A friend once described me as a posh hippie. I was aghast, and then it slowly dawned on me that if a hippie was shunning globalisation and encouraging artisans and crafters, then 'hot hell' I was going to embrace that posh hippie.
I have drawn a line around plaiting my armpit hair, but for the most part I think I am more at ease as an earth pilgrim than a red carpet diva.
Every summer I like to get my frocks out. It gets so hot and humid here that wearing anything tight (I wear jeans the rest of the year) is a no go. You might get them on in the morning but by afternoon you're vacuum packed. This year I headed off to our artisan markets and found some gems. I bought two from this gorgeous Irish women. Each one was handmade on her kitchen table surrounded by family and farm life. She finds the most vibrant quilting fabrics and creates a masterpiece. She also knows a woman's body, there are darts in the right places and both of them fit like Cinderella's slipper.
Last weekend I was out shopping and found another dress at our local car boot/craft market. This one is a classic cotton wrap dress with stunning fabric (it has been admired non stop). The owner creates all the patterns herself, sources all the fabrics and then works with a women's initiative in India who then make the dresses for her. Personally, I love any form of empowerment.
And then yesterday, I popped into Queen Mabs in Bangalow. Susan used to teach at RMIT in Melbourne. She is a fashion goddess who knows how to make a women of any size feel fabulous. I bought my 50th birthday dress there in May. She uses West African fabric to make unique one off dresses. At the time I also treated myself to some glorious Tiwi Island fabric. Tiwi Island is off the top of end of Australia. They are known for producing the most stunning printed fabrics. https://tiwidesigns.com/collections/fabrics. Anyway for my Christmas this year I decided it was time to get creating with the fabric, so Susan and I meet on Monday to start the bespoke process. The last time I had a bespoke dress made was for my Wedding!!
The reason I am passionate about supporting local artisans and crafters is that it nurtures a local economy is such a heart centred way. It just feels better when I buy something that has that essence sewn into it.
So as you all head out on your last week of Christmas shopping take a minute to think about who you are supporting. Is it a huge chain store, or is it a small business that supports local artisans and crafters?
I leave you with these poignant words from Satish Kumar ~
"In ancient times, in traditional societies, people were makers. They used their hands to transform ordinary clay into beautiful objects of beauty and function. More or less everybody, knowingly or unknowingly, used their imagination and creativity. This was true in tribal societies as well as cultures such as those in India and China.Now we have become mere consumers and the consequence of this is frustration, meaninglessness and anxiety. Perhaps the time has come when we should return to a natural state of being makers again. “