If You Need It: Winter Accessories

This I Wear | If you need it: Winter Accessories

Lately, I’ve become really interested in what handmade even means these days, and I’m clearly not the only one. In these first few weeks of the year, “artisan” was named one of the “words for the dumpster” of 2013. And the concept of handmade became a hot topic this past fall when Etsy changed its seller rules to allow for outsourcing of production and hiring staff, as many Etsy success stories have outgrown the platform. This has led to some really fantastic conversations wondering if anything is truly handmade anymore and what that might mean (see NYTimes op-ed and this Rena Tom post).

But if you’re interested in engaging in slow fashion and supporting local makers, regardless of your definition of handmade, the perfect entry point is with winter accessories. And now that temperatures have continued to stay at face-freezing cold, it’s time to pull out the scarves, gloves, and hats.

So if you need it, here are a few of my favorite winter picks (clockwise from top left):

Handknit fingerless gloves, made in the USA, for United By Blue, a company that removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups with each product sold.
A Peace Treaty cashmere and wool scarf, handwoven by artisan coops in Nepal.
Handknit Winter Hat by Emily of KnitSip, based in Illinois.

Stay warm!

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5 comments

  1. Cheryl

    Interesting views. Now consider that I was freecycle recipient of yarn remnant stash that filled the mini van. All of it is acrylic. There are varying amounts of many,many colors. I went to the Idea Store and found cotton crochet thread with a price band saying .65. I have made the former into Lincoln log style,multi colored baby blankets and wild warm not matching socks. The latter into filet crochet pieces. Must I know call all this assemblage art? Seems like that would seem self inflating. I prefer handmade..during a long,cold winter of poverty.

  2. Kristian

    Well, I think even under the strictest sense, you can say something are handmade. A person who could feed and shear the sheep could also be the person to clean the wool and spin it and then felt or loom it into something etc. etc. etc.

    But in a broader sense, I think it is a disservice to the time and effort put a person puts into creating and making things by dismissing it as not handmade even if that person didn’t do all the steps. Perhaps there is a limit to when that word should be used, but I want to celebrate the effort people put in.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble. This is an interesting point and the dumpsters article was likewise interesting. THanks too for the links to the US brands.

    • Rebecca

      Hi Kristian! I think some of this debate just comes down to our definitions (and/or expectations) when we hear “handmade”. It’s obviously the new greenwashing…would we then call it “handwashing”? I don’t know. That’s a horrible joke :) Glad you enjoyed the links & brands!

  3. Dus Katrina

    I think I completely missed this conversation last year on “if something was really handmade” but it’s definitely an interesting point and one I think of often. It’s very rare to be able to find a handmade item where the artisan worked through every step of the process, from spinning the yarn to making the finished good, and often times not possible for the artisan with time constraints so I always figure the best is to support natural materials being used in artisan goods & support small business from there. these are some great items you found, I esp love that beanie!
    Cuddly Cacti
    Mitla Moda

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