Handmade Freedom

Can shopping promote freedom? Hmm, maybe that seems like a stretch. Certainly the accumulation of stuff for stuff's sake can't equate to freedom but just maybe how and where we shop can help ensure choice and diversity.

I decided to look for some answers by being my own guinea pig and went in search of fingerless gloves. My closest big box store offered two kinds of fingerless gloves. The styles were slightly different and only came in 3 color combinations - pink, black or pink and black.They were, thin, poorly made and at $2 and $3 appeared to make a strong case for “you get what you pay for”. The buyers for major retailers make many preliminary decisions for us. They limited color, style, quality and price. They separated me from the maker and the process. Aren’t I smart enough to make those decisions myself? According to Jeff Milchen at ReclaimDemocray.org “As fewer giant corporations dominate both production and sales, our options - determinded by a powerful few - will be drastically reduced.”

Persian Green Mohair Fingerless Gloves by Love and Knit

Now consider my expericence shopping for fingerless gloves from small independent sellers. I typed fingerless gloves into the Etsy search box and came up with 21,619 items. While some of the shops have the same style/color limitations as “Big Box”, combined they created great diversity! I could chose from long, short, fold-over mitten, with buttons, without buttons, stripes, fancey, plain, men’s or women’s, natural or man made fibers. I narrowed my search further and found for example that just one of Tickled Pink Kint's 10 fingerless glove designs can be ordered in 16 different colors. (Sierra? Ruby Red? Sea Blue?).

The U.S. Small Business Administration says that the average American shopper will spend $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise this year. So while you’re making your list and checking it twice remember, each dollar is a vote for the kind of world you want. Vote wisely.


Lauren said...

Makes you think. I love and support handmade. Pictured perfectly above.....are reasons why! Gorgeous gorgeous handmade choices.

poopoonecka said...

Great post.:)

I've already done most of my shopping for the holidays on Etsy. The array of beautiful & unique items makes it the perfect place to find a great gift. And I'm so well acquainted with the site so it's easy too!


gretchenmist . . . {belinda} said...

fabulous! such a good example and message :)

TuckooandMooCow said...

This is such a fantastic, well thought out post. It's so funny how often there is just as much to choose from --if not more!-- when looking for an item as handmade instead of in a department store.

Donata said...

I agree with your thoughts! Thank you for all beautiful finds!