Friday, April 16, 2010

Be an informed beanie shopper

All items that are crocheted are done by hand (there is no machine that can crochet) but you need to also weight up some other things as well. That is the quality of the wool/yarn used and the workmanship of the creator.

Of late I've seen some great looking beanies but have been disappointed with the yarn used, many use a cheap cotton or a scratchy synthetic.  NB  I'm not knocking the workmanship of these items I'm highlighting the use of cheap/inferior yarns.

I found out today that these beanies have an individual wholesale price of $US2.50, they are then passed off to you the buyer for between $AU15-20.  As a SAHM and WAHM on a limited income I know the lure of buying a cheaper product but I'm asking shoppers and lovers of Australian handmade to consider your purchase choice and if the winter beanie you are buying is in fact warmer.  See my blog 'Wool is just wool - isn't it?' for more information.

When you consider a beanie purchase consider:

Where has it come from. Has it come from a sweat shop in China, India, illegal aliens in a western country?  How many kms did it take to get to you?

What its made out of?  How environmentally friendly is product that has been used to create this item.

If you are in Australia, is it Australian made?  Are you supporting Australian industries ie the creator and the wool/yarn producer.

I was disappointed the other month when I was at an Australian handmade market to see identical beanies at two different stalls.  'How could this be?' I thought. Upon further investigation I found out that these beanies were not made by the stall holder and weren't even made in Australia.  How can that be Australian Handmade?

I can't compete with a $US2.50 wholesale beanie on cost but I can on quality. All my products are made with love BY ME using 100% pure new Australian Wool.  As a variety of Australian cotton colours are harder to find I always endeavour to use Australian cotton but if this is not the case I will state it in my product summary. 

Next time you purchase a beanie ask:  

1. Who made it? 
2. If not by the stall holder, ask if its a fair trade item?  
3. What is it made out of?  
4. Where did that wool/yarn come from?

My rant is now over you can now get back to your lives.


Cooks Clan said...

Great rant, Chris. Reminds me to tell all to watch 'Blood, Sweat, & T-shirts' on ABC or SBS (one of those two). Very enlightening and disturbing program on the behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry - eg the sweatshops in India, the cotton pickers, filthy conditions workers live in to make the garments we have all bought.

Cassie said...

i also bought a 'handmade' crochet beanie at a market last year and about a month later stumbled on a website selling them in packs for next to nothing. i was shocked! so in fact it was not a handmade beanie at all but really just a handmade clip that was attached to a very cheap beanie. hmmm.

Bobkin said...

I know exactly the horrid beanies you are refering to. I cringe when I see them in handmade markets and on madeit.