Shopping Handmade is Shopping Heartmade
Shopping handmade has been a passion of mine since my daughter was born. Although my Grandmother was a seamstress her entire life, I never appreciated the art of the craft until after her passing. A regret I have daily.
Not only is a handmade product made from the heart, it is also something that stands the test of time. I still have a doll sewn by my Abuela and almost 30 years later I still have it, and I will tell you it looks incredible still to this day. These are just some of the reasons why I love searching out makers, crafters and small businesses in lieu of the rock bottom prices of fast fashion options out there.
Here are several reasons I think shopping handmade is shopping heartmade:
- Supporting Local Business, Economy & Local Families
- Heartmade lasts a lifetime
- Fast Fashion Downfalls
- Unique & Stylish Options
Supporting Local Business, Economy & Families
Buying handmade from local makers supports local business, economy and families. I am not free from fast fashion of course, occasionally take the trip down to my Target and browse the aisles, sip my latte and grab something I need immediately. It is not about absolutes here but think for a moment what that purchase means to the CEO of Target. My $25 doesn't go very far in this respect. However, when I purchase something from a handmade small shop I am literally putting my $25 in the hands of a Mother who is saving for ballet lessons for her daughter. A Father who is making a car payment with the funds he received that week. A Grandmother who might need that money for grocery shopping. My purchase is making an actual person with a face do a little happy dance when they hear that Cha-Ching on their phone from the purchase that just went through their Etsy or Shopify store. My $25 goes a lot further for those small businesses and I really love that.
Businesses like this one, Belle Threads, are handmade in the USA. In the case of Belle Threads, it is a family owned and operated business with Tannia Ospina as the Owner and her sister ___ as the seamstress. Everyone in the family helps, including Tannia's daughter, Sanibel who often models the newest outfits for the business. Their store location and workspace is a labor of love. Often there are no days off and very long hours. Holidays and weekends are not days off but chances to catch up on all the behind the scenes things needed to run a successful business. It is all done with lots of love and passion.
Because of those who support small shops like Belle Threads, Tannia is able to shop local often buying her fabrics from vendors in local towns, networking with other small business owners and herself buying other small handmade business products to pair and style with her adorable fashions. It is a labor of love that keeps giving back to her local economy as well.
Heartmade lasts a lifetime
Handmade products like the heirloom quality at Belle Threads are made to last much longer than the life of the garment. Usually with things like kids clothing designers make garments well enough to last through the child's clothing size. If you know anything about how fast kids grow that isn't a very long time. I have had items I purchased from Big Box stores literally disintegrate after the first wash.
Items like Belle Threads dresses are built to last and last. Far longer than the life of the garment, arguably for a lifetime if cared for very delicately.
Fast Fashion Downfalls
I am not one that thinks in absolutes. I know shopping handmade can be very expensive and waiting for online shipping can be an adjustment when you are used to just grabbing things and going from a traditional store. I also don't believe you can ONLY shop handmade all the time. Even though you may not be able to shop handmade for everything it is good to know the downfalls of the Fast Fashion industry, how it affects you and the people who work to make the items you buy - ultimately the real cost of that very low price and convenience.
Did you know that fast fashion is the 2nd most pollutant industry in the world? Buying handmade is so much more sustainable.
World Resources Institute reports that we waste at least 1 garbage truck of clothing is burned or landfilled every second. That is enough to fill 1.5 Empire State Buildings PER DAY.
This mass production of creating a product in the cheapest way possible, manufacturing it quickly and selling it at rock bottom prices also creates a problem in the workforce it uses to make your Fast Fashion items.
It is a common misconception that "sweatshops" are a thing of the past. Unfortunately that is not true. People worldwide are forced into jobs with little pay and terrible work conditions. How do you think this affects their own economy? Because they make so little their countries cannot develop, cannot sustain their environments and any adverse condition, such as an Earthquake, Tsunami or Drought would have a really terrible impact on them.
Harsh working conditions isn't the only problem. Some workers literally have to fear for their lives on the job. As recently as 2013 a garment factory Rana Plaza in Savar Upazila, Bangladesh collapsed. The catastrophe injured 2,500 and killed 1,134 people. It was the deadliest garment industry accident in modern history.
What is the cost of the cheaper fast fashion alternative? For me it is too high to buy fast fashion 100% of the time.
Unique & Stylish Options
Shops like Belle Threads have made shopping handmade a must for the most stylish and unique options around. Shopping small handmade guarantees that your items are very unique since small handmade shops have a very small amount of items sold compared to the cookie cutter outfits you will find in the same stores on the same shelves readily available in bulk to the masses.
When considering all these things, it is easy to see why Shopping Handmade is certainly Heartmade. Not only are you supporting a small local business, family and economy you are also making a conscience effort to support a sustainable industry that will literally change lives and even possibly save the planet. I hope you feel that way too! Tell me below why you love shopping handmade!