The Importance of Buying From Small, Independent Makers

For centuries life in the Scottish Highlands and Islands was extremely difficult although, too often, the reality of oppression, struggle and hardship remained hidden under a rosy overlay of romantic literature, music and art. However, from this reality, which forced most ordinary folk to eke a living from the land and the sea, a tradition emerged of fine hand crafting using materials gleaned from the leftovers of daily living and the pickings freely available from moor, field and shore.

Today, fortunately, many of these hardships have been left in the past but what has survived and grown is a plethora of highly talented independent makers, artists and crafters. They all create beautiful products and their small businesses make up an important part of the local economy.

But why should we support these small, independent makers? Several reasons in fact. For example:

  • Buying a product from a small, independent maker supports that individual's livelihood with every purchase making a real difference
  • Items made to order, or in very low quantities, with materials locally sourced are so much more environmentally friendly than those mass-produced
  • Creating a hand-made article takes time, patience and, most importantly, creativity and skill. Buying such a product keeps these skills alive and helps preserve the cultural heritage from which they sprang.

So, when you next look to make a purchase, stop and think for a moment about how the product is made; what it is made from, and who it has been made by.

We at Highland Hiddle are doing our best to bring all these wonderfully diverse gift choices to you. In so doing, we are trying to make a real difference to the individual makers and the environment, while, at the same time, helping to keep these craft skills and creativity alive.

Please support our makers and take the opportunity to make tomorrow's history today.

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