Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair invites you to support their new Christmas shopping campaign
28 November 2022
Manchester's GNCCF has joined forces with the Crafts Council and other leading UK craft organisations to launch a national Christmas shopping campaign, designed to support makers across the UK and encourage shoppers to BUY LESS, BUY BETTER, BUY HANDMADE.
Buy Less. Buy Better. Buy Handmade.
With everyone feeling the squeeze this Christmas, Manchester’s award winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) has joined forces with the Crafts Council and other leading UK craft organisations to launch a national Christmas shopping campaign, designed to support makers across the UK and encourage shoppers to BUY LESS, BUY BETTER, BUY HANDMADE.
This initiative to promote thoughtful gifting has also received the backing of The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades MBE and The Great Pottery Throwdown’s Keith Brymer-Jones.
The message is that we don't need to get caught up in the mass consumerism of Christmas. Instead we can give one really well-crafted, unique gift, handmade with passion, made to last. Or ask friends and family to chip in so you can buy a piece from your favourite maker. We can also save a craft while we're shopping.
While there are around 300,000 small creative businesses in the UK, 134 crafts are on The Red List of Endangered Crafts compiled by Heritage Crafts – four classified as extinct, 56 as critically endangered and 74 as endangered.
Since the list was last updated in 2021, the cost-of-living crisis, soaring fuel costs and a reduced market following Brexit have compounded the pressure on makers, and increasing numbers are now reporting that they are worried for the future of their businesses.
Image: Nick Hand with the campaign Poster Print.
By rethinking how we shop this Christmas, we can help support small independent businesses and reduce our environmental impact at the same time.
Jay Blades MBE is lending his support to this campaign:
“It feels right this year to move away from Christmas as a festival of mass-consumption and over-indulgence. If we 'buy less but buy better' then we can ensure the things we are giving will be cherished into the future rather than ending up in landfill. We will also be supporting small creative businesses and helping save craft skills from extinction.”
The craft sector is full of creative people doing inspiring things, but often on their own, being drowned out by big business who have more money, more resources, more clout. We hope that by joining forces on this campaign, we can increase our impact, demonstrate 'community over competition' in action and amplify the voices of our collective communities.
Here's how to get involved
More about the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Ann-Marie Franey, GNCCF Director says:
“Our campaign message is that we don't need to fill our shopping baskets with piles of mass-produced presents to have a wonderful Christmas. Instead we can give – or ask for - one really well-crafted, unique gift, handmade by a skilled maker. By rethinking how we shop this Christmas, we can help support small independent businesses who are really impacted by the cost of living crisis - and reduce our environmental impact at the same time.”
The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair takes place annually in Manchester every October and has built up a national reputation over the past 15 years as a unique opportunity to see and buy high quality craft from over 200 selected makers. To coincide with the campaign they will be hosting an online version of their much loved fair – GNCCFonline over the weekend of 3-4 December, featuring 100 curated makers, selling handmade, beautifully designed craft.
As ever, the exhibitors have been handpicked by a panel of craft experts to bring you jewellery, fashion accessories, prints, furniture, functional pieces and objects for the home. You’ll find firm favourites as well as those exhibiting for the first time, including many makers from the region. It will be a one-stop shop for buying Christmas gifts that really will bring joy on Christmas morning.
Victoria Scholes, Development Director added:
“GNCCFonline is an online pop-up store dedicated to the handmade. It’s a chance to buy gorgeous quality one-off gifts (not forgetting a treat for yourself) direct from the makers without leaving your own home. Over the weekend you can also ‘visit’ makers virtually in their studios and get to know more about their stories and techniques. Watch out for further details of this via the GNCCFonline website and via our social media platforms.”
GNCCFonline Christmas Edition goes live 8am Saturday 3 December 2022 at the fair’s website - www.greatnorthernevents.co.uk.
Watch out for special fair offers and maker open studios over the weekend on social media – follow #GNCCF.
For an opportunity to buy work before the general public, anybody who signs up to the mailing list via the website will get an exclusive invite to the Private View on Friday 2 December 2022 from 6pm.