Today I want to talk about the differences between store bought and recycled handmade unique items.
I know a lot of people are put off by the cost of recycled items. Yes you can buy mass produced items, even quality ones can be cheaper than most recreated items.
So why is this?
Most mass produced items are either manufactured in bulk offshore (using cheap labour)
The initial material and components are bought new plus manufactured in bulk quantities at a cheaper rate. It’s basic economics, supply and demand.
These products are not only made using cheap labour, they are made from low quality material and components. So are not made to last.
How does this differ from what we do?
We take products that you wouldn’t expect to be used in the manufacture of our products. Most of these are heading to landfill, are off cuts or deadstock. This in itself makes sewing our products even harder and sometimes complicated. There is a lot of problem solving that happens. sometimes our stitching may not be perfect or straight, but the materials we use do not behave the same way as sewing normal materials (especially when there are a few layers), even with heavy duty machines.
Our products are unique, meaning you not only get a one-off most of the time, you get a creative piece, almost like a piece of art. As that is how we create. Its the difference between an original painting and a mass produced copy. We love this creative side of manufacturing our products. We create products that we love (sometimes its hard to part with some) and hope you love them too.
There is a lot of time that goes into our item before it is even made. We start with a design/item that we want to create, then we look for our materials and componentry. However the material may come from something like a camp stretcher, bouncy castle, pool or an old awning. This means these products need to be stripped down/disassembled and large enough for our pattern to fit. For example some of our big chunky blue zips are from Kevlar protective vests that we unpick by hand. Actually all our deconstructing is done by hand including the cutting up of large bouncy castles. This along with cleaning and checking that material is suitable and still fit for purpose, there is a lot of time in preparation, unlike ordering new materials off a roll. It takes time and money for everything from sourcing items that can be used, time for preparation before manufacturing the product, time of manufacture itself, time for admin, promotion and sale of the product. All of this is time adds up for a small business.
Our products aren’t making waste, when these cheap mass produced products start to fail, they are usually thrown out. If you have one of our products and it needs repair, please contact us and we can talk about what can and can’t be done. If it can’t be repaired and is no longer usable we maybe able to recreate it into another item/s. The longer the original items remains out of landfill the better. We call this a circular economy.
Our aim is to reduce waste going to landfill, recreate items as well as replacing single use plastic until we become a totally circular economy. So next time you are shopping for a product, think about how it was made, please support local manufacturers, look at the materials and componentry, the design, the ethos behind it and the company. Think about where the product will end up.
For more information you can check out our website www.recyclerecreate.today