I ran across this list tonight during my regular blog search and thought it was worth sharing.
21 reasons to support independently made products and say NO to mass market...
1) Buying from independent, small scale producers is better for people.
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Making yourself or purchasing from a small scale independent artist, crafter, or shop helps us reconnect.
2) Making yourself or buying from independent, small scale producers is better for the environment.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make yourself or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.
3) Making yourself or buying from independent, small scale producers makes for better gift-giving.
The giver of a handmade gift avoids the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, she or he feels the satisfaction of supporting an independent artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is limited edition or one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that can be seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.
4) Many small scale producers use recycled materials.
There is too much stuff in this world already. Lets re-use some of what we have.
5) When you purchase from an independent small scale producer, you are generally purchasing from someone who enjoys what they do and takes pride in what they make.
Such a product holds positive energy that spreads and touches all who come in contact with it.
6) Rejecting chain store culture in favor of a more personal product produced in a limited quantity is a thoughtful, conscious decision and connects you in a very real way to another human being...your purchase affects real lives, not a faceless, deep pocketed corporation .
7) Products made by small scale producers are more than just a product.
There is love, thought, creativity, passion and uniqueness.
8) Independently made products are more fashion forward, fresher and more original.
Many times they are conceived of and made the same day...not pre-ordered 6 months ago from an overseas factory based on projections.
9) You can be the first one of all your friends to discover a great designer.
10) If you make or give an indie product as a gift, you are telling the recipient that you cared enough about them to buy or create something as individual as they are.
11) When you purchase an indie made product you are contributing to an insurance policy that helps to keep creativity alive, enabling more unique and different items to become available over time.
12) Because buying from a small scale, indepedent producer does not require fighting for a parking space, having your ears pierced by blaring holiday music, walking around in a daze under flourescent lights, fighting to push a shopping cart with one bad wheel, or having a cashier you don't know ask for your phone number and zip code.
13) Because buying indie items or making your own are what your Grandma used to buy or make.
14) There is a personal connection between you, the product, and the product's creator. There is someone you can email and say "Thank You, I love your product!" and actually get a response back, which spreads warm and fuzzy good karma around for everyone.
15) Supporting indie producers is absolutely vital in this current economy.
We need to support local, small businesses and artisans over the big corporations.
16) Someone put their time, attention, and love into it.
It wasn't mass-produced in some factory where several people attached one item to create the whole over and over and over again.
Big companies won't commit machines and factories to make quirkier, odder things at the risk of not selling 1000's or millions of mass produced units. But that is exactly what is best about limited edition stuff... Odd ideas, colors, and combinations that may not be commercial but are definitely fun.
18) Buying indie/small scale shows our children that not everything in this world needs to be mass produced.
It teaches them to love and appreciate the unique and the imperfect. And it inspires them to do their own creating as well.
19) By communicating directly with the producer you may be able to customize your item!
If Target only sells that scarf in blue and green, you can't ask to have it in black and white.
20) When you buy indie/small scale, you are usually buying directly from the producer.
You aren't lining the pockets of some faceless corporation or paying for fancy advertising and PR. You are taking part in a process of revising our economic model to one that rewards hard work, talent, creativity, initiative and personal responsibility.
21) Because there isn't anyone else in between the producer and the customer, deciding which ideas should and should not be produced.
Whether an idea is bad or good, the customer and the producer get to make that decision themselves.