My email inbox has been full to the brim this last week with Black Friday deals. On books, on haberdashery supplies, on just about anything you can imagine. Those of you who have followed my business for a while, might remember that last year I shut-up-shop for Black Friday weekend in protest against the consumerist wave that has enveloped us all to the detriment of planet and people, and participated instead in #buynothingday. Standing beside many others who felt the same, including No Serial Number Magazine, who covered the event on social media and in their blog, it was a stance that I felt really strongly about taking – even recording a video about my position. But ultimately, my ability to take that stand came very much from a place of privilege. A place that a great many creatives never get to stand in, and one that certainly this year, I am in no position to replicate. So my shop will stay open, I will be present at the two amazing markets I’m booked in for this weekend, and I won’t be offering discounts or deals because frankly, I can’t afford to cut my pricing any further. I will, however, be abstaining from shopping with any of the huge multinationals that dominate the market place, and will instead be turning my attention to the homespun, kitchen table creative businesses that deserve our support.
One such business that has come to my attention, is MakeBox+Co – a monthly craft kit subscription box. What interests me about this company is that their boxes are created with sustainability in mind, and are suitable for both the experienced crafter and the absolute beginner. Owner and creator Hannah Read-Baldrey has designed some engaging and beautifully curated projects, where everything you need is right there, and in the right quantities, therefore reducing the potential for waste, though I imagine many would argue that excess haberdashery and craft supplies never, ever a waste!!
From the perspective of skill building, at a time when, for example, more of us need to be mending our own clothes, but many have not the skills – some of these projects are the perfect way to learn and practice some basic textile techniques.
MakeBox+Co have kindly offered to send me a couple of their boxes to try out, so I will post again when I’ve had a go, to share my experience and maybe even include some “look what I just made” pictures! As well as a subscription service, you can also just buy a box or two to try before you subscribe. If you’re looking to up your creative skill-set, or just indulge in some slow, meditative craftwork, then these kits look idea. I’m a huge fan of bees, so hoping to have a go at the bee embroidery project – it’s very different from my usual embroidery style/technique so I feel are I’ll learn something new and feel excited about having something fresh and original to frame and put on my wall.
Supporting creative enterprise that include sustainability in their business model and encourage us to seek out and develop our own creative truth feels so vital just now. Choosing where we spend our money can be a powerful step towards turning Black Friday and every Friday, green.
Images supplied by MakeBox+Co.