productive consumption?

As globalisation and fast fashion took jobs and skills off shore and created cheap clothing and poorly made fashion and accessories, we saw a rapid increase in waste. Textile waste in landfill went from being 4% to 30 % in a period of 5 years. What we also lost was the ability to still be able to make things locally as the textile mills and tanneries, then the wholesalers and then the retailers went out of business, unable to compete with the drive to import cheap product ....and as we slowly forgot how to make things, we also forgot the satisfaction and sense of achievement with making something. We became constant consumers.... but never feeling satisfied. Research shows that buying lots of stuff , leads to throwing away lots of stuff ...yet we are never happy with what we have.. however research also tells us that the items we cherish the most are the ones we make ourselves or that have been made by someone we know. Furthermore, 90% of what you donate to charity is not saleable, and end up in our landfill or incinerated in other countries.

Unfortunately over the last few decades many of the skills and the infrastructure in this country (which has always been a nation of DIY'ers) has gone, and perhaps you think this doesn't matter, as the next generation only want to design, not make .... the problem with this thinking, is that true design comes from experimenting with the materials and techniques and the knowledge and craftsmanship of making is mostly held by people who are getting close to retirement, so getting anything made in NZ will be nearly impossible. Not only will the skills be gone, but the materials to make an item will need to be ordered overseas and shipped here. We have hardly any textile retailers left in the country and instead we are dominated by spotlights stores... so once again the choice for consumers has been removed.

Making something gives you a sense of achievement and can lift your mood, and relax you. the trending word for this recently has been mindfulness, but really it is just about taking time out to think about something else and be in the moment. When you make something you have to be in the moment as you need to concentrate on what you are making and for those of who are makers, we know all too well that it can be addictive and if we are not able to create we can become a bit down, similar to the runners who get a runners high. The benefits of knitting for example have been shown to be similar to yoga as it lowers your heart rate and helps you to relax.

If you have not made many things before, accessing the right equipment and materials can set you back a lot of money and take a lot of time to source...... and all that before you start making anything. Buying a kit can be a fantastic alternative and you will have everything you need to get started. For example our HOLDER leather bag kits come with pre cut leather and are ready punched with the needles and specialist linen threads included. If you were to buy the materials yourself you would need to source everything and by a full hide of leather, the tools to cut the leather, the rulers the cutting mats, the hammer, the punches, the correct needles and the waxed linen thread ...and then source the straps.

So what are you waiting for ? get started and start make something.... it does not need to costs a fortune as you can start by raiding your wardrobe and transforming what you already own.. check out our Made and Make gallery for ideas or download instructions and get started.

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