Friday, October 19, 2012

Neighborhood Support: Making Your Money Count

The community of local, sustainable and socially conscious boutiques and crafts is a small but growing neighborhood of producers and consumers; a community in which we are all caring neighbors (this is when you can give yourself a big hug). The growth and awareness of this market is doubly wonderful- first, because your purchases and production directly supports people instead of corporations and secondly, you can easily save money by participating.

It is becoming more and more important to me to make purchases that don't add to the misery of people in the world who are underpaid, overworked and exploited. Scarlet Threads shares in the vision of sustainable production and quality inventory with our super-well crafted and unique merchandise; one reason I'm so proud to be an affiliate. Unfortunately, we don't make everything I need.

When I need something other than aprons, colorful jewelry or children's clothes, I turn to Etsy for unique finds that will support a craftsman or woman. For a recent room remodel I ordered these vintage-y wall sconces to install as bedside lamps in my master bedroom. For less than $80 I got both of them including shipping- a huge savings over all the options at Home Depot and Lowes.

I love the mason jar look of the glass.
I constantly find fabulous treasures on Etsy and am blown away by the prices; in fact, I just stumbled upon a ring that is almost identical in design to my own wedding set for a much lower price than we paid. When I decide to get the matching earrings; I'll definitely look on Etsy before heading to the jewelers.
I love these earrings that match my wedding set.
In addition to shopping on Etsy, I also have an Etsy boutique (featured on Monday Montage a few weeks ago) called Sequins, Sugar, Silk so I understand the personal impact that shopping on Etsy has on the shop owners. Each time I see a purchase in my inbox I gives me a little thrill!

A great way to support the socially conscious market community is through your gift giving; an especially important thing to consider this time of year. Scarlet Threads products make great gifts for many of the people in your life and our weekly feature (where one product each week is discounted) is a great way to begin stocking up on some of your favorites.
Aprons make perfect hostess gifts. Keep a few in your closet for emergency housewarming presents.
Another great way to give is through the World Vision Gift Catalog. I love to give gifts through the catalog to people who are far away (saving on shipping for me) or for children whose parents don't really want more stuff around the house (my friends appreciate it). The "gifts" are things like a a few ducks, rabbits, or seasonal vaccinations that are given to a needy family in a third world country, then a card is sent to the person you've given the gift to (for example, your brother-in-law) letting them know what's been given in their name. It's really special and a great way to bring awareness to the world's needs.

I gave a World Vision Gift to my Uncle recently.
Ideas for making a positive impact on the world when you spend (and more ways to save):
- Shop at thrift stores that support local charities (I recently found a new Senseo Coffee Maker ($170 MSRP) for $6.00! I was running errands before heading home to order this exact same machine online for my husband's birthday- Praise God.)
- Buy your produce at local grower's markets or sign up for a "farm subscription" and support a small, local farmer (who likely treats his land and livestock with way more care than a commercial farm).
- If you can't find the perfect something for someone's birthday give a donation to a great organization (like Scarlet Threads or World Vision) and let the birthday bot or girl know in a hand-written card. I guarantee they'll love it more than some tchotchka you bought out of obligation.
- Recycle!! Once you get in the habit of recycling it's not a big deal at all. We have a tiny house and I still found a space for our recycling "bin" (it's actually a great industrial wire basket).

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post! I couldn't agree with you more. I totally believe in shopping local and supporting small businesses. I like to feel that the money I am spending is helping people achieve their dreams.