When writing posts for my blog I do not approach it with the intention of promoting products, yet if a product happens to be associated with what I’m thinking, feeling or reading about at the time, then it is inevitable that I will mention it. So, although this posting will mention a product, it is not the idea behind it. To start with the post really won’t make a great deal of sense, but it will sort itself out by the end (my goodness, that sounds just like a bit of disclaimer doesn’t it!).
We all know that we already own or (as manufacturers) have produced enough items to satisfy far more than our basic needs; and that a lot of what is newly made inevitably creates waste and more ‘stuff’ that is largely unnecessary. Hence the rise of ‘retro and vintage’ (the classier, sassier sister of second-hand) and the multitude of ways of getting our hands on old things or unloading it on other people – etsy, ebay, preloved, gumtree, freegive, freecycle, musicmagpie, etc., etc.. In fact I do it myself through etsy (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post) although much of what I pass on I really like because of its inherent and aesthetic quality and wish that I could keep it all – but unfortunately I’ve only got one house!
In terms of products it is encouraging when you hear about companies that do give something back or make it possible to recycle their products when they have come to the end of their useful life (although the ultimate products are, of course, the ones that just keep on working – but they don’t make them like that anymore, do they). My worry is that the ‘eco’ claims of many large companies is little more than a marketing ploy – I can think of a few who claim a lot (as I’m sure you can too!), but actually deliver very little. So far this blog posting has unintentionally been a bit of an eco-rant – it wasn’t supposed to be that way.
I’ve recently been reading about the metamorphosis of English folk into electric-folk, folk-rock, acid-folk and all its permutations. The book is called ‘Electric Eden – Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music‘ by Rob Young and charts the evolution of folk throughout the twentieth century. It moves from the Edwardian folk-song collectors to classical nationalists, but mainly concentrates on the huge revival and reinterpretation that occurred with the singer/songwriters and numerous bands of the late 1960’s and early 70’s.I’ve also been listening to Light In The Attic Record‘s amazing archival compilation album ‘Native North America, Vol.1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country 1966-1985‘, which satisfies both my quest for unusual sounds (for instance, I’ve already reviewed Light In The Attic’s equally good ‘Country Funk‘ album – Country Funk! The term still warps the mind!) and my desire to search out the root of things, the obscure and forgotten, the dead ends and oddities in all aspects of music, literature and art.While I was engrossed in all of these absorbing (for me anyway) distractions, I read an article about in-ear headphones made of wood, called (appropriately enough) ‘Woodbuds‘. It struck me that surely the perfect way to listen to folk music on the move was with wooden in-ear headphones. It made a connection and felt as though the inherent woodiness of the music would resonate emotionally (if not acoustically) with the material with which the earphones are made and what essentially helps to transmit the sound to the brain. Looking into this small friends-and-family run company I was pleased to read that they are associated with the Woodland Trust and for every 100 Woodbuds sold they will plant a tree. I’m just hoping that this small company (which must be very trendy because it’s got a guy with a huge beard in it’s photos – have you noticed that all trendy ads have blokes with huge beards at the moment!) takes it’s eco-ness through to the production level and only makes them in small quantities to meet the level of demand.So there we have it – I’m brought back to my initial rant about products, over-production and waste and hopefully now makes sense! The counter idea being that small-scale production can produce only what is required and that such companies can do good by giving something back, and from which we can all benefit. I just wish I could believe all companies when they shout about their eco-credentials.