To wrap or not to wrap
Beautifully wrapped gifts will never go out of fashion. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ simply doesn’t apply when it comes to gifting. Dressing up our presents creatively and beautifully makes the process of gifting more personal and meaningful. It can make the simplest of gifts the most memorable to our loved ones.But does wrapping thoughtfully mean using the glossiest, glitteriest, most sequin-loaded wrapping paper? Probably not (microplastics alert!). More and more of us want to ensure we’re as kind to the planet as we are to our loved ones when gifting.
We have asked our community, the Kit & Kin Family, how they make their presents shine sustainably. And what a resourceful bunch you are! Let’s clear up a couple of common questions before jumping into your top 5 tips!
Is wrapping paper recyclable?
Only the simplest styles of commercial wrapping paper (non-laminated, free from embellishments) can be recycled. To make matters worse, our customary addition of tape and ribbon immediately renders any paper non-recyclable.
Reuse vs recycle
But isn’t reusing better than recycling? It depends. Absolutely do reuse paper you’ve been given - you might as well prolong its life. Even small scraps can be used to create a collage or layered effect.
We always make our own wrapping paper by using the pictures my son had painted rather than throwing them away.
Tip 1: Wrapping in kraft paper, newspapers & magazines
Many of you love to use kraft paper (or brown paper). Beautifully simple, it can be embellished with the help of stamps or by hand in black or white.
We get plain, recyclable, brown paper and decorate it with stamps. My children love to colour the stamps in.
Others suggested using pages of pretty calendars, which we think is such a sentimental way of remembering the year. Same goes for newspaper or magazine pages, which many of you like to use. (Doesn’t sound pretty? Make sure you read tip number 2!) Unless your calendars are laminated, these crafty gift wraps can be recycled or used to keep that cosy Christmas fire going.
Tip 2: Decorate gifts with natural materials
There are so many beautiful ways to decorate recycled and recyclable paper with natural, biodegradable materials. Use biodegradable jute twine to attach slices of dried citrus fruit, plants, twigs, holly, berries, pine, cinnamon, foliage - you name it.
I use a flower or sprig of a herb or lavender.
Tip 3: Gift bags keep on giving
Plain gift bag filled with presents
Tip 4: Packaging perfection
If you have a shopping lover in your household, it’ll be nearly inevitable to accumulate an array of branded gift boxes, draw-cord bags, hard-wearing carrier bags. These make excellent long-life gift packaging. Even sustainable filling materials can be surprisingly beautiful. We use wood shavings in our skincare gift boxes. Their natural texture lends itself to autumnal and Christmassy creations. Be creative. Add personal touches and/or cover up any branding with creations by your little one or yourself. Decorate as per tip 2 - you’re good to go.
Tip 5: Gift wrapping cloths
We wear our clothes countless times and so can your presents - if you use Furoshiki wrapping cloths. These Japanese beauties are becoming more and more common on the high street and online - and we could NOT be more excited! Alternatively, you can buy any kind of sustainable fabric that will last for generations. There are plenty of gorgeous patterns to choose from that can bring your loved ones joy again and again.
I love using fabric, sometimes I print/paint some especially so they can be used as tea towels or muslin cloths.
Sustainable gift ideas
Now that you’re all set for wrapping your gifts sustainably, let’s find you something sustainable to wrap, shall we? At Kit & Kin, we are known for making the most accredited eco nappy on the planet (and definitely the cutest!), but did you know about our organic babywear and certified natural skincare? And what’s more, your present will help protect acres of rainforest! If you are preparing for baby’s first Christmas, have a look at this reel for present ideas from our community that will grow with baby or be passed on for generations. Happy wrapping!