A zoo might not be the first place you think of when it comes to Christmas shopping, but the Living World shop at Paignton Zoo is brimming with Fair Trade products, quality ethical gifts and the sort of quirky local items that make great Christmas gifts. Plus, you don't need to pay Zoo entry to browse and there’s plenty of free car parking!

As conservation charities, our three zoos are all too aware of the link between manufacturing and the destruction of species and habitats. By selling ethical products the zoos raise money for conservation and at the same time help promote ethical production.

They stock what’s been described as one of the finest ranges of ethical gifts and lifestyle products available in Europe, selected from remote regions around the globe. For example, the Paignton Zoo shop stocks some very special Christmas baubles. These unique decorations are individually hand made by the skilled craftsmen and women of Kashmir using papier mache. They are then intricately hand painted with traditional Kashmiri designs. This work supports artisans and their families living in rural mountain areas of Kashmir. From £1.99.

Candles always look good – and Dalit candles do good, too. Dalit clay pot candles come from India, where they are handcrafted in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai by skilled potters, providing valuable work for the communities that live there. This kind of work is traditionally reserved for the Dalit people – essentially, untouchables. Prices start at £1.99.

Then there are stylish recycled aluminium bowls hand enamelled in northern India. Aluminium is a precious commodity and recycling uses a fraction of the energy compared with first use and also reduces landfill waste. From £8.99. Hooligans produces 100% Fair Trade kids clothing that’s made in South Africa. The company also campaigns against child labour in China, where children's clothing is made BY children to keep costs down.

This Christmas, choose to spend ethically as well as wisely. The Zoo shop, which also stocks Christmas lights, Christmas tree decorations and ornaments, is open seven days a week; current times are 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m with last entry at 3.30 p.m.

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