who put me onto Nkuku (she's obsessed). It wasn't long until I was kookoo for Nkuku, and when I realised they had a registry I was on it like white on rice (I really need to stop saying things like that). As we said before, artisan-based retailers are our favourite, and as Nkuku's goal is to promote and develop the traditional skills of the artisans...whilst building a sustainable business for [them]selves, and in the process improve the challenging living standards and restricted opportunities that many artisans endured we were even more motivated to support them.

Vienna Hard Annodised Greenpan skillet from Our Green Wedding List

5. OUR GREEN WEDDING LIST - This UK online retailer specialises in eco-friendly, UK handmade, and fairtrade gifts, from skillets to gardening tools. With items for all parts of the house, this is definitely a good go to. Their green wedding list enables you to select trees, ethical wedding presents, organic towels and bedding, hand made kitchen ware … a wide range of beautiful, designer eco gifts.

Fairtrade Talavera Large Serving Plate Made by Artisans in Mexico. Available from 7 Hopes United
6. SEVEN HOPES UNITED - This is for my American peeps. Seven Hopes United invests a portion of each guests' gift purchases in community development projects around the globe. With hand picked products specifically for their consumers, Seven Hopes United specialises in marketing stylish, handmade, fair trade and eco-friendly gifts from around the globe. Your purchase of fair trade products ensures that [their] artisans are paid a living wage for their work, working conditions are safe, and no children are exploited.

Mercury Glass Vase from 10,000 Villages
7. TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES  - Where are all my Canadians??? Well don't think I forgot you. The good thing about having a US reception is that I was able to take full advantage of ethical retailers on both sides of the pond. Ten Thousand Villages, has an extensive line of Fairtrade products representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East that will make anyone swoon. It is one of the world's largest fair trade organisations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.

8. AID GIVING - There are quite a few charities which allow you to give gifts to others. Serrv actually allows your guests to donate to artisans on your behalf, which is what we included on our registry, and we are proud that one of our guests did so. Bravo! However, Charities like Present Aid make this their main focus. There is even a feature which allows all your guests to put money towards presents for people in the developing world. These presents range from a floating garden for £18 to 20 Rapid Malaria Diagnostic Kits (which we know was a major issue last Red Nose campaign) for only £15.

I hope that this list proves beneficial for those of you looking to incorporate a bit of ethical living into various aspects of your wedding. If you know of any other places with ethical gift registries please let us know by leaving a comment below. 

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  1. Thanks so much for including in this list of Ethical Wedding Registries! We're expecting a lot of great new fair trade gifts this year, so we hope that you & your readers will stop by to check them out!

  2. these are all such great and thoughtful gifts! I laughed at your comment about the marriage day gift exchange, I recently mentioned that to my fiance and he refused to believe "it could be a thing.I seriously just love your necklace in those bridal photos. you create me wish i had worn one. it's perfect!!!! Wedding Gifts