Buy Handmade and Support Independent Businesses this Winter

It’s getting to that time of year, where makers are thinking about Christmas (and working long hours in preparation)! So here are some reasons why you should buy handmade and support small independent businesses this season:

 Each piece is made with love and the utmost care.

Each piece is made with love and the utmost care.

1: Made with love.

Buying one of our handmade scarves or hats means you know that it has been made with care, love and attention to detail. Running a handmade business is not easy, and those of us who do, do it because we are passionate about our craft. That passion is put into every single stitch, every pom-pom, and makes each piece a little bit unique. When you buy a hand made scarf, you have a direct connection with the designer/maker and the care put into it.

 Each order is carefully wrapped up.

Each order is carefully wrapped up.

2. Limited and unique.

All handmade items are limited edition. Even if a design is repeated, even made regularly, there will never be hundreds or thousands of them out there.  One day the maker will stop, or change design, retire etc, so they are limited to the span of our careers. Our Jura, Islay, Oronsay, Mull and Yarrow scarves are all now limited edition (even though you will not find them in that section of the website) as some of the colours of yarn are no longer available.  I’ll continue to make them until I run out, so be quick if you’ve had your eye on any of them!

 Yarrow Scarf- available while colours last.

Yarrow Scarf- available while colours last.

 Jura Blanket Scarf- available while colours last.

Jura Blanket Scarf- available while colours last.

 Mull Scarf- Much as I love it, this is also only available while colours last.

Mull Scarf- Much as I love it, this is also only available while colours last.

3. You’re supporting actual people and Local businesses.

When you buy from a small business, you are supporting real people. Each purchase makes a difference. Our profits don’t go to shareholders, they support us and help us to pay rent, buy food, and live (and most importantly to buy more materials to keep making)! That little saying “when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance”? That’s true!

Handmade businesses can be based anywhere these days, thanks to the joys of online selling. This means that by shopping with us, we can then support our local area.  If you can shop independent and local where you can, you’ll keep a wider and more interesting variety of small businesses going. To find out more, do support Just A Card campaign. Every purchase, however small, really does make a difference!

 The face behind the knitwear (with the best knitting machine ever!)

The face behind the knitwear (with the best knitting machine ever!)

4. You know exactly who made it.

When you buy something handmade, you know exactly who made it, where it has come from, and probably how it was made. You may well have met the maker. For me, from the designer/maker side, there is nothing nicer than having that direct contact with my customers, whether in person at events, or via email and social media. We have direct contact via social media and newsletters too, and I’m able to show where I work, and how each piece is made. You’ll also find the name of the maker on the label.

If you’d like t see how some of our pieces are made, check out our blogs about making jumpers, hats, and blanket scarves.

5. Handmade can be more sustainable than mass produced.

Handmade items don’t use so much machinery, using less power.

Materials are carefully sourced ( in our case, the lambswool is from a renowned Scottish Mill, and the silk is spun in Italy) , and each piece is carefully made. If you look after your woollen knitwear pieces well, they will last you for years, and you will hopefully want to keep it longer because you know it’s handmade, and know who made it.

 Our super fine lambswool and silk yarns, on cones ready for knitting.

Our super fine lambswool and silk yarns, on cones ready for knitting.

6. Avoid unpleasant shopping experiences.

Collingwood-Norris knitwear isn’t stocked in many shops, so you won’t have to navigate crowds on your high street to get it. Why not come to one of the events I’ll be at this year, have a chat and try things on, without the same stressful shopping experience? You’ll also get to meet a range of other designer-makers and see their beautiful work and chat to them too. Or if you’d like to avoid people all together, you can shop online!

 GLOW at Dovecot Studios on December the 8th in Edinburgh.

GLOW at Dovecot Studios on December the 8th in Edinburgh.

 ACCESSORY at Coburg House, Edinburgh.

ACCESSORY at Coburg House, Edinburgh.