Lately I’ve been choosing to spend my money on items that have more meaning and better quality over “fast fashion”. I’m choosing to spend more on handmade instead of mass produced. I’m choosing to support artists instead of corporations. Sometimes I feel like we get so caught up in having things “now” that we forget how good it can be to slow things down. “Slow fashion” instead of “fast fashion” has provided me time to see the bigger picture of what I’m buying. It’s allowed me to find brands who’s values align with my own. It also allows me to find unique pieces for my home or body that not everyone else has. I like that. I’m a unique person and why shouldn’t I showcase that?
I’ve found that jewelry is about bringing love and light into your life and into what you wear, and that’s something that can’t just be manufactured by a machine. Jewelry is something so personal and close to our hearts. It’s something we choose to wear, not something we have to wear. There in lies the difference. It’s a choice and what we choose effects not only us but every single dollar we spend gives us a voice. When we choose to buy handmade and “slow fashion”, our dollar says, “I care about handmade, the artist, and the way this item was produced.”
When I buy handmade I also love that pieces can be customized for me. I do this for my customers as well, since not everyone wears the same size, likes the same colors etc. Many handmade artisans can customize their pieces. Why is that? It’s because most of the time, the items aren’t made yet. The item you are ordering is going to be made just for you! How awesome is that?! You become part of the handmade process by working with the artist and customizing something to your liking.
Slowing down and taking the time to understand the handmade process allows us to see where an item is coming from, how it’s being made and who’s making it. I often find myself getting lost in the corporate umbrella of companies. Often times when we go to the store, most items and brands are produced and owned by only a few large companies. It’s an illusion of choice. When I buy handmade it’s simpler. I can talk to an actual person about why they made an item, why that item means so much to them and how it was created. It’s an entirely different buying experience.
I find this to be especially true of items that touch my skin. This is one of the reasons I’ve always gravitated towards handmade jewelry instead of mass-produced jewelry even before I started my line, Nautical Wheeler Jewelry. An item is much more intimate when it touches you. I also find that the closer an item is to my skin the more meaning it tends to carry. Jewelry is one of those things that often holds a lot of meaning for us. I think this is because it’s so often given as a gift during birthdays, holidays or other special occasions. The meaning in a piece of jewelry goes deeper then just its outer appearance, making that much more special.
There is so much value in buying handmade but it’s only when we slow down are we able to see that value. Choosing “slow fashion” over “fast fashion” not only allows us to see where our items are produced but involves us in the handmade process. Each and every one of us is so unique, shouldn’t the items we purchase reflect that?