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Have yourself a merry, sustainable Christmas*

9th December 2021

Want to have a more environmentally-friendly Christmas*? Did you know there are excellent businesses in the Estuary that are sustainable?

If you are looking for gift ideas now, or at any time of the year, please consider these fantastic green businesses who are part of our Estuary Visionary scheme.

Reclaimed Timber – Ashwells

Wooden items made from reclaimed timber, including chopping boards, wooden tree and lamp stand, available at Ashwells

Items made from reclaimed timber available at Ashwells

Ashwells specialise in reclaiming timber, especially tropical woods. Their timber mill in Thurrock is an Aladdin’s Cave of hardwoods that can be used to landscape gardens, make furniture and uses limited only by imagination.

Currently at the yard they have some beautiful items including a tree, lamp stands and chopping boards made by Mark Hornsby. Contact 01375 892 576 or visit to find out more.

Luxury materials recycled – Elvis and Kresse

Man carrying a hand held stylish green and brown recycled leather bag from Elvis and Kresse

Elvis and Kresse accessories make a sustainable statement

Elvis and Kresse make luxury accessories from reclaimed materials. From bags, belts, wallets and purses for men and women to soft furnishings and household items, Elvis and Kresse save cut-offs from high-end designers to decommissioned firehoses and turn them into ethical and head-turning accessories.

And 50% of profits are donated to charity!

If you are looking for a sustainable experience, you can even learn what they do at one of their workshops.

Find out more:

Heavenly scents – Kentish Soap Company

Kentish Soap Company handmade, eco-friendly soaps. Photo credit:

If you would like to feel as good as you smell, you will love the range of vegan, eco-friendly soaps, bath products and candles at the Kentish Soap Company. Produced at home and delivered in sustainable packaging, these are environmentally friendly gifts from start to finish.

Join one of the Kentish Soap Company workshops to find out how to make your own eco products.

Find out more: or on Facebook:

Making materials from mushrooms – Mykor

Candle in carbon neutral holder made of Mykor

Candle in carbon neutral Mykor holder.

As well as being a sustainable alternative for plastics in buildings, Mykor can be used to create environmentally-friendly household items, such as bowls, vases, planters, coasters and even furniture.

Discover more:

Care for Christmas – Gallagher Group’s Charity Appeal

Gallegher Group's Care for Christmas Charity Appeal asking for donations

Aggregates or ragstone may be on many Christmas lists, so I would ask you to consider supporting Gallagher Group’s Christmas charity appeal helping women and children who have fled domestic abuse in Kent.

Gallagher Group may be one of our green Visionary businesses but they – like others on the scheme – also do a lot to support people in the local community. And I love that.

A playful place for a moment’s rest – Playopolis Cafe

If you are in Rochester, Kent and in need of a hot drink and a few moment’s rest – Covid restrictions permitting – Playopolis Café welcomes everyone. Established 5 years ago, this café has always tried to be as environmentally friendly and as community-minded as it can be.

Find out more:

Cup of cappucino with heart in froth

Join our list of Estuary Visionary Businesses

If you have any suggestions for businesses in the Thames Estuary who are successfully taking steps to be greener, please let us know. We would love to grow this list and feature more business next year.

Find out more about the free Estuary Visionary scheme and nominate or apply.

Wishing you a merry and green Christmas*,


*Christmas or any celebration.