The Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles took place this past weekend. It’s one of my favorite events to go to. If you don’t know what it is, think Etsy, but in real life—a festival of unique, handmade products, art, jewelry, and crafts.
Exercising My Purchasing Power
Ever since I watched the documentary, ‘The True Cost‘, about the impact the global fashion industry has on garment workers and developing countries, I’ve been more aware of what I buy and where it comes from. At Renegade, you can usually speak with the seller directly and find out what went into making their products. Even though it’s up to companies to be conscious with the materials and labor they use, it’s also up to us consumers to ask questions and make better buying decisions.
I set out with the intention of only buying things that I absolutely loved and knew would last a lifetime (unless it’s soap, of course). It’s so easy to get swept away and want to buy anything and everything cute, fun, different, or exciting. You really have to take a step back and think, do I need this, what is its useful life, has any harm been done to living things or the planet, and does it give me all sorts of feels? If the answer is yes, forever, no, and yes, I go for it! If not, I move on.
Brands Doing Good
It’s wonderful to see brands that are thinking about how their products impact others and the environment. Below are a couple of the great sustainable and socially conscious shops I came across.
Local + Lejos
A home decor company that supports artisans in developing countries by delivering their unique, handmade goods to people around the world. Their products are really beautiful in person and well-made. What was surprising to me was that they were all reasonably priced as well (~$25-50). Hint: If you sign up for their email list you get a $10 off coupon.
Handmade ecobags that are made with sustainable textiles and natural dyes. By working with artisans from Ecuador they are able to help preserve traditional crafting techniques from the Andean region of Cotopaxi that are disappearing. Let’s hope it doesn’t, because these bags are incredible!
If we keep choosing to buy from companies like these, eventually it will become the standard. How do you decide what products you buy and what do you look for in companies that you purchase from? Let me know by commenting below!
Note: All statements and comments are based on my own opinion. I have not been paid or contacted by any of these brands.2