“Black Friday” sorry it’s “buy nothing day” @www.robin-wood.co.uk

I am an environmentalist. I sincerely believe that our current  consumerist society is trashing the earth and robbing our children and grandchildren of the inheritance that we had. They sadly will not inherit an earth in sound health ready to sustain life, fecund with healthy soil, stable climate, clean water and air. I have been a professional craftsperson for twenty years and I always struggle ethically with the idea of making stuff, on the one hand I want folk to buy my tools and woodwork but on the other hand I am very well aware that the world is already too full of stuff.

We in the industrialised West are often judged by how much we consume, the folk that earn and spend the most, have the most stuff, the best tools and the most foreign holidays are seen to be the most successful. The sad downside of that is that in order to keep consuming new stuff we have to dump the old stuff in landfill,

or ship it off to Asia for someone else to deal with.


Maybe we just sell it off or give it free to mates. Whatever, that stuff has already taken a lot of the Earth’s precious resources to produce and the answer to the problem for all of us in the industrialised West is to consume a whole lot less. We need to drive less, buy fewer clothes, run our washing machines, air conditioning and heating less, and yes buy fewer tools.

If you really feel you need a particular tool and have given it thought and are sure that it will get long use and help you in the journey to consuming less then the online store will be open again tomorrow but for today I am thinking about the poor and dispossessed around the world whom our consuming is hurting.


7 Responses to “Black Friday” sorry it’s “buy nothing day” @www.robin-wood.co.uk

  1. Antonio November 25, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    Well put!

  2. Jonas Jensen November 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    Like Antonio said: Well put.

    I don’t know when shopping became the goal rather than a means to acquire something that you needed.
    My best guess is that it is the advertising companies that has succeeded in telling people that shopping is the new religion.

    Personally I hate shopping, I feel it steals valuable time from me. Time that I could spend in a much more pleasant way.


  3. Luke Kelly November 25, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    I completely agree on the sentiment but can’t help mischievously noting that on many of your beautiful bowls and plates it’s been buy nothing day for a long time! I check each month to try and buy porringers for my two small children to join those that my wife and 9 have joyfully used for breakfast for many years (6?) and they never seem to be in stock. (Not that you’re under any obligation to produce anything, let alone in large quantities.)

  4. Mauricio Kolenc November 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    Very wise words !

  5. Sam November 28, 2016 at 5:28 am #

    Yes! There is too much stuff in the world and I think of it often. I worked in set building and the amount of waste in that industry made me leave. I am currently labouring for a builder but again far too many unnatural materials and still too much waste. I thought I’d labour for bricklayer because less materials are used and less waste. But still I’m not satisfied.. I’m in Australia but thinking of heading home to do coppicing or something… more natural.

  6. Sam November 28, 2016 at 5:34 am #

    I’ll still be buying your spoon carving set though and I’ll use them. A bushcraft axe can be used for work and the outdoors.

  7. Johnm December 2, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    A very thoughtful article. It is good to know of people who don’t follow the crowds, and instead try to care for the environment.