8 of the best Christmas gifts from UK startups
Give the gift of innovation while supporting your small-time businesses these holidays
It’s December and last-minute Christmas shopping mania is in full swing. But if you’re fed up with what the high street has to offer when it comes to buying gifts for your loved ones, why not try the alternative route and buy from a startup?
There are plenty of UK startups out there offering great alternatives to the traditional Christmas gift. And this way, you’re not only ensuring your presents are original. By buying from such companies, you’re supporting and investing in the small-timers out there instead of lining the pockets of the already-successful conglomerates. It’s a win-win.
And so here are eight of our favourites startups to shop for your Xmas gift this year.
This pretty new UK startup uses a revolutionary new 3D printing method and patented vegan encapsulation formula to combine seven active ingredients that make up one tasty and nutritious chewable vitamin. Best of all – it’s all personalised. By answering a short online consultation questionnaire, customers will receive bespoke vitamin and supplement recommendations tailored specifically to their nutritional needs. Nourished’s 3D printing tech then makes it into an edible vitamin “stack”, making a great personalised gift.
This fitness apparel startup shot to recognition in what seemed like no time at all thanks to its focus on highly engaged social media followers. Created in 2012 by teenager Ben Francis and a group of his high-school friends, GymShark now has customers in over 131 countries. It’s also got a great line of stylish but practice gym gear on offer for men and women, making it an ideal online store to find a treat for the fitness fanatic in your life.
Giving the gift of an experience as opposed to a boring box of perfume is becoming an ever more popular thing, and Secrets Escapes has plenty of options if you’re considering this – especially if you don’t want to break the bank. Operating in 22 countries across Europe, Asia and the US, the online travel deals startup offers inspiring travel experiences and hand-picked offers to its members. You might even find some super-luxury travel deals in there, some with up to 60 percent off.
If you’re buying clothes as a gift for your loved one, but you don’t really know where to start, you should have a gander at Thread. The startup is considered the world’s first clothes recommendation service and is powered by a team of professional stylists and artificial intelligence. The AI algorithm, called Thimble, generates some stylish looks based on the characteristics and preference of the customer, such as age, fit and price range. It then is able to search through Thread’s wardrobe of 500 partner brands – ranging from high street retailers such as River Island and Marks & Spencer to luxury brands like Burberry – to find the perfect-fitting present.
Bloom and Wild
This startup claims to be the inventor of letterbox flowers. Kicking off the business six years ago when co-founder Aron dreamt up the idea to make sending flowers easier than ever, Bloom and Wild spent weeks personally measuring hundreds of letterboxes to find the perfect size for its flower boxes. Then teamed up with some of the best florists around to make flower-arranging at home part of the gifting experience.
Festicket is an innovative startup that packages together festival tickets with travel, accommodation and add-ons. By doing this, it creates complete festival trips that can be booked in one click – and also made into the perfect gifts for music lovers in your life. Founded in 2012, the startup raised a whopping £7.8million last year in Series D funding in a round led by venture capital firm Beringea thanks to an impressive few years creating some great experiences for its customers.
Retail homeware and furniture startup Made has the plan to disrupt high-end furniture stores. And judging by its impressive revenue of 173 million last year (up 37 percent on the previous year), it seems things are working out for the London-based firm. It also means that if you decide to buy your Christmas gifts here, you’ll be getting a great quality product for a good price. By working with manufacturers, suppliers and independent designers, straight from the source, the company is able to control everything from manufacturing to the e-commerce platforms. That means no middlemen and a fairer price whatever you buy from them, whether that’s lamps, vases or picture frames.
Offering a nutritionally complete meal in powdered form, Huel can be dissolved into water to give you all the 26 essential nutrients needed to live a healthy balanced lifestyle on a daily basis. How? It’s made from real food such as milled down oats which are high in fibre, releasing energy slowly to prevent snacking in-between meals. A perfect gift for those planning to start a new year’s cleanse or detox as soon as Christmas is over.