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To buy or not to buy? An eco-conscious question.

BarMade Bags stall

My stall is set up at a craft fair not far from my home in South Yorkshire. My banner proudly proclaims the unique, handmade and eco-friendly nature of my products and I have a range that covers a variety of price-points.

I chat with potential customers who show an interest in my products, admire my work but, more often than not, walk off without buying.





A few weeks later, while on holiday, I see a sign for a craft fair and go inside to look around. I chat with the sellers and admire their work, but then walk away without buying. I don't need anymore cushions, however much I like the fabrics used for the appliqued designs, nor another travel sewing kit, even though its construction is really clever! Eventually I do find something to buy - not for myself, but to give as a gift. Beautifully hand-decorated coasters that I know will delight the recipient for her birthday.


The Justacard campaign was set up to promote artists and other small business owners for whom it can make a big difference when customers buy something, even if it's just a card or some other small item. I carry my #justacard pin on me and do my best to support independents with my purchases.


However, I'm also aware of the environmental implications of consumerism with ever-reducing resources and the problems caused by the disposal of no-longer-wanted items. So I avoid buying for the sake of it and try to make wise choices, both in what I buy and who I buy from. The drawerful of cards that I've bought are, I know, destined for particular friends or relations, and anything bought as a gift either for myself or someone else, is always considered as to whether it will be welcomed and used. Take a look at some of the lovely things I've bought from small independent creatives over the last month or so. With these I was glad I decided to buy!

Cards from Sunshine and Poppies, Love to sew badge from Life is Better in Colour, Notebook from Drawn by Woodsy, Enamel pin from Wild Ginger Boutique and Embroidery Kit from Marigold the Maker


So if you see BarMade Bags at a craft fair, do come and chat and I'll quite understand if you don't have the need for a bag and hence don't buy anything from me. If you're tempted to buy - whether in person or online - remember that most of the materials used to make my products are upcycled and I use solar power for most of my sewing, so they are more eco-friendly than mass-produced bags.


Are these considerations that influence you in your decision whether to buy or not to buy?


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Stocksbridge, Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

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