Being Thrifty – the return of craft

Thrifty  handmade bird
Thrifty handmade bird

Being Thrifty And The Return To Craft

We are moving into a Protestant cycle. Out is over indulgence, overspending, and decadence, instead it is replaced with control, thrift and simplicity. The pressures for this return are economic (the credit crunch), environmental (a concern about global climate change), and social (a concern for the distribution of resources)  mixed with a belief that you can’t have it all now and pay later. Clothes in Primark cost less than they do in a charity shop. Designer handbags are an everyday items. The average wedding costs £20k. When we have over consumed we always welcome a time of abstinence. Though it isn’t true abstinence we change our shopping to make us feel cleaner more virtuous. The return of craft and being real.

thrifty handmade salt bowl

thrifty handmade salt bowl

This return to being thrifty is seen in many guises, canvas shopping bags, rise of vintage, rise of handmade, organic food, home brew, craft beers, beards, free range, local produce, seasonal eating, riding bikes, Freecycle, ebay, allotments, even crochet. The secret is good quality with integrity not artificial low cost. So as we become more thrifty we will see the rise of craft. This is not an unusual cycle we see it again and again before with the Arts and Crafts as a reaction to industrialisation. The 70’s followed the 60’s with pottery, macramé, handmade clothes, the start of the health food shop.

Seville Orange marmalade

Seville Orange marmalade

Enjoy it while you can. Be thrifty, eat soup, make jam, knit blankets, buy a wood burning stove, grow a beard, learn to whistle and ride your bike. Remember after abstinence we will return to overindulgence, gluttony, and decadence just look at the 1920’s with the Bright young things and the 1980’s with yuppies. History has a habit of repeating.


  • Caitlin says:

    That’s a really interesting comment. I wonder what this means in particular for those of us whom were raised in a ‘thrifty’ age such as the 70’s and blossomed in a decadence age such as the 80’s. Would it be a different experience if it was the other way around?
    It’s like when you look at second hand stuff or ‘vintage’. I can like the 70’s stuff when I was not yet an adult and it brings back warm cosy memories, but show me those jump suits and padded shoulders of the 80’s and I cringe. My auntie Harriet was exactly the same looking at Vintage stuff yesterday which was of her generation- she adored the 50’s stuff but cannot abide the 70’s stuff as she has worn it originally. I may be warming to macrame wallhangings and hessian bags now but what will happen come 2030 when it’s here again?

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