I just wanted to post a link to Etsy, which I tried out today. You can buy handmade and vintage (what used to be known as second-hand) clothes, cards and jewelery and even commission things from designer makers. I bought a 70’s sundress (floral, tiered, a tiny bit like that beautiful Luella dress only without the dip-dying and Lily Allen) so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy a knock-off from Matalan instead. Now I’m going to try selling some stuff, too, so as to complete the virtuous circle. Who said recycling is boring?
This weekend I visited two trade shows which were an interesting contrast, Uk Aware and Grand Designs where I visited Kevin McCloud’s eco home and had a quick look around the exhibitors’ stands. I was visiting suppliers at both shows and loved Spinifex’s new Splat chair for children, which I’ll be featuring in my shop. It’s made of recycled cardboard and has storage space for pencils, pens and paper – a gorgeous little thing that I know parents will love. There weren’t that many childrens’ designers there unfortunately but there was a lot of interesting information about greening your home from Green Homes Concierge Service who also had an exhibit at Grand Designs. I’ve pledged to reduce carbon in my home by 20% so was interested in seeing their tips on how to do so.
I was also inspired by Morsbags who had set up a sewing area in the middle of the exhibition where you could make your own shopper from recycled fabric from charity shops. Morsbags are created by community groups and handed out free to shoppers outside supermarkets to try and cut down on plastic bag use: it’s a wonderful idea and promotes community groups. I made a bag from Laura Ashley fabric and am going to make some more to give to friends.
Grand Designs was a bigger, brasher and slightly less eco event: as one exhibitor pointed out, although there was an eco-village on display there were no recycling facilities and no organic food for sale (all of these things were available at UK Aware). However, I found Kevin McCloud’s eco-home rather inspiring: although architecturally it seemed a bit boxy on the outside, inside it was cool, airy and modern – and it only took a few days to complete the build from scratch. I liked the recycled work surfaces in the kitchen, sighed over the Tom Dixon lights (I love his work) and admired the views. I also visited the Eco Pod on display which had a real ‘aah’ factor rather than ‘wow’ factor: it’s a round living pod made of carbon neutral materials which comes in different sizes and which I would love to have sitting at the bottom of my garden if I could afford it.