what’s mine is yours: craft & collaborative consumption

recycled wallet by seaoats - via papernstitch - click image to see more

As we find ourselves in the second week of a new year, it’s time to guess what will be coming in the next 50 weeks. Trends! What’s new? What’s hot? What will so-and-so do this year?

One trend gaining momentum in 2011 is collaborative consumption. Collaborative consumption is the idea that we can get by with less if we have more accesss to what we need. We don’t need to own a car, a bike, a vacation house, or a fancy dress to be truly happy.

Just like many of the consumer trends of the last decade, the new arts & crafts movement is ahead of the game. You will see both collaborative consumption & collaborative production on Etsy, Twitter, and Facebook. People are looking to make & buy with an eye for sustainability, not just in raw materials but in the what-goes-around-comes-around of it all.

How can you indulge in a littler collaborative consumption and become a trend maker?

1. Think about where you get your supplies.
Search Etsy for people selling their scraps and leftovers. Partner with a group of makers to buy your supplies wholesale instead of retail. Organize a supply swap with other local crafters.

2. Try Swap Bot. You can collaboratively consume just about anything using Swap Bot. It’s a great way to get exposed to art & craft from around the world.

3. Splurge on that dress/bag/jewelry you want. Since handmade goods are pricier than those coming off the assembly line, buying what you love can seem prohibitive. It’s time to splurge. Use your social networks to find a friend who loves what you love and go halfsies. You wouldn’t wear it all the time, anyhow!

4. Have a party. Invite your friends (and their unwanted clothing) to your place for a party. Mix in some sewing supplies and swap clothes while you repurpose & reclaim something old into something new.

Of course, there’s no wrong way to indulge in this trend. Use your community (both digital and analog), use your brain, and use your money to create a more sustainable paradigm for crafting!

How else can collaborative consumption change the way you craft?

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