If you want to get awesome presents, that will be appreciated by the recipient, and do good for the community, then you should handmade gifts this holiday season.
Bonus: You don’t have to wade through the crowds of shoppers at your local supermarket.
One of a kind
It goes without saying that no two handmade items are the same because people are not machines and so whoever is crafting them cannot possibly do exactly the same on each item.
Made with love; made to last
If someone is taking the time to assemble an item entirely by hand, they won’t let a product that is anything less than perfect leave the workshop, so your gift is likely to be of higher quality than most factory-made products.
Handmade items are created with pride and are built to last.
Boost the local economy
When you buy handmade, you are more than likely supporting a small business. This is important because small business owners- as opposed to the CEOs of big chain stores- are more likely to reinvest their earnings in the local community and therefore reinvigorate your local area.
Would you rather your purchases paid for a local merchant’s child to get piano lessons or for the owner of a national supermarket to get a second house?
Good for the planet
Mass-produced items often have a pretty negative effect on the environment from the materials used to a method of creation that is focused more on speed than quality to long transport routes for the finished item to excess packaging (which is in essence, wasted material).
Handmade items are often made from locally sourced materials, made with care, and only shipped a short distance when they’re bought.
Support emerging talent
When you buy handmade items, you are supporting artists and designers who focus on innovative items, like this Wooden Watch from Woodiful.com, rather than sticking to what the ever-fickle market deems to be ‘in’ this season.
You could also end up with a future collector’s item.
Easier to shop ethically
Shopping ethically can be a nightmare if you try to go via traditional stores and online marketplaces as the assistants are often unable to tell you who made the item, whether they received a fair wage and have safe working conditions or what ingredients/products were used to create the product.
If you buy directly from the creator, they’ll have all these answers and will likely be happy to share with you.
Make it personal
Local artisans are incredibly open to the idea of personalising items or accepting commissions for truly unique items.
This could be something like having a bracelet engraved with the recipient’s name or knitting a scarf in their favourite colour or even creating a piece of art that encompasses their favourite things, like a fox in a top hat drinking whiskey.
So those are my reasons for buying handmade this holiday season but now I want to hear your thoughts. Are you going to buy homemade/make your own presents this year? Do you disagree entirely? Let me know in the comments section below and tell me why.