The current trend of handmade goods has been on a steady rise in recent years and for good reason. With the introduction of the internet the truth is finding its way out and let’s say that the bigger the brand the bigger the scandal. It seems that their low prices are too good to be true and either someone or something is paying the price. Here are 10 reasons why it’s better to shop handmade...
- You're supporting a Person
Handmade goods are made by hand, and hands belong to people. By purchasing handmade items you are supporting a person, and allowing them to be free from the clutches of the dreaded 9-5 grind. Being honest, they’ll definitely be working more than 9-5. But even so, they will be happier doing it for themselves rather than a company which doesn’t fit their morals or value their hard work. When you spend your money on big brand products you are allowing the skilled craftsmen and woman behind them to work undervalued and under paid, whilst the middlemen, managers, and corporate hierarchy live life in excess and luxury.
- You're supporting their Passion
Starting a business is not easy, you put yourself out there and there is every chance that you will fall flat on your face. Taking the risk an artisan must be passionate about their craft to make the risk worthwhile. Through buying their creations you are acknowledging them, supporting them and allowing them to spend their days indulging in their craft - what better gift could you give someone?
- You're supporting a more sustainable way of consuming
Firstly, less energy is consumed by a small scale maker than by an industrial scale production line.
Small-scale makers also have less to gain from exploiting cheap materials, as it would devalue their prized creations. There is a limit to how much a person can make without automated machinery, so by using the best materials, the artisan can profit more than if using cheaper materials. Having a slower production line also ensures a more sustainable practice, as there is less strain on suppliers and the environment. Big brands have more to gain from using cheap materials, cheap labour and making unethical choices, in order to make as large a profit as possible from their sales.
- You’re keeping traditional skills and crafts alive
By supporting people who are skilled craftsmen and woman you are allowing them to learn, practice, and teach skills that are integral to our cultural identity. We remember the past through its arts, crafts and popular trends. What will future generations be looking back on in the coming years? What things we desired, valued and prized? Will people be contributing to the evolution of skills, crafts and trends or will we be remembered by what the big brands are making?
- You'll value your possessions more
Knowing someone has invested time and energy into a creation gives you a great deal more respect for it. Are people finding it easier to throw things away because the items lack value? Big brand items give a quick fix for a desire, but easy come easy go as they say. What’s wrong with saving up for something you really want? The sense of gratification you receive from handcrafted goods and the time invested into saving for it, will be more timeless than its store bought counterparts.
- You're purchasing unique gifts and items
There’s nothing worse than finding the latest “must have” and show up at your friend’s house to find that the two of you could be a double act. Buying handmade is more exclusive, and is protecting our sense of individuality.
- You're celebrating creativity
Creativity is a representation of a person’s imagination, inventiveness, efforts and soul. It is personal to each person and we should celebrate their journey, their individuality and their talent. Big brands, especially cheap ones, do not allow for the talented makers behind their products to really express themselves. The makers have to work to specifications with restricted timescales and with limited material choices to produce something deemed profitable. In reality the lack of thought, depth and love transpires to each item as they rarely stand the test of time.
- You Can Support Local Communities
The beauty of the internet is that anyone can be your neighbour. By buying from a small scale artisan you are putting money into their pocket which they will spend in their local communities.
This can be a lifeline to deprived areas with no job prospects. It gives people a chance to stay in area's they know, love and cherish whilst making a living. The success of artisans can be felt through a community if you support local, by helping and spending money with your neighbour’s.
- You're supporting your Countries Economy
By keeping your money in the UK you are contributing to rebuilding your economy. When you spend money in a high street giant you just don’t know where your money is really going. Do they get their supplies from this country? Who shares the profits? Where do they live? Why not keep your money in your country and help the economy grow, after all what goes around comes around.
- Overall, it's better for your conscience
Buying handmade shows you're more aware of how your actions influence the bigger picture. You’re making a big difference in supporting honest peoples livelihoods, and making the responsible decision to redistribute wealth. Money is power, no matter how small or big the sum is, make that decision to give your power to the right people.