Instead of mass produced cotton t-shirts from Wal-Mart, this Christmas many folks are supporting local artisans. They want hand hand made knit sweaters and they’d rather pick up organic basil plants at a nearby farmer’s market than packaged herbs at Costco. Over at GOOD, there was a great article discussing the cultural shift in the way products are being produced and consumed. From the article:
It’s knowing where the food you feed your family comes from, how the fabric you clothe them with is made, and the materials and processes that go into each piece. It’s striking up a conversation with your local artisan and sharing interest in his or her process. At the end of the day, it’s all about re-instilling an element of community and uniting people through an alternative approach to commerce.
The article references a retail co-op called the Utilitarian Workshop, a place that sells “uniquely hand-crafted goods for the modern environment.” Their goal as a business is to become a collaborative environment that
aims to build and educate our community through the thoughtful curation of artisan goods, collaborative events, and educational workshops. Once completed, our space will be a meeting place for like-minded, free-thinking individuals to eat, drink, create, discuss, discover and celebrate.
Why is there a shift from mass production to local trade and a focus on community? Is there any loneliness weaved into our consumerism? In buying local, are we seeking to feel connected to those around us? Dorothy Day, the American journalist and social activist said that: “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”