French police watch as 40 migrants launch dinghies bound for UK

French police watch as 40 migrants launch dinghies bound for UK

Boris Johnson has told Emmanuel Macron that British boots are needed on the ground in France to stop evil slave gangs ‘getting away with murder’ after at least 27 migrants drowned in the deadliest-ever Channel crossing. Four alleged people smugglers thought to be connected with the disaster were arrested by police north of Dunkirk, near the France-Belgian border, on Wednesday evening after tragedy struck shortly around 2pm. Five women and a girl were believed to be among the casualties, with the disaster coming just hours of French police sat and watched boats leave their shore. An ‘overloaded’ boat capsized in rough seas amid rain and cold weather and was found by fishermen, with three coastguard vessels and a helicopter rushed to the scene. The 27 deaths are the biggest single-day loss of life from migrant crossings in the Channel, with the previous grim record believed to be a family of five Kurdish-Iranians who drowned in October last year. Before the accident, a total of 14 people had drowned this year trying to make it to Britain. Mr Johnson chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on Wednesday afternoon as a search and rescue effort continued after the disaster amid anger from Tory MPs over soaring numbers of migrant crossings from France – with nearly 27,000 landing on the south coast this year. Meanwhile, the French President also called for an emergency meeting of European ministers, the BBC reported, as he vowed: ‘France will not let the Channel become a cemetery.’ Mr Macron later urged Mr Johnson in a phone call to stop Britain’s politicisation of migrant flows for domestic gain, the Elysee Palace said. Downing Street said the two leaders later spoke and agreed on the need to urgently step up efforts to tackle the problem and to ‘keep all options on the table’. Mr Johnson then made a renewed offer of hundreds of British ‘boots on the ground’ to his French counterpart, but a diplomatic source said Mr Macron gave no immediate reaction. The group of 34 migrants had set off aboard an inflatable described by French interior minister Gerald Darmanin as ‘very frail – like a pool you blow up in your garden’. There were reports that it might have been hit by a large vessel, possibly a container ship. Mr Johnson said on Wednesday he was ‘shocked and appalled’ and that action to address the crisis must now follow. ‘What this shows is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous crafts will literally stop at nothing,’ the Prime Minister said. ‘But what I’m afraid it also shows is that the operation that is being conducted by our friends on the beaches, supported … with £54million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, the technical support we’ve been giving, they haven’t been enough. ‘Our offer is to increase our support but also to work together with our partners … on the launching grounds for these boats. That’s something I hope will be acceptable now in view of what has happened. ‘I say to our partners now is the time for us all to step up, to work together, to do everything we can to break these gangs who are literally getting away with murder.’ A French sea rescue boat was seen carrying the bodies of migrants recovered off the coast of Calais this evening as police said they had arrested four alleged people smugglers thought to be connected to the tragedy which saw at least 27 migrants, including five women and a girl, down today as they tried to cross the Channel A funeral van leaves the port of Calais, northern France, after at least 27 migrants died in the sinking of their boat off the city’s coast while attempting to cross the channel into England Four alleged people smugglers thought to be connected with the disaster were arrested by police north of Dunkirk, near the France-Belgian border, on Wednesday evening after tragedy struck shortly around 2pm Emergency services at the scene in Calais following the widely-condemned tragedy on Wednesday afternoon The 27 deaths are the biggest single-day loss of life from migrant crossings in the Channel, with the previous grim record believed to be a family of five Kurdish-Iranians who drowned in October last year The UK is willing to deploy potentially hundreds of personnel to France, probably drawn from police and Border Force ranks. If an agreement can be struck they could be on the ground as soon as next month A similar offer was previously rejected by Paris, with French ministers bridling at the prospect of British police operating in their country A hearse enters the port of Calais after what France’s interior minister called the biggest tragedy involving migrants on the dangerous crossing to date At least 27 migrants have drowned in the Channel attempting to cross from France to the UK, just hours after a different group of 40 migrants were pictured launching dinghies from the French coast watched by police A Government source said the PM would re-table the offer to send British law enforcement officers to help patrol French territory. The UK is willing to deploy potentially hundreds of personnel to France, probably drawn from police and Border Force ranks. If an agreement can be struck they could be on the ground as soon as next month. A similar offer was previously rejected by Paris, with French ministers bridling at the prospect of British police operating in their country. ‘We are not seeing enough action by the French to stop boats leaving these beaches,’ the source said. ‘We have offered to send personnel to help. The French have said that is difficult for sovereignty reasons, which is understandable. But the PM will be asking President Macron to think again. It is now unfortunately a humanitarian issue. We simply cannot let people leave those beaches this winter.’ Following last nights call between the two leaders, a diplomatic source said: ‘There was nothing concrete. At this stage it was mainly agreement on the urgency of stepping up joint efforts to stop the crossings, and working closely with other EU countries.’ The former Director General of the Border Force Tony Smith said it was ‘tragic’ that Britain and France had failed to reach a workable agreement to end the crossings and prevent such a disaster. ‘We can stop this at source if we work together,’ he said. ‘That’s perfectly feasible. The French don’t take that view. They are not saving lives. They are basically allowing unsafe boats to sail off into territorial waters which is their responsibility. For me it is squarely on the shoulders of the French.’ In a string of developments last night: French prosecutors have opened a manslaughter enquiry over the deadly crossing, thought to have been organised by a criminal gang who – if caught – face charges of ‘manslaughter’ and ‘assistance with illegal immigration in an organised gang’. Two of the four arrested suspects appeared in court late on Wednesday. Just hours before the accident, pictures taken on a beach near Wimereux, a few miles north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, showed a group of 40 migrants pushing dinghies out to sea watched by police who seemingly did nothing to stop them. The boats were later pictured arriving in the UK, meaning they are not the same as the one that capsized. MP for Calais Pierre-Henri Dumont branded the Channel ‘the new Mediterranean Sea’ and said it was ‘like an open sky graveyard.’ He said migrants should be moved from Calais to the middle of France – even if by force – because they will continue to try to cross the English Channel as long as they are on the coast. Dover fishing skipper Matt Cocker said he heard the mayday call from a French ship to the coastguard which reported at leat 15 bodies in the water. He said: ‘The scenes must have been desperate. Awful. Picking bodies out of the water for anyone is the end of things and you don’t want to be doing it.’ Another fisherman, Paul, 59, said he was ‘sad’ but not ‘shocked’. ‘I saw lots of people here today, of all nationalities but I don’t know which were the ones that drowned.’ Captain of the Calais-based lifeboat Charles Devos said his crew recovered six bodies and warned ‘I always thought that one day they would collide with a container ship or a ferry. I always said this would end in a tragedy and unfortunately it has.’ Migrants in Calais last night said they were shocked but were ‘still planning to go the UK.’ Iranian Ali Ahmadin, 25, said: ‘We have been here a month waiting and we will carry on. We have come a long way and will not give up.’ Meanwhile his friend Mohammad Sadi, 39, pleaded for help. ‘It is freezing here and we are desperate’, he told the Sun. ‘We still want to travel and I need some shoes, please.’ Yards away was a French police car with at least two cops inside who appeared to do nothing, despite Emmanuel Macron’s government yesterday vowing that forces would be in action French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told a press conference two people had been saved but that one was more missing. He said the migrants’ boat was ‘very frail… like a pool you blow up in your garden’ The new arrivals bring the total number to have made it to the UK this month to 6,050, exceeding the previous record of 3,879 in September. This year’s total is now a record-breaking 25,772 Before today’s accident, which left at least 27 dead, a total of seven people were confirmed to have died trying to make it across the Channel to Britain this year. A further seven migrants were missing, presumed drowned, after various incidents this year. March 2021: One migrant missing and feared drowned after the boat he was in trying to reach the UK capsized. August 2021: At least two migrants drowned off the coast of the UK while another died after being airlifted to hospital as part of a huge air and sea rescue operation after a boat carrying around 40 people began taking on water. October 2021: Three Somali migrants feared to have drowned after falling overboard while trying to reach Britain. A further four people, including two children, died while crossing. November 2021: One migrant dies in day of record 853 crossings in early November. Today, at least 27 migrants died off the coast of Calais in the deadliest ever incident in the Channel. Mr Johnson told broadcasters this evening: ‘This disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the channel in this way, and it also shows how vital it is that we step up our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who are sending people to sea in this way. ‘That is why it is so important that we accelerate if we possibly can all the measures contained in our Borders and Nationalities Bill so we distinguish between people who come here legally and people who come here illegally, but that we also use every power that we can – we leave no stone unturned – to demolish the business proposition of the human traffickers and the gangsters.’ ‘And, of course, we have to work with our French friends, with our European partners, and I say to our partners across the Channel, now is the time for us all to step up, to work together, to do everything we can to break these gangs who are literally getting away with murder. ‘What this shows is that the gangs who are sending people to sea in these dangerous craft will literally stop at nothing. But what, I’m afraid, it also shows is that the operation that’s being conducted by our friends on the beaches, supported as you know with £54 million from the UK to help patrol the beaches, all the technical support that we’ve been giving, they haven’t been enough. ‘Our offer is to increase our support, but also to work together with our partners on the beaches concerned, on the launching grounds for these boats. ‘And that’s something I hope that will be acceptable now, in view of what has happened, because there is no doubt at all that the gangs concerned, unless they are shown that their business model won’t work, that they can’t simply get people over the Channel from France to the UK, they will continue to deceive people, to put people’s lives at risk and, as I say, to get away with murder. ‘We’ve had difficulties persuading some of our partners, particularly the French, to do things in a way that we think the situation deserves, but I understand the difficulties that all countries, that all countries face, but what we want now is to do more together. And that’s the offer that we’re making.’ Around 20 rescue vehicles were seen at the Paul-Devot quay in Calais on Wednesday evening, where bodies were being brought ashore. The tragedy was discovered after fishermen saw two two small dinghies earlier on Wednesday, one with people on board and another empty. Fisherman Nicolas Margolle said another fisherman had called rescue services after seeing an empty dinghy and 15 people floating motionless nearby, either unconscious or dead. More migrants left France’s northern shores than usual to take advantage of calm sea conditions on Wednesday, according to fishermen, although the water was bitterly cold. Mr Darmanin told reporters: ‘1,500 people have been arrested since the start of January, and four of them today. We suspect that they were directly linked to this particular crossing.’ Home Secretary Priti Patel said the deaths were the ‘starkest possible reminder’ of the dangers of the crossing. She tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the families of all of those who have tragically lost their lives in French waters today. It serves as the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs. ‘It is why this Government’s New Plan for Immigration will overhaul our broken asylum system and address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the United Kingdom.’ London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was an ‘utter tragedy’ and urged the Government to work with French authorities to provide safe routes for those seeking sanctuary. Dover MP Natalie Elphicke told MailOnline that the French must now act to stop more loss of life. ‘This is an absolute tragedy. It underlines why saving lives at sea starts by stopping the boats entering the water in the first place,’ the Tory MP said. The sinking of a migrant boat with the loss of 27 lives off the coast of France has once again raised concerns about the people-smuggling trade. For years law enforcement on both sides of the English Channel have been playing a game of cat and mouse with criminal gangs as tactics change and evolve. National Crime Agency (NCA) deputy director Andrea Wilson said: ‘We look to target and disrupt organised crime groups involved in people smuggling at every step of the route. ‘Much of this criminality lies outside the UK, so we have built up our intelligence-sharing effort with law enforcement partners in France and beyond. ‘This includes having NCA officers based in those countries, sharing intelligence and working side by side on joint investigations. ‘This approach is bringing operational results in the form of arrests and prosecutions, as we have seen with this particular case. One focus in the UK and abroad has been on disrupting the supply of dinghies and other vessels that could be used in Channel crossings. The sale of dinghies in French towns has reportedly been banned, with kayaks seen withdrawn from sale at a Calais store. However one alleged smuggling gang targeted by police last year was thought to have been buying inflatable boats and engines from as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. In the last couple of years, inflatable boats used in crossings have got bigger and bigger, now able to carry dozens of people – but not safely. Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Government have repeatedly pledged to make the Channel route ‘unviable’, but the NCA previously said it views organised immigration crime as a ‘continuous threat’. Earlier this month, an international operation saw 18 people arrested by French border police in the Calais, Le Havre and Paris regions of France. More than 100,000 euros in cash and bank accounts was also seized. The organised crime group (OCG) was involved in the supply of boats which would each be able to carry between 40 and 60 people, the NCA said. The network would then arrange departures from the shore of northern France, recruiting migrants in the various camps there. Ms Wilson said much of the NCA’s work has to be done covertly, but added: ‘We know it is having an impact. ‘We are continuing to look at ways to disrupt the supply of vessels to people-smuggling OCGs, and target those who knowingly do so.’ A joint UK-France intelligence cell that started in July 2020 has been involved in almost 300 arrests relating to small boat crossings, the Home Office said earlier this month. ‘As Winter is approaching the seas will get rougher, the water colder, the risk of even more lives tragically being lost greater. That’s why stopping these dangerous crossings is the humanitarian and right thing to do.’ President and Chairman of the ports of Calais and Boulogne Jean-Marc Puissesseau told BBC News the UK and the European Union must work together to find a solution to migrant boat crossings, adding: ‘Even if the sea is not looking so rough, in the middle (of the English Channel) there are always many waves. It is dangerous. ‘That can happen again because they try everything to get to your country. That’s why I am very upset. I don’t know what to do.’ He accused people smugglers of being ‘murderers’, adding: ‘The poor migrants who have spent months and months to come to here, and who die so close to their dream… I don’t know what to do really.’ French prime minister Jean Castex spoke of a ‘terrible tragedy,’ adding: ‘My thoughts are with the many missing and wounded, victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and their misery.’ Earlier officers apparently made no attempt to stop a group migrants, which included at least five children, despite the French government vowing a crackdown just yesterday. The vow was made as the French attempted to explain how £9million of British money, part of a £54million deal to stop the migrants, has been spent as crossing soared to record levels. Fellow Kent MP Craig Mackinlay told MailOnline the tragedy ‘was both foreseeable and avoidable’. ‘Earlier today French police were photographed standing idly by whilst another dinghy was launched headed for Dover. This raises many questions of the French authorities – was this another dinghy to which a blind eye was turned; where were French border force vessels and SNSM [the French equivalent of the RNLI]. ‘My call is for France to properly prevent beach launchings and if they’re incapable of doing so then ask for UK assistance. My fear is this will be the first of many tragedies across the winter period. This dangerous enterprise must be stopped.’ He added: ‘Promises by the French authorities to do all they can to prevent beach launchings are beyond wearing thin. The French have refused on-site help from UK Border Force and troops, they refuse to implement their own EU obligations under the Dublin Accords, they refuse to manage the pull factor of the Pas de Calais region. ‘Their agenda, in advance of their Presidential elections, is now obvious – to destabilise British politics and are now straying into breaches of international border agreements. Whilst we could obviously do more domestically to speed up deportations, the true blame for this crisis must be directed to wilful failures across the channel.’ Meanwhile Labour Leader Keir Starmer said: ‘For lives to be lost in such dangerous and desperate circumstances is a devastating and heartbreaking tragedy. The UK Government, France and the wider international community have a duty to prevent people from being forced into such peril.’ Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was today filming in the Channel with GB News days after he confirmed he was considering a return to frontline British politics as he accused the Government of failing to ‘get a grip’ of migrant Channel crossings. The migrants, including at least five children, were spotted going into the water from a beach just a few miles north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the early hours of the morning More than 4,000 migrants have made the journey in November so-far, the most ever in a single month, and the surge shows no sign of slowing down The vow came after the French government was challenged to explain how exactly £9million handed over by Britain this summer as part of a £54million package had been spent, as crossings soared Just hours before the accident, pictures taken on a beach near Wimereux, a few miles north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, showed a group of 40 migrants pushing dinghies out to sea watched by police who seemingly did nothing to stop them Former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage was today filming in the Channel with GB News days after he confirmed he was considering a return to frontline British politics as he accused the Government of failing to ‘get a grip’ of migrant Channel crossings Tory MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins said: ‘The deaths today of migrants in the Channel is an avoidable tragedy. We must stop these crossings and crack down on the criminal gangs that profit from them. We have to show that the crossings are futile and will not lead to a permanent right to stay in the UK.’ Jonathan Gullis, Tory MP for Stoke on Trent North, said: ‘This a terrible human tragedy, my thoughts are foremost with those involved. ‘The simple truth is that France is a safe country therefore people should not be making this journey. ‘For too long Macron has used this issue as a political football and the result is that many people have lost their lives. This must stop now. The french authorities have to now take responsibility for policing their own border or more lives will sadly be lost.’ Pierre Roques, coordinator of the Auberge des Migrants NGO in Calais, said the Channel risked becoming as deadly for migrants as the Mediterranean which has seen a much heavier toll over the last years of migrants crossing. ‘People are dying in the Channel, which is becoming a cemetery. And as England is right opposite, people will continue to cross.’ Calais MP Mr Dumont said: ‘My message to the French authorities, which I said to them a few minutes ago, is that we need to understand that if the migrant is in Calais – or around the Channel – they will try to cross the Channel. We need to move them, even if by force, to health centres in the middle of France.’ It comes against the backdrop of worsening relations between the UK and France over post-Brexit fishing licences in the Channel, and the AUKUS submarine pact with saw Australia tear up a billion-dollar French contract in favour of signing a new deal with Britain and America. Amid the worsening relations, almost 27,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year – far eclipsing the roughly 8,000 who came in 2020 and 1,000 who arrived in 2019. More than 6,050 have made the journey in November so-far, the most ever in a single month, and the surge shows no sign of slowing down. Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: ‘This is a humanitarian disaster that should never have happened. It’s incomprehensible that so many lives have been lost by people on a desperate and harrowing journey to Britain who were just trying to find safety. ‘Surely a tragedy of this magnitude is the wake up call our Government needs to change its approach and finally commit to an expansion of safe routes for those men, women and children in desperate need of protection. How many more lives must be lost before we finally end the cruel and dangerous tactic of seeking to punish or push away those who try and find safety in our country.’ Tom Davies, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights campaign manager, said the charity was ‘deeply saddened by the loss of these lives’, adding: ‘How many more times must we see people lose their life trying to reach safety in the UK because of the woeful lack of safe means to do so? ‘We desperately need a new approach to asylum – including genuine Anglo-French efforts to devise safe asylum routes to avoid such tragedies happening again.’ The group of migrants boarded the dinghy and gestured as they started to make the journey across the Channel to Britain Among the group travelling in the dinghy from France were very young children wearing life jackets The same children were pictured arriving in the UK several hours later, meaning they were not among the group that died All three defendants in Arbery murder trial found guilty Man confronts motorbike thieves before they crash into a car Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family informed of body found near Bovisand Giraffe and lioness face off in intense battle over newborn calf Reactions at courthouse as all men are found guilty of murdering Arbery Police on the scene after body found in hunt for Bobbi-Anne McLeod MP Stella Creasy ‘baffled’ by ban on bringing baby to Commons Tourist mauled by crocodile after mistaking it for plastic model Suspects attack man in wheelchair before robbing him in the Bronx Rape and kidnapping suspect tries and fails to flee out the window 2010: Max Halliwell reminiscing on childhood with Geri on Life Stories Characters ‘reach out’ of stunning 3D billboard for ‘Wheel of Time’ A father kisses his child as the pair arrive in the UK following a dangerous crossing of the Channel, just hours before a boat capsized and dozens of people drowned Coastguards are pictured helping to tow the overloaded migrant dinghy to shore after it made a dangerous early-morning crossing from France British MPs accused the French of ‘wilfully’ failing to stop the migrants, amid a backdrop of political in-fighting over post-Brexit fishing licences and a submarine pact with the UK and Australia French officials revealed details for the first time of how they have spent £9million from the British taxpayer, agreed as part of a £54million deal in the summer. A spokesman for the interior ministry said: ‘More than 100 mobile vehicles are being delivered on the ground for patrols and arrests, with equipment adapted to the specific nature of the terrain.’ Specialist kit would include quad bikes, 4x4s, rigid-hulled boats and ‘vehicles equipped with sophisticated monitoring and detection equipment’. The spokesman said: ‘Twenty vehicles have already been delivered and are being used by the forces on a daily basis. The others will arrive in December and over the course of 2022.’ But the French did not announce any extra personnel. During the last major Channel surge – which saw the ‘Jungle’ camp spring up near Calais in 2015 – France sent in 3,500 officers from its mobile police unit, the CRS. Just a couple of hundred reservist gendarmes are currently deployed. UK officials believe the shortfall has left the French struggling to deal with the massive numbers pushed through by organised crime gangs. Yesterday France said British cash will also be spent on ‘high-performance night-vision equipment’ and thermal cameras. ‘Specially adapted clothing’, searchlights, interception and communication equipment and torches have also been bought. Reminiscent of the defensive line built in the 1930s to deter a German invasion, named after France’s minister of war Andre Maginot, the equipment will be used to ‘secure the coastal strip stretching for more than 130km [100 miles], from the Dunkirk area to the Bay of the Somme’. The spokesman added: ‘As part of the fight against illegal immigration along the Channel coast, and in order to safeguard the lives of people often in distress, the ministry of the interior is deploying its security forces day and night to monitor the coastline, prevent makeshift boats from leaving for Britain, and arrest people smugglers.’ A British government source said: ‘We are pleased that the French are now doing this work to help reduce these despicable crossings.’ Last week Home Secretary Priti Patel blamed the EU’s free movement policy for allowing thousands of migrants to sweep across the Continent to France and urged a cross-Europe attempt to tackle the problem. However, France has rejected British proposals to allow UK officers to work on the other side of the Channel to detect people-smuggling operations. Mr Dumont said that France cannot accept the UK’s offer due to ‘the question of sovereignty’. ‘I heard Priti Patel’s comments yesterday claiming that she offered France British troops – that is not possible because of the question of sovereignty,’ he said. ‘But if the soldiers and patrols are in Calais with the migrants they will still find a way to cross, because you cannot monitor 200km of shore at the same time. Six out of ten migrants arrive in France only on the day they attempt to cross – arriving from Belgium and the Netherlands. People smugglers are charging more than £3,300 per head to make a Channel crossing, according to latest intelligence. Almost 25,000 migrants have crossed from France to the UK this year, far more than the 8,000 who came in 2020 and the 1,000 that reached these shores in 2019 A man prays on the British coast after making the crossing from France in the early hours of this morning Fishermen on the British coast are surprised by the sudden arrival of migrants, having sailed over from France All three defendants in Arbery murder trial found guilty Man confronts motorbike thieves before they crash into a car Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family informed of body found near Bovisand Giraffe and lioness face off in intense battle over newborn calf Reactions at courthouse as all men are found guilty of murdering Arbery Police on the scene after body found in hunt for Bobbi-Anne McLeod MP Stella Creasy ‘baffled’ by ban on bringing baby to Commons Tourist mauled by crocodile after mistaking it for plastic model Suspects attack man in wheelchair before robbing him in the Bronx Rape and kidnapping suspect tries and fails to flee out the window 2010: Max Halliwell reminiscing on childhood with Geri on Life Stories Characters ‘reach out’ of stunning 3D billboard for ‘Wheel of Time’

Christmas gift guide: 200 feelgood gift ideas | Life and style

Contents 1 Stocking fillers 2 Food 3 Home 4 Kids 5 Fitness 6 Beauty 7 Women 8 Men 9 Pets 10 And for the person who has everything … 11 10 ideas for greener gifting
Stocking fillers Small gifts, big joy
Raise the bar
Soap bar with green clay, pine and rosemary organic essential oils, made in Brighton using a traditional small-batch soap-making technique. £7.95,
The right note
Lined notebook, made in the UK with recycled paper . £7.99,
Claybells ring
Organic botanical clay facemask. UK-made, vegan and cruelty-free. £17,
It’s not Terry’s
It’s a handmade blood orange chocolate with plastic-free packaging. £5.50,
Old box, new tricks
A vintage pill box-turned refillable lip balm – top up with plant-based or beeswax lip balm. From £20,
Pigs in blankets
Calming lavender pillow and room mist from independent English brand Piglet. £25,
Scrub up well
Body brush made with locally sourced ash from sustainably managed forests, with natural bristles. £29.99,
Stuck up
Fruity sticky notes printed with soy-based inks. £5.50,
Wake up and smell the coffee
Espresso martini soy candle, made with vegan soy wax and infused with repurposed coffee grounds. £19.99,
Good hair day
Endangered scrunchie, handmade in London from fabric offcuts. £15,
Cry your heart out
With LastTissue’s reusable, washable tissue pack, the eco alternative to single-use sniffles. £1 9,
Gretta minds think alike
Planet Gretta door stop, painted in Sri Lanka as part of a scheme to empower people in rural areas. £18,
Happy feet
Sock set inspired by London-based artist Yinka Ilori’s British Nigerian heritage. £48 for set of three,
Karabiner multitool, proceeds go to the National Trust. £10,
DIY paper sculpture, handmade in Brighton from sustainable materials. £3 2,
Plant-based bubbles
Mini vegan prosecco. Organic, low sulphate and low sugar. £72 for 12 x 200ml,
It’s the bomb
Omar, The Bees and Me pollinator “seedbom” – biodegradable packaging contains organic compost and pollinating wildflower seeds beloved by bees. £4.50,
Playing the long game
Midcentury vintage dominoes in original packaging. £15.06,
HB-sides and rarities
Handmade “Random pencils” featuring Nick Cave Quote: s. £15,
Heaven scent
Cornish lavender essential oil in recyclable glass packaging from anatomē, which supports organic farming, sustainable supply chains and health charities. £35,
Pocketful of posies
Embroidered purse handmade in prison, proceeds go to British wildlife conservation charity Plantlife. £22,
Sugar rush
Retro Wonka rainbow Nerds. £3.25,
Clean conscience
Rye & Co vegan soap bar handcrafted in Lichfield using traditional cold-press methods. £6.95,
Blue in the face
Baggu reusable folding shopping bag in Conran blue eye print. £19,
Keyed up
An ethical, artisanal cotton key hanger, handmade by a female-led company working with Asian and African producers. £10,
Sleeping beauty
Laurel-print organic cotton eye mask. £12,
Oh, this old thing?
Antique necklace with reworked rhinestones. £80,
Baaaath time
Black sheep soap, in support of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. £3.50,
Plantable pen – originally made to sign the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, plant this biodegradable, cornstarch pen to grow a scots pine tree. £4.50,
French fancy
Organic cotton rainbow bag by Filt, which has been making string bags in Normandy since 1860. £9.99,
Cool Bathing silicone swim hats, designed in Britain with biodegradable packaging. £16 each,
Printworks pick-up sticks for your coffee table. £ 20,
The wick of it
Moss green small candle bundle from an independent retailer in Bristol. £5,
William Morris-print Compton leather clutch bag, hand-cut and crafted in a family-owned London workshop. £35,
Food Eat, drink, be merry, repeat
Take the biscuit
Or, better, give this festive biscuit selection, from a bakery that promotes farmers who regenerate land with biodiversity. £35,
Worth its malt
Filey Bay single malt whisky, made with barley grown on the distillery’s Yorkshire farm. £54.95,
Capsule collection
Home-compostable fill-them-yourself coffee pods. £28 for starter pack of 75,
Puff piece
Pink pepper and puffed quinoa chocolate. Organic and vegan, made by family chocolatier Meurisse, which supports sustainable agriculture. £5.99,
Smart apron for messy chefs, handmade with organic cotton and natural dyes. £45,
Coming up roses
A nut butter like no other: organic Spanish pistachios infused with rose, from an award-winning independent producer. £13.95,
Bean there
Smokey, spicy fermented black bean rāyu oil by White Mausu. £7,
Keen bean
73% Nicaliso dark chocolate – crafted bean to bar in a London workshop. £5.50,
Shuck it
Oyster pepper from Terre Exotique, which works closely with local communities to help preserve habitats. £6.99,
Happy hampers
Proceeds for Odysea and Rovies Plant-a-Tree fund olive, olive oil and tapenade-packed hamper go to charity Let’s Do It Greece, which works to repair the devastation caused by this year’s wildfires. £60,
Takeaway treat basket of reusable SolCup, natural Scottish chocolate and Nemi tea, which helps fund jobs and training for refugees. £52,
Lead the pack(ed lunch)
Insulated cork lunch bag, made from a sustainable material. £8.59,
Hot stuff
Scotch bonnet hot sauce, handmade using local-sourced British ingredients. £3.99,
The bee’s knees
Reclaimed teak honey spoon, made in Indonesia from 100% natural and eco-friendly material. £8.50,
The holy ale
Miller’s ale giftset, with English ale, ale crackers and ale chutney. £14.95,
Comb sweet comb
Daylesford chunk honey, in limited edition to avoid unsustainably high yields, and leave enough honeycomb for the bees. £50,
Holy cacao
Milk choc gingerbread bar from Tony’s Chocolonely, the original activist chocolate brand campaigns to end slavery on cocoa farms. £3.98,
Home House-proud pres ents for happy homebodies
Throw down
Pink check throw made from recycled plastic bottles found in landfill, rivers and the ocean. £55,
Cherry oh baby
Palm-sized and portable, the Gingko cherrywood speaker is made by a family business from 100% sustainable wood. £39,
Hippy cup
Jazzware “bud” beaker, hand-thrown from Staffordshire clay. £35,
Glow on then
LED string lights for a warm, feelgood glow. £8,
Good egg
Puffin egg cup. £1 donated to the RSPB for puffin conservation for every cup sold. £23,
Green fingers
Gardening gloves made by a small Sheffield-based company. £15.99,
Salad days
Fairtrade teak salad servers, handmade in Indonesia. £20,
Grate expectations
Kitchen grater from a Japanese family business which still smelts and rolls its own aluminium. £18,
True brew
Handcrafted Japanese coffee pot in enamel from this independent shop. £75,
Give the brush off
Table brush in small batches from locally sourced beech. £29.99,
Firm grip
Plug pull, useful for people with dexterity issues. £10,
Sofa so good
Donna Wilson Koyo cushion, hand-knitted in Scotland from lambswool. £84,
Chip off the old block
Stackable wooden Lego drawer made from FSC-certified oak wood. £113,
Get lit
Save electricity – light a Lex Pott candle. £25,
Come rain, come shine
Table lamp made from discarded umbrellas. £120,
Pretty platter
Studio Formata marbled tray, handmade using traditional techniques. £26,
Guardian angle
Anglepoise National Trust lamp; Anglepoise will contribute to the NT. £139,
Yucca in a pot, hand-delivered in Greater London. £18,
Top brass
Woodpecker door knocker, handmade by an independent business. £132,
Kids Feelgood festivity for eco-warriors-in-waiting
Little mermaids
Seashell Dream iPhone case handmade from compostable materials. £27.95,
Fish supper
A little fishy dishy suction plate that sticks to the table, made from 100% organic, sustainable bamboo. £ 16.99,
Pop socks
Andy Sock-Hole Jr socks, from collection featuring characters from the worlds of science, literature and art. £6,
Spill the beans
Kids’ bean bag in jolly jungle print – wipes clean, so no need for washing. £30,
In wood spirits
Sustainably produced wooden stacking rings, using beechwood and non-toxic vegetable-based paints. Packaging is recyclable and plastic-free. £18,
Sleigh it
Sleigh the Patriarchy “Ugly” Christmas jumper, ethically produced using a zero-waste manufacturing process. Part of the profit from each purchase goes to Bloody Good Period, LGBTQ+ charity Akt and other feminist causes. £37,
Up your street
Plastic-free colour-your-own high street kit. £7.95 (£16.95 with added watercolour pencils),
The elephant in the room
Roommate elephant rag doll made from organic cotton, using socially responsible manufacturing methods. £13.96,
Bottle it
Chillys series two water bottle in pollen yellow – an update of the original cult reusable water bottle. £30,
Roka backpack, made using 12-15 recycled bottles and less energy than traditional production methods. £62.95,
Sweet tooth
Wally the Watermelon teether and bath toy, made from 100% sustainable hevea rubber. £14,
Auroara lion doll crafting kit – an organic cotton sewing kit from Pollock’s, an independent retailer in London’s theatreland. £25,
Top hat
Sheep Inc x DwF carbon-negative stripe beanie. Made from merino wool sourced from regenerative sheep stations in New Zealand, all the profits from each beanie sold go to the Be Well Collective, a charitable organisation that tackles the mental health concerns of young people. £80,
All the gear, new idea
The Forest Den Kit: no single-use-plastic, no batteries, no complicated instructions – these bags of camo gear will get children into the great outdoors. (Full kit not shown.) £65,
All glitter, no litter
Compostable, vegan – but still pots of fun. From £2.75,
Little wing
Midnight owl costume handmade in India by the Lady Bamford Charitable Trust, which works to improve education, help eradicate poverty and support women and children living in disadvantaged communities. £55,
Guitar hero
Kids Concept painted wooden guitar, made from 100% sustainable wood. £28,
Vegan T-shirt. Every purchase from Vegan Outfitters helps feed a rescued farm animal. Produced in solar-powered sewing and cutting workshops, using seven times less water than the average clothes manufacturer. £22,
The ReCycle Me jungle craft kit has everything a child needs to turn household recycling into art projects. £9.95,
Junior jeweller
Rainbow bracelet making kit – plastic-free; wooden beads. £16.95,
A is for anteater …
Animal Alphabet wall hanging, produced using ethical manufacturing standards and ecologically and socially sustainable practices from biodegradable materials. £49.95,
Beat box
Small, plastic-free mini music box made in Germany from metal and card. £10,
Bow down
Oversized 100% cotton velvet bow, made in France with a sustainable supply chain. £55,
Nice light
“Ricepudding” squishy bear night light made from BPA-free, environment-friendly silicone. £27.50,
Jurassic Pack
Set of six Fairtrade, brightly-coloured wooden dinosaurs in a net bag, handcrafted by artisans in Sri Lanka from sustainably sourced rubber wood, and decorated with non-toxic paints. £18,
Fitness Great quads, great causes
Boots, made for walking
From 100% animal-free materials, with high-performance rubber sole. £100,
Hats on
Ciele running hat, made from recycled fibres. £40,
Cool runnings
Running jacket made from PFC-free fabric. £59,
Totally tropical
Tropical bra made from recycled plastic bottles blended with spandex. £39,
Great lengths
Silicon swim cap in four colours, in 100% recycled packaging. £8,
Slope off
Ski goggles, made from recycled plastic. £138,
On yer bike
Ocean Edition cycle helmet. 10% of the price goes to support marine conservation work. £69,
Pull your weight
12kg cast-iron kettle bell made from recycled car parts. £35.99,
Old bag
Cycling backpack made in the UK from recycled ripstop nylon. £35,
Maillot blanc
Rapha merino wool cycling jersey – special edition in 56% recycled polyester. £140,
Tough nut to crack
Expander luxury resistance trainer, handmade in walnut. From £81,
Carry on
Burgundy duffel bag. For every sale, a bag goes to a child in care. £34.99,
Pièce de résistance
Electric Dreams resistance band, made from natural latex. £16.99,
Walk the walk
Trekking pole. Buy to support the National Trust’s work. £15,
Message in a bottle
For every upcycled Ocean bottle sold, the company will collect the equivalent of 1,000 plastic bottles. £35,
Matural healing
Hemp yoga mat, 100% biodegradable fabric. £89 by Shakti Warrior,
Glutes for good
Gym leggings made from 17 recycled plastic bottles. £85,
Lift and lengthen
Foam yoga blocks, made from sustainable materials. £12.95,
Arm candy
1lb pink arm weights, recycled stainless steel. £49.95,
Hip, hip, hooray
… for Patagonia’s hip bag, made with 100% recycled fabric. From £25,
Beauty Looks good, feels good, smells good, does good
Lovely stubbly
Cedar and neroli beard oil from a Bristol independent that checks every brand’s sustainable credentials. £16,
Natural healing
Tata Harper water-lock moisturiser starter kit*, sold in convenient refill pods. £59,
Soak it up
Camden bath soak*, made at home by an independent London business. £25,
Colour it in
Axiology lip, cheek and eye balm crayon*. Natural ingredients; plastic-free product. £12,
When life gives you lemongrass
Lime and lemongrass shampoo brick. Plastic- and palm oil-free. £3.95,
Canned goods
Kankan starter set*: refill can (pictured) containing hand soap or baby wash, and a 330ml glass bottle. £24,
Oudh pour homme
Ormonde Man refillable fragrance* with oudh oil and black hemlock. £160,
Fresh start
Skin reset serum* – natural ingredients, refillable jar. £80,
On the lash
Kjaer Weis Im-possible organic mascara made from sustainably sourced beeswax, carnauba wax and acacia gum. £30,
Skin doctor
Blended with organic plant oils, this hand and lip balm is designed to winter-proof your skin. £15,
Save face
Face Off oil to milk facial cleanser* – made with 100% natural plant oil. £27,
Hair combs made from repurposed plastics. £16,
Pout palette
Westman Atelier lip suede palette made with 100% natural pigments. £78,
Healing hands
Nursem hand care minis set. With every product purchased, Nursem gives a month’s worth of hand cream to a nurse or midwife. £15,
Clean, green hygiene
Davines A Single carbon-neutral shampoo* from a B corp company where almost every part of its growing, manufacturing and distribution is more sustainable. £20.50,
* Chosen by Sali Hughes
Women The good, the bags and the undies
Felt better
Indigo felt clog slippers, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and sustainably sourced cork. £55,
Call of the wild
Plastic-free phone case, made from biodegradable materials. £18,
A labour of lava
Volcanic pot pourri. One tree planted for every order. £39,
Coming up roses
Pink detached collar, made of 100% certified organic cotton. £50,
Goody two shoes
Veja vegan trainers (various colours), made from recycled and natural rubber. £95,
Better bling
Wolf and Gypsy oval link 1990 bracelet, made from recycled 14ct gold (also comes in silver); eco-friendly packaging. £95,
Cash, no cow
Vegan wallet from cruelty-free company. Linings made from 100% recycled water bottles. £28,
Pull shapes
Geometric tote made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials sourced from rescued plastic bottles. £10,
Get a clip
Hairclips made of cellulose acetate – a natural and eco-friendly material. £36, by MLE from
Pearls of wisdom
Bracelet made from new or salvaged freshwater pearls. £95,
Banana pyjamas
Yellow pyjamas made from 100% organic cotton and block printed using AZO-free dyes. £85,
Give them the boot(s)
Olive-green boots, made in Spain from sustainable leather with low-impact dying. £157,
Saving lace
Dora Larsen lace body made with recycled materials, including 100% organic cotton gusset. £86,
Sock on
Molly Goddard jacquard socks: 100% cotton, hand-stitched, and with eco-conscious packaging. £75,
French kiss
Riviera slip dress, made using 100% recycled satin polyester; labels made from recycled plastic bottles. £55,
Ribbon cutting
Upcycled face mask made from organic cotton, and ribbons from recycled plastic bottles. £23,
Tie dye for
Tie-dye beanie hat, 100% traceable, locally knitted cashmere. £73,
Band together
Bow-tie hairbands made by independent designers in Africa, using ethically sourced materials. The company reinvests profits into supporting African designers. From £14.99 by Mantua,
On the case
Canvas and handmade leather vanity case. £105 by Paravel, from
To have and to have knot
Traditional furoshiki knot bag. Made from deadstock gold, glittery fabric. £75,
Above board
Knitted chequerboard tank top, made from recycled cashmere, wool and polyamide. £75,
Seeds of change
Each handmade silk scarf comes with a packet of wildflower seeds, ideal for supporting garden wildlife. £94,
Girl with the Packard Bell earring
Single silver earring. All metals recycled using raw materials from the tech industry. £99,
Sweater weather
Detachable collar jumper, hand-knitted and made from responsibly-sourced wool. £62.30,
Best feet forward
Recycled orange socks – one pair of socks donated to a homeless shelter with every purchase. £14, Jollies,
Bio booties
Green house shoes, made from a bio-based down-fill material using wild flowers and a biopolymer – both materials are biodegradable. £98,
Twinkle toes
100% recyclable, biodegradable and renewable ombre sparkly socks. £20,
Saddle up
Dark-green saddle bag, in handcrafted leather and dyed with vegetable-based colours. £125,
Gloves are on
Blue alpaca gloves, hand-knitted from Fairtrade Peruvian yarn. £77,
Hey wood lookin’
Wooden sunglasses, made from certified woods, bio-based acetate, renewable cork and recycled aluminium. £129,
Men Good for guys; good for the globe
All the trimmings
Nose hair and beard scissors, handmade using sustainable practices. £25,
Natural selection
100% natural deodorant, the aluminium shell can be refilled indefinitely. £32,
Vegan courier cap, featuring recycled labels and swing tags, plus biodegradable bags. £28,
Play your cards right
Vegan card holder, with eco-friendly fabric and non-toxic dyes. £52,
Recounting sheep
Recycled wool gloves, made with the excess fabric left over from woollen tailoring production. £40,
Into the fold
Vapur x Paul Smith “anti-bottle” foldable, reusable 700ml water pouch. £20,
Brighton sock
Brighton skyline socks, one pair donated to a homeless person for every pair purchased. £12.99,
Bean there, done that
Recycled beanie, one hat donated for every hat bought. £28,
Fruit boots
Green combat boots, made from 100% apple waste from the juice industry. £163,
Monkey business
Raeburn Orangutan T-shirt, meets OCS 100 organic content standard. £69,
Toasty toes
Vegan slippers, made from animal-free micro-fibres. £50,
Permanent ink
Brass mechanical pen. Built to last, with a buy once philosophy. £95,
Printed tote bag, helps create jobs in UK textile regions. £24,
Going out out
“5am, Hackney Road” scarf. Hand-drawn imagery on ethically produced, breathable merino wool. £129,
Fannypack it in
3L Bataan bumbag, made from fabric remnants. £35,
Asket where it’s been
Vegan braided elastic belt, from a super-traceable brand. £50,
Gowning around
Unisex blue organic cotton dressing gown, 100% organic cotton. From £169,
Sit soft
Recycled wool blanket from 70% recycled wool garments. £40,
Pets Planet-friendly pressies for the family favourite
Flea-repelling dog shampoo bar, handmade from 100% natural ingredients. £5,
Cat nap
Coco cat bed, hand-finished in cotton rope. £145,
Top spot
Dalmatian dog bed. 100% recycled plastic filling; 78% recycled fabric covers.
From £124,
Super pooper
Beco poop bag holder made from 100% natural materials. £5.99,
In the cat house
Tonka cat house made from water hyacinth. £49,
Fit for a king Charles
Personalised leather dog treat pouch in vegetable-tanned leather, which means that waste can be safely recycled. £26,
From the deep
Crochet octopus toy, soft yarn and stuffed with fire-safe wadding. From £26.50,
Drink up
Dudley’s doggy water bottle – specially designed to avoid wasting water. £10,
Act natural
Natural dog toy set, plastic-free and ethically made in Nepal. £20,
Big stick energy
An olivewood chew toy made from annually harvested wood from managed olive trees. £12.75,
Bags of style
High-class poop bag by Sitwell, made in Britain. £35,
Clawsome catnip crab toy made from recycled plastic. £3.99,
Best in show
A lovely lead for posh pooches in twisted rope and suede. From £79.50,
And for the person who has everything … Less stuff; more surprises, subscriptions and experiences
Scent by post
Unisex fragrance subscription. Artisanal, niche fragrances from smaller makers, with an emphasis on craftsmanship and sustainability. £14.95 a month for a 10ml bottle, or gift cards from £39 for three months,
Hoppy Christmas
Salcombe Brewery pack. All beer packaging from this Devon brewery is plastic-free. Three-month subscription (for 12 cans or eight bottles) from £75,
Wine not?
Online wine tasting club, via a Hertfordshire company that delivers monthly in lightweight, recyclable eco packs that create fewer carbon emissions than glass bottles. From £26.99 a month,
Monthly grind
Perky Blenders coffee subscription: family-run roastery in east London with artist-designed packaging; beans are sourced sustainably, mostly from smallholders and independent farmers. From £19.50 for three months,
Picture this
Choose between watching independent films in Curzon cinemas, or streaming on Curzon Home Cinema. From £65 a year,
Sharing plates
Cooking lessons led by refugee, migrant chefs and others struggling to access employment; they also help the teachers learn English, and promote cultural exchange with the wider community. £20 online cookery class voucher (from £35 in-person),
Culture club
Sourdough kit. Matthews Cotswold Flour works closely with farmers to encourage regenerative, more sustainable farming practices. £59.95,
Choc, choc, who’s there?
Letterbox brownie delivery from an Exeter bakery that delivers across the UK in recyclable trays, using ethically sourced ingredients – Cornish butter, Colombia’s Casa Luker chocolate and eggs from a farm shop. From £13.95,
Petal pushers
Flower subscription from a carbon-neutral company that grows flowers on its Cornish farm, where possible. From £38,
10 ideas for greener gifting 1 Go for the indies
Support independent retailers where possible. Buy local to save on delivery costs (financial and ecological) and support your community; with small online shops you’re often buying from an individual maker.
2 Avoid plastic
Instead, look for recycled and recyclable materials: wood, paper, card.
3 Embrace vintage
Charity shops are great sources for one-off presents: look for board games, jewellery, books, handbags and silk scarves. Clean anything that smells a bit fusty, and package it up beautifully.
4 Check for eco credentials
Websites usually detail a company’s sustainability practices. If it doesn’t, ask about provenance, suppliers, charities they support, use of renewable energy. If nothing else, it might make them think.
5 Have a spending cap
Take the pressure off and agree to a family limit. Consider buying fewer – but more meaningful – gifts.
6 Packaging
Be conscious of how much comes with a product, what can be recycled, and what will end up in landfill.
7 Get creative
Homemade gifts can be wonderful: make food (jam or chutney, sweets, biscuits); get kids to make something for a grandparent; get out the knitting needles.
8 Ask someone what they really want
Avoids disappointed faces on Christmas Day, as well as piles of unwanted stuff that gets promptly regifted.
9 Forget presents …
… and give vouchers, subscriptions or experiences, particularly to those who have everything or have small homes.
10 It’s a wrap
Put presents in reusable bags; wrap in fabric and tie with ribbon; or wrap in newspaper or old maps.

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