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‘Tis the season to be merry: the gift of sustainable giving

‘Tis the season to be merry: the gift of sustainable giving

Giving gifts, when you get it right, is a joy. When you’ve bought a present that makes you happy as well as makes the recipient happy, you know you’ve nailed it.

But if you’re anything like us, you probably find it a bit of a struggle every year to square the circle of buying interesting and meaningful presents and remaining sustainable and ethical.

After the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re a little sick of false bargains and gimmicky marketing tricks as we are. And from some of the comments and emails we’ve received recently, we know we’re not alone.

So these are our tips for buying gifts that paddleboarders will love, without buying yourself a guilty conscience.

Experience gifts and memories that last

Study after study, and personal experience have shown that the best types of Christmas present are experiences rather than things: you remember and talk about experiences for years, but things lose their value quickly as the next best thing becomes available. And if you don’t to buy an experience (maybe you’re worried about that useless loved one forgetting about the voucher, and it expiring – been there, done that!), the next best thing you can do is to buy thing that helps them get out there and make their own experiences! 

Check out our long read on the 5 psychological reasons why experiences are the best gifts.  If you’re not convinced, this article will convince you!

Buy from a small company

Buying from a small company sometimes takes a bit more effort, or planning, than buying from amazon, or ebay for example. But it is so much more rewarding.  Often, the personal customer service you get is way better than anything offered by a nameless, faceless multi-national. And the products are often much better as well.

We personally recommend all of the small companies in the article below, but also check out the SUPhubUK map to find your nearest SUP shop or SUP provider

And finally, buy ethical

At McConks we pride ourselves on being as sustainable and ethical as we can be – whether that be low impact manufacture, or organic and fairwear clothing.  And that’s why you can buy with confidence from us, guilt free.  If you’re interested, you can find out more about our ethical principles here, or you can read about what we do to give something back through our Go Inspire initiative here.

Gifts under £50

Gifts over £50

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Chris Freeman SUP photos


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Chris Freeman is one of the most prolific SUP photographers in the west of of England.  He’s also one of the nicest paddlers you’ll meet. Which is good, because if you ever get into difficulties in the Severn Area, Chris is one of the trained volunteers who might come to your rescue with SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association).

Chris is a frequent paddler with SUP Stroud, SUP Gloucester and SUP Slimbridge and so has many action and landscape photos of the River Severn, River Wye, Sharpness Canal, Stroudwater navigation and other canals in the Cotswold Canals.

Here are a selection of his action shots from recent paddles. If you’re a journalist looking for unique SUP photos, check out his profile, and give him a shout if you want to purchase any.

See this post on the McConks Map

See these photos on the McConks photowall