Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Textile Mill in England Hangs On

I read an interesting article on the Etsy Blog today.  Being an independent artist, I myself try to buy local.  Buying local not only supports your local economy but also does not support unfair labor practises.

From the Etsy blog: Joe McBride of Burnley, UK, left school at sixteen with very few skills. He wanted to become an apprentice blacksmith, but the cotton factory jobs in town paid twice as much. It was an easy choice to make — Joe was soon learning everything from carding cotton, to spinning and weaving, to repairing equipment.
Cotton production was introduced to the UK after the advent of the cotton gin in 1793. Burnley was just one of the towns in Lancashire to embrace the cotton industry in the 1800s and early 1900s. The area was soon a hub of textile production, supplying 40% of the world's cotton fabric around the time of the first World War.
Ten years ago, at a time when Lancashire's textile industry had been hit hard and was struggling to compete with the cheap costs of labor and materials overseas, Joe McBride decided to open his own textile manufacturing company. Because shipping costs on bulky items are high, McBride doesn't have to worry as much about imported goods taking away his business, but there are still periods of time when the mill is forced to "go quiet."

McBride laments the lack of support from the government. There seems to be little interest in reviving this once vital revenue source in the UK. Mills in Burnley are being torn down on a weekly basis and the ones that are left standing are converted into housing or storage units. Joe McBride was offered enough money for his mill to retire on, but his passion for manufacturing and textiles has kept him going. McBride has found his cause, but as consumers we must consider: in our current infrastructure of global manufacturing, are traditional economies like Lancashire worth preserving? What are you fighting for when you're championing the local factory?

To watch a video:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Color of the year by Pantone

Pantone's color of the year for 2011 is Honeysuckle. I must say it is quite a pretty color with not a whole lot of girlishness going on, which is good.
Pantone phrases it as "A Color for All Seasons
Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it."  Did you know the mother color of Honeysuckle is red?

This color will work for men, women and interior. Pantone makes a point of course to make sure the color can work with many industries; apparel, auto, interiors, paints.

"Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. It’s a striking, eye-catching hue that works well for day and night in women’s apparel, accessories and cosmetics, and in men’s ties, shirts and sportswear. Add a lively flair to interior spaces with Honeysuckle patterned pillows, bedspreads, small appliances and tabletop accessories. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Honeysuckle for a dynamic burst of energy in the family room, kitchen or hallway." To read more click here.