Wednesday, December 7, 2011
What Does Sustainability Mean to You?
A while back I was thinking about how when people build houses now, they don't often build them with the mentality of passing them down generation after generation the way they used to. Homes often aren't built with quality enough materials to be able to truly stand the test of time. I wonder if it isn't a byproduct of being the age of throw-out-and-upgrade. People don't, in general, buy with the intent of items lasting through generations anymore (although it seems this has been changing more and more in the last few years). This leads me back to the currently fashionable word "sustainability."
To me, it means creating something lasting--in whatever form that may be. In the context of handmade businesses, this may mean creating an heirloom quality piece, making something that will stand the test of time and not become a yearly re-buy for the customer, and creating lasting relationships with your customers who come to value your work even more through knowing who you are and how it came into being.
On the Aspiring Artisans Guild, we are all micro business owners. In order to thrive in this economic climate, we've had to look at ways to make our business models sustainable in the long run. Partnering with Artisans Gallery Team in a project titled "People and Planet First" I would like to open up discussion here: What does "sustainability" in the context of a handmade business mean to you?