Making something by hand, or making something locally – it’s all part of a trend to move away from the mass produced, faceless items we’ve been swamped by. It isn’t just the recipient who wants something more permanent and more individual either. As gift givers, who wants to think that whatever they buy is going to be the same thing as everyone else in the country is getting; or that it will become outdated or simply stop being relevant in a quite short space of time?No, gift ideas for women now require a bit more thought than they did even just a year or two ago. You can see the trend everywhere you look. Hand-sewn scented pillows. Personalised photo frames. Unusual clocks. Hand carved signs with special messages on them. Whatever the individual ideas, the trend is the same. No more mass production, and much more support for small industries making limited runs of gift ideas in the local area.
Because gifts, gift ideas, in fact a large portion of the disposable income consumer market, has strayed onto a path planted with two kinds of flower: the joy of originality; and the urge to shop in a more ethically responsible fashion.
To put it bluntly – no-one likes the idea that gift ideas for women might be filling the pockets of faceless corporations who run sweatshops; or who don’t have the most environmentally sound policies when it comes to goods manufacture and global distribution; or who pay less to the small-town manufacturers of their products than they really ought. So when we set our faces against the power of global manufacture, we turn back to the smaller company, the boutique or bespoke business as it’s now styled – and we’re happy to pay a little bit extra for something that’s been made honestly, and which gives us genuine pleasure.
In a lot of ways it feels as though the industry is being steered back to a more old fashioned way of doing things. And that’s great. Good gift ideas for women, for husbands, for sisters, for whoever, should not be the matters of rapidity and ease. Of mass marketing and homogeneity. Because ultimately if we let the identikit way of life win, then we’re saying everyone is the same. All the people we buy gifts for are identical, no matter what their relationship to us or their endearing little quirks and personality traits.
Technology is fine and progress is just dandy. But the bottom line is this: we want to give presents to the people we love to celebrate them for who they are. Which means finding new and unusual gift ideas, things that don’t look like they’ve been mass produced as well as things that genuinely haven’t been mass produced. The cottage industry, the little guy or the little shop, is back – and I for one and happy to see the change happening.