Part of what I do in my business, Sylvana Vintage Designs, is repurpose or “upcycle” broken vintage and antique jewelry and found objects.
I am certainly devoted to the idea of buying handmade or vintage and from now on plan to buy all my gifts from other people who make things by hand or sell vintage like I do.
Handmade or vintage gifts, clothes and household things have lots of advantages. They’re better made, they’re often unique, they can usually be customized if you just ask and the personal customer service from these vendors usually can’t be beat. AND it’s not made in China!
But this group of folks goes one step further. Here’s an idea for you. It’s called “Unconsumption.” Thanks, by the way, to Crafting Magazine: Daily for bringing this to my attention! Here’s an expanded definition from the Unconsumption web site:
“Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition.
Unconsumption is an invisible badge.
Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer.
Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away.
Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a service like Freecycle (or Craigslist, Goodwill, or Salvation Army) to find a new home for the functioning DVD player you just replaced, rather than throwing it in the garbage.
Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition.
Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to the nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style.
Unconsumption means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room.
Unconsumption is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.
Unconsumption is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective.
Unconsumption is free.”
They have even created a logo to use. Here’s the instructions on how to use it from the web site:
Our Logo And What We Hope You’ll Do With it
A little while back the Unconsumption team unveiled Mr. (or is it Ms.?) Cart — the official Unconsumption logo designed by Clifton Burt. Here we complete the visual identity by sharing the logo in its official word-mark version, plus official variations. See below.
Actually you’re welcome to more than just see. As I’ll explain below, we have begun inviting top DIY creators to use our logo in their projects — we’re calling it The Uncollection, and it debuted with the amazing creative-reuse inventions of Tiffany Threadgould.
In reactions to the original logo post, the idea emerged that Mr. Cart could be added, DIY-style, to existing garments or other objects, by way of stencil, screenprint, etc. We love the idea of Mr. Cart as a one-symbol stand-in for the idea of creative repurposing, smart consumption, and enjoyable upcycling.. Sprucing up something you own by “rebranding” it with this logo is a beautiful manifestation of the spirit of the Unconsumption project.
Below you’ll find our Creative Commons license, but the upshot is you are welcome and indeed encouraged to borrow and remix our logo (in noncommercial manners). Whatever you come up with, consider sharing with via our Facebook page!
The Unconsumption Logo (“Mr. Cart”) by Clifton Burt / Unconsumption is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
I’m a big thrift store shopper anyway. Always have been. Especially these days when budgets are tight and times are tough. If I can’t find it there I check my own marketplace, Etsy.com, or eBay or ask around to see if any of my friends might have a whatchamacallit hanging around they no longer use or need. And I’m always offering my own whatchamacallits to them. But I can do better.
So, now I’m thinking when I recycle vintage jewelry into my pieces or sell some of my vintage jewelry in my etsy shop I will use this logo. I like it!