Seeing Double

I came across this dress today in the Daily Mail.  It's by fashion designer Berber Soepboer and graphic designer Michiel Schuuman.  It has a black and white print which is specially designed to fill in yourself with coloured textile markers. 

The dresses cost around £250.  Can't afford the dress?

Get a card instead.  This is from our very own designer Dig the Earth.  A steal at £1.75!  They are litho printed in Yorkshire on 100% recycled white board.  Colouring optional!

One's to Worship

Congratulations to 2 of our artisans who have got themselves into the national press.  Congratulations to Lissa at Peak Princess who made it into The Sunday Times Style magazine yesterday with her gorgeous and oh so cute Liberty print romper dress.  All her baby and children's clothing is lovingly handmade in England. 

Congratulations also to Amanda of Pure Light candles who has got herself into Homes & Gardens magazine (Jan issue) in a feature of best 3 candles alongside Jo Malone and Miller Harris! We are very pleased for her too as her candles epitomise everything we at Not Mass Produced appreciate. They are handcrafted in England in small batches, made from natural plant-based soy wax, fragranced with real essential oils and with recyclable packaging.

Apparently the majority of candles contain paraffin a derivative of petroleum or a mix of waxes including palm oil which is linked to the destruction of rain forests. Toxins released from paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances are similar to those of a cigarette. If you don't like cigarette smoke make sure you buy a genuine natural candle.

You must check the label carefully and check the list of ingredients. There is no legal obligation to state them on candles so if it just states 'natural' ingredients or doesn't list them, the likelihood is they are made with paraffin wax and synthetic perfumes. Amanda's candles are well worth the £19 considering the purity and provenance of the ingredients.

Big brands destroying rainforests

It has been reported in The Times today that Unilever has been exposed as contributing to the destruction of rainforests by buying thousands of tons of illegal palm oil for use in its products such as Dove toiletries, Persil washing powder and Flora and Stork margarines.  Although the company claims to be a leader in protecting the rainforests and chairs the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) it was informed 2 years ago about their supplier Sinar Mas's illegal activities.  It has cancelled its £20million contract with them in the last few days after learning that Greenpeace was about to go public with the evidence.

Deforestation contributes 15-20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the growth of the palm oil industry in Indonesia has turned it into the third largest emitter of CO2 after China and the US. It loses forests the size of Wales each year.  The deforestation includes protected areas such as reserves for the endangered orang-utan population.  Unfortunately the RSPO is a self regulated body with self interests and is pretty ineffectual at stopping the destruction.  Its important therefore that people are aware of the connection between the destruction of rainforests and the products they buy and avoid brands made with unsustainable palm oil.

It is not that difficult.  We have some great products which do not use illegal palm oil, for example, Soapy Chica's lovely soaps, Maya's gorgeous organic body butters and Freyaluna and Woolcakes' natural goodies.  Our candles are also made of soy wax and not palm oil such as Pure Light and I Conjure.


Does craft matter?

Does craft matter? That is the question being asked by the Crafts Council, a non profit organisation that helps promote comtemporary crafts. If craft matters to you let them know at
It could be argued that craft is unnecessary in today's world. After all, ‘cheap’ imported mass produced stuff is readily available and abundant. Why buy anything else?
The real cost of cheap imported goods are often hidden or go unaccounted. The damage to the environment, for example, or the use of child/slave labour and the energy and pollution it takes to ship the stuff thousands of miles together with the excess packaging destined for land fill. Take a look at this video .
On the other hand locally crafted stuff is wonderful, much more environmentally friendly and less wasteful. It would be a really boring world without the sheer creativity, diversity and orginality that craft brings. The look and feel of handcrafted work is really something special that cannot be replicated on a factory line. Each piece is unique and made with soul. Craftsmanship is a fulfilling occupation. Yet with so much talk about climate change I’m not hearing any advice to stop purchasing the polluting imports and to buy more locally crafted stuff. 
Our world has reached crisis point. Environmentally, financially, socially.  Governments are more and more influenced by multinationals who increasingly have the money and hold the power but often lack the moral compass needed.

We seem to be going in directly the opposite direction we need to be going in.
What we need to see is more small businesses thriving and the encouragement of more artisans. Wealth needs to be distributed to more people and big business domination curtailed. We need to make people more aware of the true cost of buying imports, the maldistribution of wealth and the alternative purchases that can be made at least some of the time.

Ghandi proclaimed that what the poor of the world need was not mass production but production by the masses. I'm all for that. Is anyone with me? It’s way too important a task to leave to ‘experts’. We are all part of the solution.  Join me to get the message out. 

image from Times on-line Signs of the Times