when is the last time you sat down and made a simple cushion cover, for example…? if you haven’t – have a go…! whilst you are doing this take a few things into consideration:
one: fabric – pure white, 100% organically sourced linen = approx. £50 p/m (req. 2m)
two: thread, buttons, zips etc. all have to be sourced & purchased = approx. £10
three: time – i’m pretty good on a sewing machine but to put it all together still takes a good day to make. labour at what i as a westerner living in London think i should earn by the hour, let’s say £10p/h. so a full days work including the shopping and sourcing of materials, probs 2 days at say 7hrs per day to complete = £140
then if you were to sell this one cushion cover you would need to package it (£5), transport it (£10)…etc.
this brings the total cost of my one cushion cover to £100 + £10 + £ 140 + £5 + £10 = £265 (let’s say!)
wow now that is a lot of money for one cushion cover! i hear you say…
(oh and did you already have a sewing machine to hand? otherwise you need to also factor that in… +£200 at least…)
(all prices quoted above are close enough examples)
now transfer that thinking to everything you see when you walk into any store. break down each item into the time, skill, type of material used etc. and imagine if you were to be the one doing this. what would you expect to be paid…? now compare the prices of crafts people here in the western world and those doing it for mere percentage ‘elsewhere’. remember the countless times you were ‘appalled’ at such cheap labour, the indignity etc. etc. you quaffed on about at your dinner party. then remember walking into your local store and having the nerve to turn your nose up at a price for a handmade in the western world, organic, linen, pair of cushion covers that are half the price in comparison to if you tried applying yourself to making one.
we are the biggest downfall to our economy if we cannot appreciate, support, acknowledge the value of honestly made products, made on our own soil or overseas. our materialistic behavior is vulgar – we seem to shop not out of necessity but out of vanity! yes we are all watching the pennies which is why we need to re-evaluate how and what we spend on. it’s no secret, i work in retail and everyday i remind myself to be aware and thankful for all the lovely stuff around me. i am privy to being in direct contact with many, many crafts people and highly respect their trades! i am now also incredibly picky about what i purchase. there is a place for it all, i am not arguing that, i am just asking that you don’t base your assumptions on just the bottom dollar. make educated, reasoned, researched choices. talk to people, be humble, be curious! you wouldn’t want to be devalued so don’t do it to others!
i repeatedly have to bite my tongue in front of some individuals and their thoughtless remarks, but one day i might not be so poised!
to my delight as i was looking to upload my favourite, conscious led brands i read this blog post: What should I do – Shwop, Shop or Stop?
i love that i have like minded friends!
please visit the following and take time to engage with the brand and the people who make it their livelihood, so you can have nice things at the best price possible:
Danaqa World Chic
Plain English Kitchens
Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture