Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day : Shop Local

This year for Earth Day I’m celebrating by introducing you to some local crafters who incorporate sustainability in their business plan.  I reached out to local crafters through Etsy teams over the past few weeks to put this post together.  I’m featuring some amazing examples of sustainable handmade work as well as a list of ways local Etsians are being eco-friendly. 

Shopping handmade alone is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.  Jess from Boston Handmade says “as independent creative business people we produce and sell art and craft work locally, and each operates from a small working environment as opposed to pollution spewing factories, reducing our carbon footprint and those of our customers.” And shopping local is even better; mail doesn't ship as far, and you are supporting the local economy.

Pansy Maiden: Laura is an artist based in Medford, MA who makes the most beautiful bags and they are all cruelty-free.  Laura’s definition of cruelty-free is not just leather – she believes any materials made with animal products are unsustainable so you also won’t see any wool or silk used in her bags.  I think this is a powerful business practice and would be honored to carry around one of her bags.  She also donates her fabric scraps to local art programs!

Savage Salvage: Stephanie, an artist from Connecticut calls herself a collector of treasures.  She loves finding unique items at flea markets and the jewelry collection at Savage Salvage is a way for her to put all of her finds to good use.  She upcycles what other might throw away to create statement jewelry.

Pearles Painting: Pearle is another artist who chooses to paint on things that are found rather than a brand new canvas.  She works on furniture frequently but recently painted a wood box from Trader Joe’s.  She did an amazing job turning what was cookie packaging into a useful piece of art.

Karen Hallion: Karen is an artist from Swampscott, MA.  In addition to illustrating, Karen upcycles something most of us throw out, the tops to Yankee Candles. 

These are some of the sustainable trends that I found in the handmade world and some local shops that incorporate them into their day to day business:

Re-use packing materials as either storage for supplies or shipping:
CMM Jewelry – Handmade bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and wine charms
Pepidesigns – Contemporary gemstone jewelry to make you stand out!  
Spygirl915 – Fine art
Cathydurso – Book art, bookbinding, and custom boxes

Saving paper by not printing invoices:
Seaglasspapercrafts – Handmade cards and papercrafted gifts   
Segparsons – Handmade bags   
Order recycled paper supplies:
Me! Miss MeghanElizabeth – Timeless jewelry for everyday 
Upcycle and repurpose old items:
FleaMarketGal – Jewelry and Paper Products – repurposed, upcycled, and vintage inspired  
StrayNotions – an eclectic mix of handmade and vintage goods  
ReclaimedToYou – Art, wearable’s, and paper goods

I really hope you enjoyed this post and that you continue to shop local and shop handmade.


  1. great post. Thanks for supporting Earth Day! {:-D

  2. love it!!!
    i don't live a completely GREEN life. but i try to leave my green footprint here and there.

    my latest.... saving glass jars. baby food jars, jelly jars, salsa jars, etc.....
    there great for storage!

    kristanlynn @ adelynSTONE

  3. Beautiful collection. So glad to see great Esty artists being supported!

  4. Such a beautiful, well-thought-out post. But I would expect nothing less from you, Meghan :) Thanks for including me here! And hope your Earth Day was green-er-ific ;)

  5. Such a nice collection proving of uncompromising and beautiful creations. thanks!

  6. thanks so much everyone! I had a great time putting this together and connecting with new artists!


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