It's the end of the financial year and that means sale time. But have you noticed that the marked-down items are rarely things you would buy full price? They are the strangely-cut tops, the slightly ugly shoes, or the homewares that are so 'on trend' they already look dated.
Yet have you found yourself buying that stuff anyway, just because it was 50% off? We have become addicted to a bargain and the feeling that we are getting something for nothing. But that often means we have little emotional connection to those items (because they weren't right for us in the first place), and we feel no guilt throwing them out because they were cheap!
Looking Backward to Move Forwards
I compare this consumer behaviour to earlier times in history when we had less but appreciated what we had so much more. My Grandmother, who was a child during the Depression, was a huge influence on me - and in turn, on Gingerfinch. Her home was filled with exquisite furniture and perfectly curated treasures. All had a story and many were decades old. Everything she owned was of the highest quality and possessed a timeless elegance; she took meticulous care of each and every piece in her home. My Nana believed in saving up, living with less, but having the best she could afford so it lasted a lifetime.
My Nana, Mary Broderick, in the Australian National University library in 1988. She went to university in her 70s to study Arts, and at the time, was the oldest person to graduate from ANU. She was such an inspiring woman!
Our consumer culture has warped from buying things to make our lives easier and more pleasurable, to just having 'stuff' for the sake of it. We no longer consider how or where things were made, what materials were used, and whether they are good for us and the planet. Our wasteful, thoughtless consumer behaviour is clogging our landfill, cluttering our homes, and as we saw in the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, destroying lives.
So what are we doing about it?
Gingerfinch is bucking this trend. We make sure that every product in the Gingerfinch store undergoes a rigorous assessment on quality, durability, utility and sustainability. We want you to consider carefully before you buy something from us, because when you receive it, we want you to love it as much as we do. We also only keep small quantities of stock so we are not forced to clear old products through buying-frenzy sales.
I know it's ironic that a store owner is telling you to buy less, but my dream is to have life-long customers who shop with Gingerfinch when they need a special gift for a loved one or something unique and meaningful for their homes. I want my customers to appreciate the thought and effort gone into every curated product at Gingerfinch; to know where and how it's made, to use and love it daily, and to pass it on to the next generation. I'd like to think that if my Nana was here to see Gingerfinch, she'd be really proud of what I've created.