Be unique this Christmas and take the pledge to only give and receive handmade gifts.
First of all, could you tell us a little about the campaign for buying handmade and what you do?
The Buy Handmade Campaign started at the end of October this year. I came up with the idea after my wife and I took our own pledge to buy only handmade goods last Christmas. We want to know where our money is going, and buying directly from an artist assures that. I think it is incredibly important to know how and where your products are made. When not buying handmade, I am the VP of Communications for Etsy.
Why do you feel it's important for consumers to buy handmade products this Christmas?
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect. Furthermore, handmade goods are in general a more ecologically responsible option. The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Most of all though, I want my money to go to artists, not large corporations
Who is involved and works for / with Buy Handmade?
No one "works" for Buy Handmade per se. It is a voluntary collaboration between Etsy, Craftster, indiepublic, Craft Magazine, Interweave, Burdastyle, The Austin Craft Mafia, Design*Sponge, and The American Craft Council.
What was the motivation for starting the pledge?
My hope was to encourage people to be conscientious of how they spent their money this holiday.
How did you get started and did you find it easy to promote?
Well, we had no promotional budget for this, so we just kind of built the site and threw it out into the wilds of the web. Its growth is testament to the reach of all the Handmade Consortium members as well as the pledge takers blogs etc.
How has the response been so far?
fantastic! People have really taken it seriously and taken it to heart. As I write this, more than 10,000 people have already signed.
If people want to help out, in what ways can they get involved?
Well, they can certainly help spread the word about the pledge, but the best thing would be to support independent creators this holiday
Do you have any other projects or campaigns?
Etsy keeps me very busy, but I hope to expand the buyhandmade site and make it a great resource for being a conscientious consumer
What's next for Buy Handmade and what are your hopes for 2008?
2008? Big companies will see that people are not willing to support them as long as they pollute the environment or practice unfair labor practices. I also hope that no one in the Republican part
If you want to commit to buying handmade this holiday season, take the pledge on Buy Handmade.