We live in a consumer society, but do we have to consume so much? New products, new gadgets, new fashions tempt us to throw away what we already have. If something breaks or develops a fault, we chuck it out, because it’s often cheaper to buy new rather than pay to repair it.
I don’t want to sound like an old fogey, but I’m going to. I remember my mother darning socks and using a gas cooker which lasted nearly fifty years. Who does that sort of thing now? Maybe some, but not many. We’re hooked on a constant flow of cheap new products manufactured in the developing world. Retail “therapy” is the name of the game. Even if you don’t actually need something, the mere process of shopping and buying is supposed to give you the feelgood factor.
But if like me you don’t buy into this shiny world of shedloads of shoes and shirts making you deliriously happy, there’s a great new movement in Dundee and elsewhere called Skill Share. The idea is simple: show people how to repair and reuse things such as bikes and sewing machines, how to grow their own food, how to upcycle items like jewellery, ties and T-shirts rather than discard them. Skill Share Dundee is based at the Tayside Re-use Centre (formerly Tayside Recyclers). so check out the website at http://skillsharedundee.wordpress.com/ for an amazing range of free courses.
Skill Share Dundee is also holding a two-part event in the courtyard of the Tayside Re-use Centre: an Art Exhibition on Friday August 16th from 7-10pm (local artists, live music, BYOB) and a Craft Fayre on Sunday 18th August from 10-4pm (workshops, stalls, demonstrations, more live music and food). Sounds great – see the website and poster for more details.