An ethical Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentin éthique

"The big one nature admired together is the most nice accompaniment of a noble love."

Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve


Do you smell it? This sweet scent of romanticism which every year makes the hearts of some people intoxicate, and the hearts of other diehards smoke with irritation?

It’s that of the approach of Valentine’s Day.

An annual event not to be missed for many couples, the event is also decried as a commercial party by its detractors.

Whatever our point of view on this occasion, we can grant that we often offer the loved one a present which in fact helps to establish a form of commerce.

But since we live in a time where it is necessary that our purchases, in addition to the pleasure they arouse, be useful and considered according to their impact, and the ethics that they nourish, this year it is decided, the Valentine's Day gift will be no exception!

The origin, quality, composition of the gift or experience offered to your other half become criteria as fundamental as the emotion sought. And if finding the present combining pleasure and ethics is not always an easy task, your team of shoemakers favorite has mobilized to offer you nice, responsible alternatives to the most emblematic gifts for your sweetheart's celebration .

It’s this way, follow the guide!

But before that, a little history!

Where does this tradition of honoring passion come from?

February 14 has been considered the lovers' day since the 14th century. At that time, it was thought that the birds were waiting for this day to mate.

Inspired, as very often, by nature and animals, our ancestors therefore adopted this symbolic date to celebrate the love shown to their partner by showering them with lovely attentions, and the cultural heritage of this cute tradition is brought to us. stay.

A table for 8 p.m. on behalf of COG, thank you.

Let's start our romantic cruise with the unmissable and symbolic Valentine's Day dinner for two.

For the occasion, we reserve a table in a great address, and even if it means treating ourselves, we might as well enjoy ourselves while taking care of the planet and animal species.

Objective: 100% pleasure, 0 guilt!

For this gourmet introduction, rather than opting for a meat-based menu, the environmental impact of which can be severe, we try to introduce our other half to the vegetarian or vegan menu composed of seasonal dishes. .

Luckily, today there is no longer a shortage of plant-based alternatives, and veggie and vegan cuisine now also has its representatives in the world of haute cuisine; like the idyllic Culina Hortus in Lyon, the ONA in Arès near Bordeaux, or Arpège in Paris.

Also to discover in the capital at more affordable prices, the very friendly 42 Degrés (100% raw and vegan cuisine) and L’abattoir végétal .

Of course, for an exceptional outing, we mention exceptional restaurants here, but a thousand other addresses of plant-based cuisine restaurants, all just as nice and accessible for smaller budgets, exist.

We'll let you browse and share your favorite addresses with us in the comments; and if you lack inspiration, the great site VegOresto will allow you to discover the perfect vegetarian restaurant near you ;)

Tonight, I'm the one cooking!

The restaurant is good, but this year, you want to please your lover in a “I take care of everything, you take care of nothing” way, by pulling out all the stops.

Let's sit down at the table if you wish, and to be modern and conform to our responsible ideal, for once, we will leave the candles extinguished, since as enchanting and decorative as they are, candles are not the best friends of ecology.

In addition to emitting toxic products for the interior of our welcoming cottages, candle wax, whether based on paraffin from hydrocarbons, of animal origin (beeswax and other insects) or even plant (palm, rapeseed, soya), involves significant environmental consequences during the development phases or extraction of these components.

For the atmosphere, we will therefore start with a discreet but very pleasant play of subdued lighting, which - accompanied by a pretty plant decoration - will have the best effect.

Let's come back to the kitchen for a moment, since our concern is that we only have the apron and the array of knives as a chef.

Never mind, a mountain of books dissects for us step by step the steps to follow to achieve the perfect recipe, adapted to our level to treat our other half on this occasion, or to cook together during our next rainy weekends spent as lovers.

On our shelves are the beautifully illustrated books of the excellent cook and culinary photographer Marie Laforêt , and those of the very talented Jean-Philippe Cyr for a gourmet and accessible approach to plant-based cuisine. To discover and consume without moderation, for guaranteed success!

The time for wild flowers and houseplants.

What could be more beautiful than a field of flowers and its graceful palette of colors that undulate beneath the wind ?

For this day like no other, we suggest you play it romantic like no other, and preserve this splendid natural scene by leaving the flowers in their meadow rather than shortening their life to a few days spent in a vase. Especially since this will avoid some harm to the planet since as reported in this France 24 article , no less than 12 billion flowers are imported each year from distant countries such as Kenya or Israel, and no regulations limit to date the doses of pesticides that can be used, even for flowers grown in Europe. Soil and air pollution, the ecological note of the floral sector is therefore not left out.

But then, what can you replace the usual Valentine's Day bouquet with to declare your love for the one you love?

It's time to play the originality card by thinking natural, but also sustainable, by offering a beautiful indoor plant - accompanied of course by its inseparable word of love - which will have the merit in addition to passing over the years, to revive in your partner the memory of this occasion like no other, with each watering.

For a romantic note, we advise you to take a look at the Bycharlot website , which allows you to personalize your plant by adding a personalized word on a pretty colored pot. An attention which will not fail to have its small effect.

It's up to you to choose the variety(s) best suited to your expectations based on the desired aesthetics, ease of maintenance, size and light of the room for which the plant is intended.

What about jewelry?

Iconic gift, and undoubtedly one of the most coveted on the occasion of Valentine's Day, jewelry nevertheless raises its small share of ethical issues on which it is interesting to dwell on before offering to your partner his precious jewel.

Indeed, if every industry has its drawbacks, that of the extraction of precious metals is considered to be a particularly polluting sector, particularly because it is very energy-intensive. Furthermore, it has the sad reputation of participating in the exploitation of human misery by exposing miners to terrible working conditions. This is particularly the case with regard to gold and diamond mining in West African countries.

Also, before buying a piece of jewelry, it is best to find out the origin of the one you want to set your sights on.

Fortunately, more and more committed brands concerned with these ethical questions are emerging. This is the case of Omyoki for example, which offers fair trade rings, bracelets, and earrings.

Intimately involved in supporting developing countries, the brand collaborates with small workshops by ensuring fair remuneration to its partners, while ensuring that their employees work in good conditions.

On the French manufacturing side, discover Ceithre and its collections of jewelry made of wood or based on mainly recycled metals made by Noémie, the young creator of this committed brand.

And to continue to support local know-how, visit the Aglaia & co online store .

Finally, good advice from The Good goods : Focus on the Fairmined label which guarantees artisanal gold with high social value, traced and extracted with respect for the environment.

Kindness in a bottle.

Another famous and great classic Valentine’s Day gift: perfume.

Personal and captivating, the world of perfumery alone represents an incredible universe of sensory exploration.

However, with the industrialization of the market, essences, originally produced from flowers and natural aromatic plants, have given way to synthesized scents, which can prove to be harmful to the planet, but also sometimes to our health. and our lungs.

Fortunately, some brands such as 100Bon prefer to focus on quality by highlighting respect for the body and the environment in the creation of their fragrances.

Their bottles are cruelty free, natural and refillable.

All that remains is to find the ideal scent to intoxicate your partner.


We stay in the semantics of body care with the famous beauty kits and cases.

Being eco-responsible also involves choosing the treatments present in our bathrooms.

Compositions of biosourced natural ingredients, recyclable packaging, certified vegan products, if your partner likes to take care of their appearance, as much as he or she does it while preserving nature.

In this case, the Made in France and vegan cosmetics brand La Canopée will make her happy, as she was able to conquer the hearts of our team after we tested their routine, and fell in love with their products!

Ethics of the plate…on the feet!

What if after our candle-free romantic meal, we ended the evening with a little clothing gift.

We see you coming, where Valentine’s Day and fashion come together, you say to yourself “finally they are talking to us about naughty lingerie!”

This could have been the case, but unfortunately we will pass our turn this time, since here we will rather approach the question of ethically sewn clothing in a more global way. You will therefore have to be curious to find the perfect ski socks, jumpsuit pajamas, or kangaroo briefs to end this evening on a hot note with your loved one ;)

Well, we said; If you want to offer a piece of clothing, why not combine ethics with pleasure by offering a piece made according to responsible criteria.

For the newbies, let's remember that fashion is the second most polluting sector in the world after oil, with 1.2 billion tonnes of C02 generated per year! So even if it means having fun, you might as well do it without adding to the environmental bill.

Today, fortunately, there are many committed brands which, like COG , use European manufacturing and take into account the well-being of workers, the use of recycled and ecological materials, or even the choice to only use vegan alternatives.

Clothing, underwear, bags, accessories, eco-responsible shoes, now have their representatives, and by being a little curious, you can easily find alternatives to stock up on, or in this case here, offer pretty pieces to keep dress made ethically, in a supportive framework.

If we don't sweat the work, letting you search the web to find the eco-responsible nugget(s) best suited to the tastes of your loved one, we can still recommend a very nice little up-and-coming brand of eco-friendly shoes ; Women's / men's city shoes Made in Europe, sneakers made from plastic bottles recovered from the sea and recycled cork, 100% vegan materials , they have enough to ethically and elegantly dress the feet of your soul mate in all seasons.

Ok, we couldn't resist the temptation to get a little publicity, it seems like it's no easy task, but enough of the joke, if buying new is sometimes necessary; Second hand is certainly a way of consumption that is just as - if not more - ecological and virtuous for the planet. So why not spoil your darling with a brand new second-hand item? Bravo for the COG oxymoron!

Local thrift stores, online resale sites, there are many ways to find the perfect outfit to dress your partner, while doing something for the planet.

You have undoubtedly already heard of the now famous resale site Vinted , but many other online thrift stores exist, like OnceAgain , where you will find hundreds of second-hand items in excellent condition, even new, and sometimes at ridiculously low prices.

To remain ecological, however, beware of the rebound effect and not fall into the trap of buying more because it is cheaper; because new or second-hand, ethical clothes will always be those that we wear, and not those that we buy to pile up in a closet.

An eco-responsible stay

What if for the occasion we got some fresh air and escaped hand in hand, for a weekend, to discover one of our beautiful French regions?

To find inspiration, visit the Natura Box website which offers green stopovers throughout France. Eco-chic accommodation, a night in a cocooning cabin or under a teepee, the choice of stays offered is varied, and will be ideal for stocking up on memories and changing your mind in the forest, at the sea or in a corner remote in nature.

Is your friend more motivated by responsible actions than relaxing stays?

No problem. Pass on your COGs, and we'll jump on the train, heading to the countryside for a permaculture weekend. And if it's the defense of animal welfare that unites you, let's discover a sanctuary to lend a hand to volunteers and take care of rescued animals.

Our responsible and supportive addresses:

The Breuil school : On the program for these two days, the discovery of the fundamentals of permaculture alongside experienced speakers. Please note, places are very limited!

Ognon : training that shares with you the keys and basic notions of agroecology. A few kilometers from Paris.

The refuge of Noah's ark : Less than 15 km from Strasbourg, come and meet the rabbits, llamas, pigs, cows, goats and horses taken in by Hugues and all the dedicated volunteers of the shelter and lend a helping hand to provide the necessary care to their little ones. Reception open to visitors every Wednesday and Saturday.

The gourmet present

If there is a gift that is generally unanimous, and will certainly delight your partner, it is chocolate!

Although cocoa beans do not grow in our latitudes, consumed occasionally, in boxes or tablets, chocolate makes a very nice gift, provided that we do not forget to read the labels to see if the secret ingredient is there, we are obviously talking about production ethics.

Fair trade at Artisans du Monde , vegan and organic at IChoc , chocolate is even tastier when it is made responsibly; because it is neither always ecological, nor always cultivated in an altruistic framework, as evidenced by the documentary The Hidden Face of Chocolate , released in 2010.

Finally, why not accompany this rounded gift with a light and zen note such as an assortment of teas?

Antioxidant, anti-stress…the list of benefits of this ancient drink is long.

Whether tea is, or is not yet, your partner's guilty pleasure, why not introduce them to the L'autre Thé brand? or the organic brand 4:24 p.m. and their boxes with delicate flavors? Their manufacturing ethics range from ecology to consideration of the people in charge of picking, including giving work to people with disabilities as part of the packaging of their products.

Very nice values, for a gift full of virtues and gentleness.

Up to you !

So, we hope that this article has given you some nice ideas to follow to offer a Valentine's Day full of joy and with general respect for life, to the person you love.

Of course, this list represents only a sample of the countless nice touches that could be appropriate for the occasion, many more of which - and some of the most beautiful - are not for sale. It's up to you, then, to use your creativity to demonstrate ethically your love for your loved one, knowing that the listening, attention, and consideration offered on a daily basis, certainly symbolize the most beautiful brands of affection that we can offer to the people we hold intimately in our heart.


Lots of love to those in love, and to those who are not.

Also discover the other articles and interviews on our blog .