Friday, September 30, 2011

How buying handmade grows the economy and greens the earth

Hat Harvest at Wattery Totteries
For months now, knitnscribble has been knitting furiously, preparing for an arts and craft fair at a local Newport church this month. As the stack of handmade hats, cowls, and scarves grows, I often wonder how many people realize why buying handmade knits and woolens is important to our environment and fledgling economy.

There are countless reasons why handmade is a much better purchase than foreign mass-produced products.
Yes, countless reasons... As Congress struggles to find the integrity to right the wrongs of our economy, everyday local artisans in your neighborhoods are passionately creating a new economic model, one we lost when so many of our manufacturing plants and corporations were transplanted overseas.

Handmade artisans create their products with a deep sense of love for their art, and use natural or recycled products in the process, which do not impact the carbon footprint of our fragile environment. When buying locally, artisans are accessible for repairs and custom orders with no long phone menus to wade through or tens of ignored emails. Up close and personal products are available at craft fairs and local shops, ones you can see, smell, and touch and know whether or not it is right for you or the gift you wish to give to a special friend.

Spending abroad means you may be supporting sweatshops, who do not meet socially responsible fair trade laws. Spending locally means you are supporting your community, where the money fuels schools, families, and local merchants with like goals.

Knitnscribble hopes you will buy locally grown and artisan handmade products, attend community craft fairs and fiber fests in your area. Even if you don't buy, help them spread the word by "liking" them if you are on Facebook, it only takes a second out of your browsing time. Retweet their efforts on Twitter. Seek out your local handmade artisans and grow our economy one purchase or one "like" at a time.

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