As you may well know, I'm rather partial to a spot of bartering. Getting goods and services from someone in exchange for goods and services you yourself have made just feels kinda good. It's hard for people to be greedy, or unfair, when it comes to bartering. Getting rid of the whole money hoo-ha also means that you can take charge of your time more easily: The less money you need, the more opportunity you have for doing things that are fulfilling and that make you happy. Obviously, there are things in the world you just need money for. I'm not saying that I'm heading for some kind of cash-less living situation (as attractive as that sounds). But trading a bunch of kale or 3 for a fresh rabbit or loaf of bloody gorgeous home-made German rye sourdough is happy-making, and it means that you get the things you need/want, but can't make yourself, with your own 2 hands. This increases self-reliance, and cuts out that (often unpleasant) middle-person who, in a normal money economy, you just sell your time to, so you can get money to buy the things you need/want. Who needs that guy?? Bartering also strengthens community (and I reckon this is my favourite bit) - getting to know the person you're getting your gear from helps you to appreciate their craft and the work that goes into creating whatever it is you're getting from them. You have a conversation with them, you thank them and pay them a compliment, you make friends with them.
Happily for us, we've met quite a few people of late who are more than happy to trade their knowledge, expertise and wares for our knowledge, expertise and wares. Sweet!
Of exceptional note are our new friends Gab and Mick, who are totes up for bartering all kinds of stuff, most notably, Gab's bloody gorgeous RedPeg Eco Studio jewellery.
Being as I am a lover of the bauble, yet chronically dismayed by the ethically dubious nature of most jewellery, it was pretty delightful to discover that Gab is, amongst other things, a most talented creator of ethically and environmentally sound jewellery. Moreover, she has been happy to trade her wares for a few P&E bits, and it looks like this relationship could continue into the future. ACE BALLS!
|Yes folks: these earrings say "grow more food". Outrageously cool.|
I find Gab's jewellery pretty much irresistable. For example: I got my first pair of RedPeg earrings a couple of months ago. I HAVE NOT WORN ANY OTHER EARRINGS SINCE. Yes folks, she's that good.
For swaps, I made her a little wool bolero, with red rick-rack trim (the rick rack is kind of hiding in the photo on account of all the red in Gab's gorgeous and exciting studio),
and a brown spotty wrap n go with Australian flora pockets.
I feel like I totally got the good end of the stick with this situation. But then again, that's the other awesome thing about bartering: often-times both people think they've gotten the best deal.