My year of buying handmade

When I was at university I decided, out of financial necessity and social concern, to buy only pre-loved clothing. I took this challenge pretty seriously, even buying vintage fabric and sewing things I couldn’t easily buy. I kept this up for a few years. It was a rewarding way to shop, and I still own and love a number of the pieces. However, when I moved cities, and suddenly had a little more money and a whole lot less security and company, the magical world of disposable shopping lured me back in … And a great five years we’ve had together, the High Street and I. I seem to be able to find a dress for every occasion and shoes to right every wrong. My style has changed a lot over this time and the flexibility to make and remake oneself through fashion is really liberating. It’s time, however, for another challenge and, most importantly, it’s time to return to shopping in a way that’s as good for other people as it is for me (those who work for or own High Street stores are, indeed, people, but I think they’ll do just fine without me). While I still love vintage, my focus has changed to handmade, as a way of only buying clothes that are made sustainably and by those who are passionate about what they do. And so, for the duration of 2015, I’ll only be buying handmade. How do I define handmade? I expect this definition will evolve, but I want to support artisans and the idea I have now is that I will only buy items where the designer and producer are one and the same. I’ll be documenting my progress here, wish me luck and if you know or any great artisan producers, let me know! What’s in? Clothes Shoes Jewellery Bags Furniture Linen Art Gifts for other people What’s out? Cosmetics (show me a good handmade waterproof mascara and maybe I’ll reconsider) Groceries (we already try to eat seasonally and locally and I’m not up for trying to unravel the intricacies of the food chain as well as trying to find the perfect handmade pencil skirt …) Books and electronics (for obvious reasons)


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