This page is for ideas to make your shoebox more sustainable.  We want to send gifts that are beautiful and useful.   We don’t want to be sending items that will end up in landfill or be thrown away easily.  Unfortunately by taking items out of packaging it can instantly make a gift look second hand or pre-used when it is infact new.  We hope to be able to find alternatives that make the gift even more lovely and that the person who receives it will know that thought has been taken in sending it.  This is an evolving page so please come back and look at it on a regular basis.

Sustainability - Recycling an old jumper
So #1 Tip – Reusing wool/yarn. We are constantly asked by people if we have any wool so that people can make hats, gloves, scarves for their shoeboxes. We came across this article that shows how a jumper can be quickly unpicked to make a ball of wool to knit/crochet etc to make a new item. The jumper does have to have been properly knitted in the first place ie the arms and body can’t have been cut out and stitched together otherwise the strands of wool are too short. We didn’t realise you could do this so its our first tip at the end of our knitted items month.
Photo Credit to Tin Can Knits

Tip #2 Sewing Kits are a great idea, anything that will preserve clothing by mending or creating new items from old are a yes from us.

You can of course buy on or alternatively think sustainability. We rooted around our sewing boxes at home and found loads of spare needles, safety pins, sewing threads, buttons and spare tape measure etc. So we are going to have a go at making up a couple of sewing kits from items we already have. We may even sew little pouches to put them in rather than a plastic pouches.
Whatever you are buying or making for your shoebox this year please think about the person who is going to receive it. Make it personal, long lasting and sustainable if you possibly can.
NB Photo below is just an example of a basic sewing kit – we are sure lots more items can be added to make it a beautiful gift.
Sustainable - Sewing Kits
Sweets and Chocolate Jar

Tip #3 Sweets & Chocolates in a lovely glass jar

Yes you can keep them in their packaging OR you can find a lovely glass jar (think Jam or Marmalade) and you can put your sweets inside.  You can then find a lovely piece of fabric (preloved) or pretty string and tie it around the jar.  Then if you want to you could decorate it in some way.  We know our leaflets say EU origin so please cut this information out of the original packaging and put it inside the jar (just incase).  Heres a blog post of someone that has filled a jar with sweets and it just needs to be tweaked to make is sustainable.

Tip #4 Shampoo Bars

These have come along way and are actually nice to use on your hair now.  They also save a large amount of plastic from being sent in your shoebox. These were recommended to us by a supporter who found them in Poundland which is a surprise as they are normally quite expensive.  They really are the way forward in the bid to reduce plastic but only if you are able to get some affordable ones.  Otherwise a shampoo bottle which is recylable is your next best bet.

Shoebox Shampoo Bars