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