(above, handmade triangular top by Shihar)
If you love to eat and cook, and also work with your hands... you're definitely not alone. An appreciation for artisanal food, and a creative way of life (the focus of the work of the Artisans Gallery team) go hand in hand. Etsy has recognized this and quite freqneutly highlights (amazingly delicious looking) food and recipes on their blog. But it's not just about any food. And it's not just about any "goods".
It's all about the s-l-o-w. Slow food is a way of life, and an international community and I love how it celebrates quality and pleasure. A commitment to sourcing one's ingredients from the local butcher, baker and organic farm, for example, is part of the way of life. Here in Ottawa, one of our favorite go-to places is the Piggy Market, where carefully sourced, ethically raised and fed meat is prepared in a slow, labor-intensive and eco-conscious way (using other local, largely organic produce and supplies). The result is truly delicious, and sits as easily on our consciences as in our tummies.
(above, handmade eco felt baby booties by LaLaShoes)
Slow cloth is the extension of the principles and philosophy of Slow into the world of artists, artisans and entrepreneurs. There’s “slow fashion”, “slow clothing” too. Artisans who form the Artisans Gallery Team - who work slowly, by hand, to make one of a kind pieces, are part of this movement.
I love this quote by Sharon Astyk, she says it so very eloquently (this is from her 2006 article from Groovy Green Magazine):
“I think there are a number of really good reasons to find and learn ways to make clothing, to prioritize homemade, or locally made clothing (including learning to find it beautiful), and perhaps to create a “Slow Clothing” or “Slow Fashion” movement rather like the “Slow Food” movement currently picking up speed. Maybe it’s as simple as creating a campaign in which each of us would have at least one daily wearable outfit that we’ve made ourselves, a kind of democratic fashion statement that acknowledges that our clothing comes with human and environmental costs.”
Slow cloth, like slow food, and slow fashion, is focussed on the journey, not only the destination. It honors skill, grace and diversity (and artisanal, local producers and artists) and it focusses on what is sustainable, as beautiful to look at as it is for the earth. And it’s about community.
(above, handmade wood jewelry box by krtwood)
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to become more sustainable, how to think about what we do and what we make from cradle to cradle. Rather than seeing what we make as going from cradle to grave (i.e. landfill, as waste) - it's great to consider them from cradle to cradle, closing the loop and essentially making as little waste as possible. One of the ways we seek to do that is by waste-free cutting of our fabrics, and the use of whatever very small scraps we create.
I love the way Etwas (creator of gorgeous, handmade leather bags) puts it:
"Consider not only the things we are making,
but the things we are destroying."
For me, "Slow" is as delicious as it is inspiring, and I want to learn all I can about Slow Food, Slow Cloth and Slow Fashion. And just maybe all this Slow will also help me learn to live even more in the present, soaking in the seasons, my childrens' laughter, and the way time, every so often, seems to pause and stand still.
(above, original photo by YannPendaries )