This Christmas it’s great to give gifts but at what cost and how much will these gifts mean to the people who receive them and the people who manufactured them?
A while back I was asked to adapt the concept from a commercially available Christmas sweater and turn it into something with a non-Christmas leaning. The result is around 300 hours of hand-knitting and design. I reckon there’s about 20000 stitches here and it took around 10 weeks from concept to delivery. It would have been cheaper and less demanding physically just to cave and buy the machine-made sweatshop version but that’s not what the client wanted.
Often an item means more if more work has gone into it. If you have to wait rather than getting it instantly then the gratification can last longer. If you commission from a skilled local craftsman then the object can have greater longevity too.
This Christmas, whatever you are doing please spare a thought for those people who have worked hard to manufacture the things you desire as much as those you give your gifts to. Whether that manufacturer is working at the bespoke end of the range or in a mass produced environment, we all deserve respect and fair payment for our skills.
Happy Christmas everyone.