Why Handmade Matters to Our Kids (and, in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse)
By BTRT on September 27, 2011
I shared with readers the story about the gentleman in the fabric shop wondering aloud why anyone would sew anything these days when they could just buy it at Wal*Mart. Readers were asked to chime in with their responses about why handmade matters.
You have touched on a number of the really valuable lessons we learn when we choose to make our own things, with our own hands, when there are so many cheap alternatives. When we choose to teach our children to be mindful not only of the world's (limited) resources but also the well-being of other people around the globe.
I think I might have laughed (and nodded in agreement) hardest at the "being prepared for the zombie apocalypse... good luck finding an open Wal-Mart after that!".
But I have to highlight some of the other values lifted up in response to the challenge:
- one of a kind items, made for a particular person with care and love.
- higher quality/ less consumption of resources, less trash
- heirloom gifts, a way to share with future generations
- food for the soul
- living wages for artisans and supporting local business & economy
- hanging on to the value of art in culture
- sweatshop and child labour should not be supported to save a few bucks
- being creative and sharing the creative spirit
Making things with our hands matters.
For us, our children and the wider global community.
(Photo above: Rowan playing with handmade and thrift store blocks at age 6, same blocks she has used since age 2. Now that is play value!)
I recently posted on Facebook about my trepidation with having to raise silk prices (yet to be done), but the cost of silk has doubled in the last 18 months or so. Add that I choose to use ethically sourced silk with hand rolled hems~ and that hand rolled hems are on the way 'out' as the skills are being lost and the move to machinization in the industry so prevalent.
A friend and long time customer replied to my post saying that she would rather spend the money on one or two quality toys for her children, than a landfill clogging bunch of plastic pieces to be broken and discarded. I appreciated her response, and the reminder about the value of handmade toys~ something I was losing sight of in the glaring reality of price increases and market pressures.
After all, that is why I started doing this in the first place!
I think we all know it, or at least feel it rumbling around somewhere inside us, that we need to change our habits and our perspectives. Sometimes it takes a stranger out of place in our space, like that man in the fabric store, to remind us of what we believe and the need to persist in action!
Especially in case of a zombie apocalypse! ♥♥
Lori @ Beneath the Rowan Tree
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