Know your yarn. 

The beauty of being a small business is knowing EXACTLY where your materials come from. And that it REALLY is ethical and compassionate.

Sure, you can buy commercial, mass-produced fibre. But you’ll have no idea if it’s from factory farmed animals, has been chemically treated, or made using unethical trade/labour. But it’ll probably be cheap.

I like to know EVERYTHING about my yarn, so you can too. ❤️👍🏼 The fibres are meticulously hand-selected from small local farmers. (Some are right here at Hill Shadow!) My dyes are sourced from a small business based in outer Melbourne VIC, who supplies ethical, organic and fair trade products. All labour (washing, combing, spinning, dyeing) is done by ME. By hand. At my hearth, in the Yarra Ranges, VIC.

So, I’d like to introduce you to one of my business’ cashmere suppliers.

Everybody: George. George, this is everybody.

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Your Local Book Store…

John Scalzi has this neat little post over on Whatever
Amazon, Local Bookstores, Me
Go on read the article… I’ll just wait until you are finished….

Are you done? Great, now while I can see Amazons marketing machine saying

“In a free market economy we are just trying to do all we can to create awareness of our brand and drive sales…”

Yep that is right… you have the right to do it… but should they? And should you as a consumer?
Personally I have bought books, cd’s, games etc from overseas – from the Amazon’s, Book Depository’s, Ozgamestore… and all for the same reason… the PRICE.
I have a young family, a mortgage, I am the major bread winner (not discounting the huge amount of work my wife does to help support me and enabling me to be able to do that…) I have to be careful about what I/we spend on luxury items like books…
However, something John wrote really resonated with me…

I have an Amazon Prime account and I get lots of use from it, because where I live often the alternative to buying from Amazon is buying from Wal-Mart, and on that strata of retailing, I’m happy to let them go after each other, with knives and bludgeons. If there’s a locally-owned alternative, however, then I generally go there. I pay extra for what amount to intangibles for me, but what’s intangible to me means a job and a business to someone else. That matters, especially these days.

How do I react to that seeing that I have admitted to using the cheaper overseas option before… I agree with what he has written – I really do! Yet how do these conflicting parts merge? How can I both support local and pay the premium and ensure I met all the other obligations in my life?
It’s really quite easy… I use priorities.
For instance I limit the amount of comics I collect and then buy them from my local comic store. I plan my new book purchases and buy from my local bookstore. I buy 2nd hand computer games from my local gaming store. I have a budget and when it is gone… I borrow books from the library and share/borrow games with my mates… In short I do what I can…
This carries across to other aspects of my life… I don’t always shop at the green grocer or the butcher, we can’t always afford South Coast Milk – but we try and we support when and where we can…
Its all any of us can do.