How Making Can Help Us Shop Less


Published:

Photo by Devin Edwards on Unsplash

Not so long ago, the basic skills needed for repairing and refurbishing – such as sewing, knitting, woodworking and metalworking – were taught in schools. But teaching these crafts is out of fashion. Anyone over the age of 40 today could have used these skills to make presents for their parents and would have known how to handle small repairs; that fashion is not always readymade by big brands, but that it is possible to create and sew our own clothes, adapt and alter them, repair them, or replace a button.

For the younger generations today, this knowledge is nearly lost. In a UK survey every fourth respondent said they couldn’t sew on a button; every second couldnt repair a hole or fix a seam. Designer and founder of “Fashion Revolution” Orsola Castro knows why: “because of ubiquitous fast fashion a whole generation has lost these abilities”. In the 1980s, followers of the post-punk scene still expressed their individuality by designing and adapting their own clothes. These days, there are prefabricated versions of this streetwise trendy “look” at every fashion discount store.

Consumerism – A Vicious Cycle

It is difficult to escape the vicious cycle that has been set in motion by the modern consumer society. First of all, cheap products made it unnecessary to make do and mend. Next, we lost our respect for things and the necessary knowledge to maintain them. Now we have lost all our inhibitions about buying greater numbers of new products and using them for ever shorter periods of time. This throwaway culture now is evident in the “fast fashion” phenomenon and in many other everyday products such as electronics, interior design, toys and household goods.

Consumerism is killing our planet. It’s heating up the climate, using too much fossil energy, destroying habitats and landscapes and peoples livelihoods. It is not only nature that is paying the price for this, but the millions of people working in often life-threatening and exploitative conditions.

But We Can MAKE CHANGE NOW

People in sewing- and repair cafes, DIY communities, urban gardens, makerspaces and fab-labs from around the world are proving that many people have the desire to create something with their own hands – and that it is easier to do it, if we share the resources, materials and tools for this in communal spaces.

Anyone who once crafted a table or a bed himself will think twice before buying a flimsy flat pack from a Swedish furniture store. Anyone who has knitted a jumper out of real wool will  avoid cheap polyester knitwear. And those who have planted a few lettuce heads in their garden, cherished them and defended them against snails, will be reluctant to throw food away – because they know how hard it can be to grow.

If you have made something, you will buy more consciously the next time, whether it’s food, fashion or mobile phones. Your experience of creating an original, will lead you to reflect on your consumption patterns and you will be more likely to find a way to repair, care for and share your goods before throwing them out. Its essential that we share this culture in our communities and make these spaces where skills, knowledge and experiences are shared an essential part of our urban life.

Making Meets Tech

We are not advocating a return to a time before modern technology where we would produce everything ourselves. This wouldn’t be feasible – but the maker community that has developed in fab labs and maker spaces around the world proves that DIY, the internet and the latest tech are part of the same movement. Modern technologies can connect us with lots of tutorials, knowledge and experiences that can be shared widely with communities around the globe. There are online communities such as Shareable and Instructables that provide us with easy to follow guidelines on how to make and share things. Follow our Instagram channel @makesmthng for further inspiration and to connect with makers around the globe.

These offline and online communities are invaluable platforms for acquiring and sharing knowledge and skills. Thus, they counteract the loss of craftsmanship – and  throw a spanner in the works of the throwaway society.

Lu Yen Roloff is the comms lead for the MAKE SMTHNG campaign at Greenpeace. She firmly believes in the power of connecting makers from around the globe to help fight overconsumption. She is totally in love with all the creative ideas from the movement and pledges to spend quieter times to DIY the hell out of the dark winter days! You can follow Lu Yen on Instagram @i.do.lu, Facebook luyenroloff or Twitter @lyroloff

This article was republished from www.makesmthng.org.

See also:
Save The Date For MAKE SMTHNG Week 2018
15 Tips For Commercial-Free, Fun-Filled Family Holidays

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

November 20, 2019

After retrograding since Halloween, mental Mercury turns Direct this afternoon. The Winged Messenger’s changes of direction can befuddle some minds. New ideas and points of view may defy convention. With Mercury ensconced in Scorpio, previously secret…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

November 2019

“Bringing Energy into Matter” Learn basics of Tachyon, Zero Point Energy and Quantum Physics Tachyonized products and healing tools for purchase Participate in a seeing...

Cost: Free (preregistration is required)

Where:
The Sanctuary for Celestial Empowerment
10 Grassmere Avenue
Suite #300
West Hartford, CT  06110
View map »


Sponsor: Psychotherapy Healing Services, LLC
Telephone: 860-798-6176
Contact Name: Celeste E. Mattingly, LCSW
Website »

More information

Beaver Moon: Herbs for Aches and Pains Using Anti-Inflammatory Herbs. Refreshments served. To RSVP contact herbalist Rachel Ross, RN CNM. Visit our Facebook page for the latest...

Where:
Hillside Herbals
Jefferson, MA


Telephone: (508) 847-8615
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

A beautiful collection of messages from Jeshua Ben Joseph (Jesus) that will transform your life, as it did his. Coming together to study these teachings, to ponder, to savor, to deepen our...

Cost: $25 per class

Where:
Heart and Soul Holistic Healing Center
130 Massapoag Avenue
Sharon, MA  02067
View map »


Sponsor: Heart and Soul Holistic
Telephone: 781-258-9942
Contact Name: Barbara Ann Strassman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Atend a public hearing for S665 at the Massachusetts State House to protect holistic practitioners. This is the second bill that urgently needs your attention now. S665 will provide a safe...

Where:
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon St
Rooms A1 and A2
Boston, MA  02133
View map »

More information

With Peyton Pugmire, spiritual intuitive and Certified Angel Card Reader Tuesdays, 9/24, 10/22, 11/19, 12/17, 6pm–8pm You are intuitive beyond belief. This is your soul’s...

Cost: $40

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
View map »


Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Creative Spirit
Website »

More information

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

Free Evidence-Based Holistic Health Education Program at Wilbraham Senior Center The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation), created and instructed by Michelle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

The Fertility Awareness Meetup provides women with an opportunity to learn about and discuss natural birth control options and fertility. This is a space to connect with peers, access information,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cambridge Women's Center
46 Pleasant St
Cambridge, MA  02139
View map »


Sponsor: AC Fertility Awareness
Telephone: 617-899-7624
Contact Name: Anna Churchill

More information

The online dating scene can be exciting, overwhelming, and also annoying. However, it can truly be worth the hassle if you end up finding your ideal match! Just like Kerri did! Come to this...

Cost: $25

Where:
Awaken Holistic Counseling Services
2 Liberty St., Unit 2L
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Awaken Holistic Counseling Services, LLC
Telephone: 978-255-7893
Contact Name: Kerri Morrison
Website »

More information

Broga® is an officially licensed brand of fitness infused yoga geared for men but open to all. With instructors around the world, Chuck was trained by the brands creator and went onto work as...

Cost: $20

Where:
SSFIT STudio
339 Boston Post Rd, Suite 6A
Sudury, MA  01776
View map »


Sponsor: SSFIT STUDIO
Telephone: 508-904-7171
Contact Name: Steven
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come detox, relax and renew yourself for the fall in our sanctuary! We have an intimate gathering of great readers and healers providing services at sampler rates to enjoy their services while...

Cost: $60: 3 Pack Service Special; $25: Single Service

Where:
Healing Power Of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani (My journey from cancer, to near death, to true healing) In this truly inspirational memoir, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four...

Cost: Free

Where:
Open Circle Acupuncture & Healing
411 West Main Street, Suite 2R (rear of building)
Northborough, MA  01532
View map »


Sponsor: Open Circle Acupuncture & Healing
Telephone: 508-393-1212
Contact Name: Kim Flaherty
Website »

More information

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

Four week series for girls ages 11 and up with Leigh Sloss This series of classes will focus on some of the most effective yoga and mindfulness skills for reducing stress and anxiety.  In a...

Cost: Series: $75; Drop in rate $20

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Yourself the gift of Reiki this holiday season! Have you always wanted to learn Reiki but didn’t want to commit to a full day workshop?  This is the class for you! Reiki...

Cost: $175

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

Learn to overcome spinal tensions through therapeutic postures, designed to decompress your spine and relieve pain. Taught by a certified yoga therapist, classes bring you through poses...

Cost: 5/$50

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice O'Brien
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags