Irish brands that can help you with pre-Christmas shopping

A lot of people have begun their Christmas shopping already. But it’s often difficult to know where to shop if you want sustainable, environmentally friendly, ethically made, Irish products, or brands that are doing proactive things in the area of Diversity and Inclusion. Well here is a list of Irish brands that you can buy from for all of your pre-Christmas needs, such as advent calendars, wreaths, notebooks, ornaments for your garden or Christmas tree, specialty food or Christmas lights

Advent Calendars

For many, Christmas only starts when the advent calendars come out. There are so many to choose from and often Irish  brands get forgotten. However, The Irish Independent recently published this article titled “From chocolates and jams to beauty products and booze — these are the 10 best Irish-made advent calendars for Christmas 2022”. Featuring a long list of Irish brands offering advent calendars, including the likes of Clotilde Rambaud, Bean and Goos, Koko Kinsale, Grá Chocolates and Gran Grans Foods, to name a few

A brilliant example of student entrepreneurship, Anthony Gorman created his award winning business at the age of 15. According to his website “Anthony’s Wooden Crafts has been around since 2019, creating custom, hand-crafted wooden items. It all started with a reindeer created from local ash, right here in Killeigh. A chance encounter with a business teacher at school started the venture. Ms. Griffin saw something special and immediately proposed selling the reindeer as a small business idea. That same day, the first 20 orders for Santa’s Reindeer were taken, and since then the orders never stopped coming in. They’ve now shipped across the country from Dublin to Galway. A range of hand-crafted items are now available, and custom items are requested all the time.”

Anthony has won the regional finals of the Irish student enterprise competition and has been featured in the likes of RTE, The Irish Examiner and a number of local publications.

If you know anyone that prefers to write their Christmas to do lists on a notebook then Badly Made Books is the company for them. Created by designer and illustrator Sean O’Sullivan, they state on their website “we try to use the best of ingredients – our original recipe combines recycled paper, staples, tape, handcraft & machine efficiency to deliver our fresh-baked books…paper fibres can be reused and repurposed. Our main note paper is made from used coffee cups and all our favourite papers come from secondary materials, have post-consumer waste ingredients or at the very least contain a little dash of industrial by-product.”

Created in Co Meath but now based in Sandyford in Dublin Bygge Bo according to their website is “a baby concept store, offering exclusive brands, high-quality products, and unique baby gifts”. Along with everything you need for baby shopping from furniture to car seats and toys to play with; the site has an excellent Christmas range complete with everything from stockings to teddys, soft wreaths to bathroom toys and books for newborns to 3-4 age ranges.

Creative Angel by Aoife is an online shop that allows you to purchase high quality reusable Christmas Crackers. As Aoife says on her Etsy store bio “I have always loved to create. Whether it be making decorations, baking or trying a new craft, it is something I have done since I was very young. A few years ago I decided to make crackers and advent calendars for my family, to minimise waste at Christmas time. Both adults and kids alike really enjoyed them. So the following year I decided to make some for markets and they soon became very popular.” The products are now featured on the website and can be shipped worldwide

Created by business and romantic partners James Byrne and Eoin Houlihan as a lockdown project, the company was formed in 2020, in their hometown of Kilcullen in Co Kildare. According to their website “Faerly is your online home for sustainable living. A handpicked collection of everyday items from small Irish makers and eco-conscious brands.”, and according to The Kildare National  “Faerly promotes a network of small Irish makers and eco-conscious brands and encourages consumers to be more conscious of the need to reduce unnecessary chemicals and plastics in their lives and invest in sustainably-produced gifts, household and skincare products.” The founders won the award for “Small Online Retailer of the Year” at the annual AIB Merchant Services Retail Excellence Awards in November 2022.

Their online shop’s Christmas collection has a range of products such as Christmas hampers, fragrances, candles, cards, ornaments, crackers and more

An Irish wreath-making brand, created in Co Kilkenny by Berna Murphy, The Green Stable door creates handmade, sustainable personalised wreaths. As Berna mentions on her Etsy store bio “I love the fact that they last for such a long time and can be tweaked into a different arrangement with a new bow or embellishment.” The company was then featured in The Irish Times and The Irish Examiner last Christmas and Berna did a wreath-making demo at the Ploughing Championship in September. 

Situated on Dury’s Street in Dublin 2 the Irish Design Shop was established in 2008, the team of Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey recently celebrated 14 years of being in business together  and according to its website “prides itself on promoting the work of some of Ireland’s most exciting designer-makers”. Having expanded to a second floor of their location the shop, the team includes an onsite jeweller and an impressive online shop that has everything from candles to Christmas Ornaments.

Jane Thornton created the Little Green Shop in Mullingar Co Westmeath after spotting a gap in the sustainability market. As they mention on their website “Over the past while we have slowly been replacing plastic products with more sustainable ones that are made ethically and will decompose naturally when they have reached the end of their life cycle. However, not many of these products are easily available in Ireland. This is when the Little Green Shop was born!”. Their impressive online shop now has a large range of eco-friendly products in sections such as health and beauty, kitchen and home, items to use outdoors and baby and children. In addition their blog gives lots of useful hints and tips about living in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Based in Sandymount in Dublin, Mira Mira recently celebrated its 20th year in business. “At Mira Mira, we believe in ethical trading and we only deal with companies who share this policy. So our products are not only original, they’re fairly traded too! We’ve selected the very best of these unique gifts to showcase here on the website.” They work with over 70 brands and their Christmas store page on their website has every ornament and soft furnishing you could imagine.

According to the research company Kantar “Our TGI Consumer Data shows that 464,000 people (12.2% of the population) in the Republic of Ireland state prefer to eat vegan food, almost an 8% increase from 431,000 last year.”  My Goodness Foods is one of the companies capitalising on the growing popularity of veganism by providing offering a range of gluten free, vegan lunches, desserts and refreshments, either online or on their premises at the Cork English Market. It’s the perfect spot for anyone unsure of what to make for any vegans visiting pre-Christmas.

A uniquely Irish gift, The Paddy Box “connects those around the world to Ireland by allowing customers to create & ship a box of Irishness around the globe.” However, for a recent immigrant to Ireland, particularly for Ukrainian nationals living in Ireland, the hamper can be an excellent introduction to an Irish Christmas and the types of food that we eat.

Created Sustainability Strategist, Pat Kane, aims to inform, inspire and connect people through offering a strong marketplace of products and a powerful educational hub on all things sustainable living. One of Reuzi’s goals is to break the stigma around sustainability and to encourage a more conscious way of living. Their Christmas shop includes Christmas cards,  plastic-free tape, wrapping paper made from recycled paper, felt decorations, essential oils and candles, eco-toys and craft making kits.

Ireland’s first social enterprise design brand, the company We Make Good, was launched in 2018 as a place where people can come together and particularly “for some people in Ireland coming from a disadvantaged background due to ethnicity, disability or time in prison. For example, having a job is the goal, but not one that feels achievable.” 

Their online shop has everything you need for pre-Christmas prep, from stockings to stationary, ornaments to hampers and cards. All self-made in Ireland and ethically sourced

Opened in 2012, Unbound can be found on Bridge Street in Cork city centre as well as online. A family run boutique, owner Evanne O’Caoimh and her team specialise in “carrying gifts that are quirky, fun, light hearted, and unique. We strive to carry products that you won’t find in the department stores and feel as if they’re created just for you…Our motto ‘heart – soul – mind’ touches everything we do. We want to feed the soul with our inspiring materials, tend the heart with lovely gifts and products that motivate, and refresh the mind with our collection of books.”

To this end, the store has an impressive range of Christmas baubles, decorations, gift wrapping, essential oils and much more.