Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bringing Back the Old as New

A few weeks ago I was in the grocery store buying flour, and I saw some fabric on the lower shelf. My eye, of course, is always drawn to fabric. This happened to be old-fashioned flour sacking in a beautiful print with roses and stripes. It held twenty or so pounds of mesa flour. Too bad I am not proficient at making corn tortillas, or I would have snatched it up.
Pear's Soap, 1886
Pear's Soap, 1886
Giclee Print

Buy at AllPosters.com

Now days all the talk you hear is about being "green" and reducing our consumption and waste as consumers. I do not consider myself a "greenie" but I have always hated to throw away anything that seems to me to be substantial (like a heavy glass jar) or that will not dissolve like compost in a landfill. But on the other hand, I do not think that by being a consumer that it is my fault for having to buy things in packaging that is no longer "Politically Correct;" that was all the manufacturers were offering.
Pears Soap I
Pears Soap I
Art Print

Buy at AllPosters.com

So here is my solution, aimed at manufacturers: Be creative: go back to re-usable packaging. I don't mean recycling, as in taking it out to the curb in a box, or sorting it out at a bottle return machine, I am speaking of making the packaging of products so nice that someone wouldn't want to throw them away. Examples: Flour and other grains, or any pantry items sold in ugly plastic bags, could be instead encased in fabric bags, in different colors and prints. Think of the sales you could get from that! I know I would always buy the fabric-encased goods if they were available. Like our grandmothers, we could re-use the fabric for curtains, clothing, and quilts. People that didn't sew would save their "packaging" and give it to neighbors who were collecting it. It could be the latest greatest trend!
Pears Soap, Matchless for the Complexion
Pears Soap, Matchless for the Complexion
Giclee Print

Buy at AllPosters.com

Those who sell products in jars and bottles, could make the jars and bottles really beautiful, or at least put some really nice art on the label. Sometimes you can still find jars of jelly that are meant to be collected and re-used as juice glasses.
'Advertisement
Advertisement for Victor Gramophones, from "The Theatre," circa 1910 (Detail)
Giclee Print

Barraud, Francis
Buy at AllPosters.com
(Above, a very recognizable advertisement, that any little child would love to have and keep)
Now let me address the daily onslaught of junk mail. If you, Mr. Company, want me to take notice of your advertisement and thus your business, quit sending the trash. Start looking back at other creative ways that people advertised. In the old days, companies would print beautiful trade cards, or advertise on the back of paper dolls, and people of all ages kept these things and pasted them in their scrapbooks or used them as wall decor. Why not tap into the scrapbook craze of this century and send me something I can use? For instance: the telephone company sends out these great big glossy card stock things that can be quite ugly with all the logos and words and such. Why not just set aside a portion of the card, put something beautiful on it, and say, "here on behalf of our company is a frame/accent/sticker for you to use!" I think that folks would take note of such generosity and who it is coming from.

Or at least leave the back blank so we could do something with it (other than throwing it away!). Chocolat Masson
Giclee Print

Buy at AllPosters.com

With a little creative thinking, we could have some nice things instead of trash clogging up our houses, and companies could have some popular goods and services.
Our Craft Editor sees Junk Mail as an Opportunity!


Here we see the above junk mail has been turned into a scrappy-card, using pictures from other advertisments and catalogs.


http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/life_06.html

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...