Shop Sustainable: Handmade Forever
One sustainable jewellery shop not enough for you? Well, today I would like to introduce Hannah, a 21-year-old crochet fanatic from Staffordshire, who creates affordable quirky jewellery and other accessories through her shop, ‘Handmade Forever’. All her links can be found at the bottom of this article if you’re tempted to purchase any of her items!
First off, tell me a little bit about yourself, what your business is about and why you started it…
I first started by crocheting with my grandma , who was a crochet whiz! I could never do it!! And then all of a sudden it clicked in my brain and I became almost a natural! I wanted to create my business mainly to just share my creations with the world - while being sustainable and eco-friendly while I do it! But also, to remember my lovely grandma. She sadly passed in January and I would love for her crochet dreams to live on through me!
How did you get into sustainability? Were there any particular stories or events that resonated with you enough to change your habits?
I started my university degree in 2018 - and a lot of my assignments I found myself writing about how humans are destroying our planet! It encouraged me to research further into this and truly educate myself into how I can “do my bit”.
Can you tell me a bit about how you have made your business practices sustainable?
All of my items are 100% vegan and do not contain any animal products. I use either acrylic or cotton wool which are sustainably sourced too. Even down to the packaging - which is 100% recyclable.
Are there any areas of your business that just can’t be made sustainable?
The only unsustainable item I own is some old stock such as pom poms from places like Wilko and Home Bargains, so they probably aren’t sustainably sourced. When I first started I had so many ideas and I just made things. So I still have a few things lying around I’m trying to get rid of!
Do you hope to expand your business in future or are you happy with where you are at?
I would love to expand my business! I adore what I do and every order I make , I enjoy. I have already expanded loads in the past year and would really love to do more in the future!
What has been your favourite part about running your business so far?
Meeting new people! 100%! I have made so many friends while running a business. And not just customers but other small businesses too! It’s been an absolute journey already and I can’t wait to continue!
What is the one cause that you are most passionate about in terms of sustainability/environmentalism?
I think one of the main ones would be fashion. Fast fashion! 90% of my clothes are from charity shops. I’m sick up to my ears of people looking down on people who spend their money in charity shops - not only is this better and putting a stop to fast fashion, but it’s cheaper AND it helps local charities! Man, who doesn’t love a bargain! But the likes of Primark offering cheap clothes at a tiny price encourages people to buy stuff they don’t really need because it’s a “good deal”. Also, I wanted to start making items which aren’t only natural, but environmentally friendly! Make compost out of your bikinis if you wish!
How do you think people should go about promoting sustainability in their everyday lives?
Try to eat less meat and animal products - it’s easier than you think. I’m not a vegan or even vegetarian but if I can have the vegan option I will. Most of the time you’ll see me eating a falafel or some hummus. Even if you can’t cut out all meat, just cut out some it still makes a difference! Buy from charity shops! Buy from small businesses who make clothes! All of this makes a difference. People often go for the cheap option but this isn’t the best option! I could go on forever, but these are just a few ways you can make a difference!
All images courtesy of @handmade.forever_ on Instagram.