Stuff and the Makers of Balsall Heath

We all love stuff. Most of us have plenty of it. When it breaks we can buy more of it –as even my three year old is quick to point out, “We can just get another one from the -unicorn/doll shoe/banana – shop”. Recent shifts and media coverage (such as BBC’s Blue Planet) have made more of us aware of what happens to the stuff we throw away but what can we do when we want to update things?

In this age of what George Monbiot calls ‘pathological consumption’ in his very worthwhile article, The Gift of Death people are less skilled with their hands than we ever were before. But the days of Make Do and Mend  are coming back and there are trailblazers and traditionalists, right here, in our very own community. This series will explore the MAKERS and INNOVATORS of Balsall Heath and how you can join the movement.

If you know of one of the elders hanging on to an old tradition of making, or someone making for a living, or even, you are learning a new skill, please tell us about it using the contact form above. We know you are out there and would love to celebrate the diversity of skills on our doorsteps and behind our doors.


  • I so appreciate this article and the one by George Monbiot that really highlights the stupidity of many parts of our lifestyles. I hope you will continue to raise ecological issues in this magazine as the enormity of the problem seems to have by-passed so many people.

    Thank you for raising its profile even just a tiny bit. Perhaps you could take suggestions from readers about what they do to reduce their ecological unnecessaries.


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