How crafting locally creates an ethical, clean & green sustainable world

In a world as connected as it is today, we’re able to buy things we may never have had the opportunity to just decades before. Even something as simple as fruits and vegetables from continents away can be made available at a chain grocery store near you, and as incredible as that feat is, it’s also important we know what sort of impact that act creates.

More and more when we consider the role we play in creating a better, more sustainable world, we realise that our choices make a difference so when it comes to buying and bringing something new into your life, we urge you to look locally at what’s not too far from your front door, from local handicraft to slow fashion - you’ll find it’s often the more conscious choice that’ll help our world become a greener place.

Here are all the reasons why.

1.Conscious resources

When it comes to choosing materials for their intended product, a local business will look to what’s available right in their home base. By doing so, they are able to make good use of materials that naturally occur in their area that they can propagate, renew, and revitalise within their environment, an environment that will flourish from that care - a far more eco-friendly system. Moreover, since production takes place within their own community, they will be more mindful of the effect their production has on their surroundings and more often opt to produce through more organic means.

For example, we ourselves craft with local strains of organic cotton within India. More specifically, our Kala cotton is native to the Kachchh region in Gujarat, provided by our ethical vendor Khamir Crafts, and is a strain known to grow abundantly in harsh environments as well as being only rain-fed. Through making use of this resource, we ensure that a more sustainable form of farming is occurring (and that we’re helping uplift it) and our natural ecosystem benefits from a native plant thriving.

2.Small scale

About 80 to 150 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually. With that in mind, about 87% of the materials and fibres to make clothing end up in incinerators or landfills which means we are creating far more than we need on a global scale with the majority of it going to waste negatively affecting our environmental health immensely. Much of this is contributed by large fast fashion labels, the one we all know all over the world, the Zara’s, the H&M’s, and so on – labels that cater to a global consumer base.

Unlike a large business or corporation, local brands, and many slow fashion brands, are often catering to their local consumers, or at least a much smaller consumer base, and have no need to create on an enormous scale required to meet global demands. That’s why their quantities are, more often than not, created at a limited amount and/or on a made-to-order basis.

Sources: 1, 2

3.Creating slow

Large scale production depends on heavy machinery to create large stock at a rapid pace in order to meet the demands of a global consumer base. When it comes to smaller, local businesses, there’s more opportunity to slow down the pace of creation to incorporate more sustainable and far cleaner techniques - many of which can be by hand!

Not only does this benefit the craft being utilised - ensuring that it does not disappear from our world, preserving rich traditions and culture - it also benefits those within the production chain. It’s a far safer means of production as workers are not exposed to heavy machinery or toxic chemicals (that often go hand in hand especially considering conventional farming processes) and allows the chain to be more transparent and ethical.

Sources: 1

4.Uplifting local economy

Local businesses care about their community. Not only are they investing in local resources, they are also investing in the people - the artisans, the farmers, the dyers, the workers, and so on. Bringing business to their home base enriches their economy as you create job opportunities as well as opportunities for other local businesses to flourish that lead to economic development. Moreover, “Depending on the industry, local production can make community systems more resilient and less vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.” - Source

5.Lower transport needs & costs

“International trade contributes to global CO2 emissions mainly through freight transport. The International Transport Forum (ITF) estimates that international trade-related freight transport currently accounts for around 30% of all transport related CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, and more than 7% of global emissions.” - Source

Needless to say, with local businesses mostly transporting their goods locally or nationally, they contribute far less carbon emissions than global businesses. Moreover, the cost to transport goods internationally is far higher, even when not including import costs, meaning that smaller businesses are able to concentrate their funds on paying their workers fairly and increasing the quality of their products.

6.Lower carbon emissions overall

And with all of that in mind, from smaller production scales to lower transport needs, you’ll find that carbon emissions are lowered considerably on every avenue so that the impact on climate change is minimal!

Looking at fashion specifically, the industry contributes to about 8 to 10% of all global carbon emissions - it’s one of the most polluting industries in our world currently. By ensuring we ourselves are operating on a local scale in terms of our production, we are taking responsibility for our impact and working to reduce it considerably.

Our own actions include sourcing within India through ethical vendors (who also uphold the same conscious values); incorporating local, native resources to create our fabrics and designs; utilizing craft techniques that are often traditionally done by hand or at least do not require the use of heavy machinery; keeping our production and inventory small so that we are not creating excess; reusing and recycling our own textile waste so we are not sending off more pollution into the world. With all these conscious actions combined, we are able to make a more positive impact that contributes to a better, cleaner planet.

Sources: 1

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