Things have been getting pretty exciting here! I have been working my little socks off to prepare for the Christmas Holiday period (and Thanks Giving for all my US friends and supporters 🙂 ! ). So last week I shared with you the inspirations behind my new Christmas Greetings Card designs, and this week I get to share with you my latest finished product…yay!
My latest product, is a series of tote-bags featuring four of my pointillism wildlife drawings. These are open edition, and will soon be available at several retail venues…I cannot wait to tell you all what I’ve got in store for you (mind the pun). For now though you can find my tote bags on my website shop and on my etsy.
Why tote bags?
1) Environmentally Friendly
For those who know me or followed my blog Rubbish Junkie last year, you will know my love for the environment. In short, last year I tried going “zero waste”. Zero waste living is an idea that by changing basic life habits to reduce the amount of waste we produce, we help the environment by sending less waste to landfill (or the ocean). In turn, supporting sustainable and ethical manufacturing. I am by no means zero-waste yet, the biggest problem I found being food shopping on a budget…I’m still working on that. Yet I have made some very positive changes that were easy to make and have reduced my waste output exponentially. From switching to shampoo bars to compostable bamboo toothbrushes, to using a reusable menstrual cup, and “bags for life” for my shopping. All these little changes have been easy to make, and have actually saved me money in the long run as I no longer need to buy throw-away products each month.
My passion for the environment has been a bit of a burden whilst setting up my small art business. Many of my products are posted to customers and I need to use sellotape, bubble-wrap, or other forms of packaging. I am in the process of addressing these issues, but that’s a story for another time (subscribe to my blog at the bottom of this page to make sure you don’t miss it).
One way however, that I could promote the use of reusable ethical products is by making totes. I really wanted to show that environmentally-friendly shopping bags can be fashionable, fun, and versatile. You can use tote bags for the beach, for your shopping, for storing veggies at home, or even as your handbag. They also make great gifts, and can support many different worthy causes.
2) Ethical Production
When I began designing my tote bags, I wanted to ensure that they were in no way associated to poor working conditions. Although I wanted to offer them very affordably, I didn’t want that affordability to be subsidised by the welfare of workers. I found a great company based in London who have been screen printing for over 30 years. They pride themselves on their ethical UK production, which for me was the most important thing to consider. Although they were a little more costly, it really was a small expense to have the assurance that my artwork bags were not supporting poor ethical practices. So when you buy my tote bags, you are not just supporting the environment, and my small creative business, but you are also supporting the British screen printing community. So much positivity!
3) Affordable Art and the Love of Sharing!
Having recently had a disappointing experience at a large craft show, I learned that I needed to diversify my product range. Many people wanted to own my original artwork, but felt that it was an investment that required further consideration- whereas they would happily support my work by purchasing my smaller items. I think this was a good learning curve, because essentially the reason I make art is to share art. Tote bags are great because not only can you enjoy them yourself, but by wearing my art on your shoulder everyone around you can see them too 🙂
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Just want to endorse these bags from owning them. They are great. The printed designs are good quality replicas of the originals and definitely affordable! Loved hearing about your own love of the environment and ethical work practices and what you are trying to achieve personally. Hadn't heard of some of these ideas before. Keep writing!