Sunday, September 14, 2008


I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I've just taken a pledge to buy handmade this year, especially coming up to Halloween and Christmas, where there is the temptation to buy cheap bright decorative items. Generally, I would buy Fairtrade, and organic if possible, but sometimes the stuff is just too darn expensive. But, now that I've taken the pledge, I plan to stick to it. A new wave of activism is popping up, and its not Bob Geldof or Bono telling us to be good, its just everyday people making everyday decisions.

Craftivism, is a real word and a real movement, as I discovered in wiki. It's a new form of activism, which can be seen in all the emerging websites and blogs dedicated to small time craft practitioners, spreading word about fairtrade and organic, handmade products. There is now loads of fantastic information on how to help, and how to go green. I'm going to try get a list of any stockist's in Ireland who have natural, organic, fairtrade textiles, so please, email me if you have any information I can add to my list.

It can be hard to be a Craftivist in Ireland, nearly everything we have has some negative price. Even if we buy Fairtrade, whats its carbon footprint? Does Fairtrade mean organic and vice-versa. The farmer might be getting an okay price for his produce, but if he's still spraying all those chemicals, that will poison his children, is money enough? Last year I went to look at some T-shirts in Penny's that were supposed to be organic, but at that price, it could not have been Fairtrade. We naturally assume the two go together, but they don't. Everyone is trying to make us feel guilty about something. So, its time to stop the guilt, and just do what you want to do in a non-harmful way. That is why I took the pledge. But, since Irish handmade stuff tends to be expensive, I guess I wont be buying much this year, and I better get the needles out and start making those Xmas presents.


Turtle said...

I know what you mean, you can drive yourself crazy when you start thinking of the full carbon footprint of a purchased organic item. Sadly the two do not always go hand in hand, and with everyones purse strings tightened this year... well you know.
A few years ago, maybe 5, my daughter and i started making everyones gifts. We try to think of something personal just for them. This includes knitting, sewing, baking, canning, scrapbooking, soapmaking, etc... So far it has been working out nicely. Welcome to the club! (I so bought a couple of books on traveling in Ireland and a language CD yesterday....some folk dream oif Hawaii....nope, give me your backyard!

Stitchlily said...

Sometimes I dont get why people like Ireland so much. Any country I've travelled to seems far more interesting. I cant say the grass is greener on the otherside, as we do have a lot of very green grass, but theres certainly lots more outdoory things to see..

Irene said...

Do you know Sophie Rieu of Unicorn Design? She has taken an organic pledge. You can see her designs here: