Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What if... We Only Bought Handmade Things?

OK - I'm not talking about things like cars, but rather all the stuff that we buy month after month - clothes, furniture, toys - mass produced, overseas factory made, generally low-quality junk.

What would happen?

  1. Local artists, artisans, and craftsmen/women would be able to make a living wage working for themselves, producing these things.
  2. We'd buy much less, because these things would be much more expensive (but hopefully better quality and longer lasting).
  3. We'd need smaller houses, since they'll hold less stuff, so we'd use less energy.
  4. Mini-storage companies would go out of business.
  5. There'd be less pollution, and less trash in landfills, and fewer raw materials used, because of #2 above.
  6. We'd have an increased sense of connection to the world around us, through the people who make these things.
I'm not sure what categories of things this could really apply to, in our modern world. Not books, certainly, but probably the bookshelves they stand on. Probably not electronics, either. But there are whole classes of things that we buy that it could apply to - furniture, shoes, dishes, clocks, rugs, potpourri, linens, soaps and lotions, etc.

What if we stopped giving our money to big corporations and retailers, and put it in the hands of local people just like us?