It’s in the air…

I awoke spontaneously just before 6 this morning. For the first time in months, the cover provided by a light linen blanket wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling chilly — another mile marker on the way to autumn…

As the Jr. Shopkeeper eagerly counts the rapidly-declining number of days until she goes back to school (let’s hope this enthusiasm continues unabated into the upcoming secondary years…), I’ve been plowing my energy into getting the shop organized and establishing some better systems for our team. Not only will doing this provide for a more consistent experience (and assortment, and increased availability of handmade product), but it’ll also enable me to redirect some attention to more of the stuff that I find myself thinking about as I begin to stir each morning (whether or not the blankets suffice): connecting more deliberately with you guys, sharing what we’re learning, and establishing a stronger, broader network for reuse.

For those who are unfamiliar with our social mission: Junket is a store dedicated to facilitating and promoting reuse. We envision a world where the risks of resource scarcity and climate disruption have been largely mitigated because we – individual consumers – have collectively abandoned the notion that a newly manufactured product (invariably made with the intention of becoming functionally or stylistically obsolete in short order) is somehow better than items (of higher caliber, better design, less toxic materials) that already exist to serve the same functions.

Reuse at an individual level matters more than one might think — because using something that’s already here, made, and available allows us to avoid triggering the industrial processes required for both recycling and new manufacture of goods. While recycling keeps materials from going into the landfill, it still requires a whole lot of resource usage (think water, power, equipment) to reconstitute old things into materials that can be used to make new (often, lower quality) things. By comparison (and shared here specifically because it seems to be an unfamiliar term to many who visit us at Junket), reuse is the practice of using things that already exist — either for their original purpose (using a knife that someone else has owned before), in their existing condition for a new purpose (using an old milk bottle as a vase, for example), or by using them as raw materials for the creation of new, upcycled product (bending old silverware for use as hooks or handles).

But of course, if our only experiences with reuse have been dirty thrift stores or disorganized junk shops (or overpriced antique emporia), or if economic circumstances have made secondhand your only option at some point in the past, then the idea of reuse might be no fun at all. So on top of solving a big problem, we’re also aiming to make it so much fun that, once you’ve had this experience, the idea of driving to a big box in the ‘burbs makes you want to poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick.

So, yeah. That’s what’s up. And if you’re thinking ‘it’s too early for big words and sharp sticks’ I admittedly agree. If it helps, just pull your own covers back up to your chin for a little bit on this gorgeous, taste-of-fall Sunday morning: the shop will be open at 10, and perhaps a cup of our coffee (and a donut) will help. 😉

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