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An Ode to MC
I’m thrilled to be starting Series 2 with you today, which will continue weekly until the end of January. For those that have joined in the past couple months, I hope you enjoy journeying with us. For those who are continuing on from Series 1, a warm welcome back!
Starting with you
With gift giving season nearing I have a question that I need your help answering: Have you come across shops or brands that give you hope for our world?
A businesses is by definition a means of livelihood. Do you also find it uplifting to think that we can create livelihoods that can also, as separate and unified entities, rise up to solve the problems of the globally connected societies and environment they operate within? I like to think this is the cyclical nature we crave, or perhaps require, for guilt-free consumption of even our most essential goods.
busi·ness | \ ˈbiz-nəs
// in the restaurant business
Source: Marriam Webster Dictionary
A few Tuesdays ago, an email from one such shop popped up in my inbox with the subject line “Goodbye Friends”. I had hopes that it was goodbye to a product line, bricks and mortar location, or beloved supplier, all which would have been a big loss in and of itself. But opening it revealed they were in fact closing the doors to their business.
Mini-cycle was a symbol of hope; a sign that circular economies were finding a place in the main stream. They were a pioneer and thought leader providing an elevated experience for those of us who second-hand shop, thrift, facebook-market-place, mend, and repurpose our way to beautiful, functional, and earth-friendly clothing for our children. They were a light in the darkness while I navigated plans to join the cyclical economy for children’s learning materials through Bueno Market. I won’t let that dream fade, but I’m more cautious now. I want to learn all that I can about Mini-cycle’s journey: To see what what support they were lacking to make their circular economy business thrive, and to know how we in Canada can join together to make these types of businesses sustainable and resilient.
While they were still operating, I shared their online shop with friends and family. I shopped it as frequently as I could. I tagged them on social media. I was part of their journey in a small way. The way any average consumer could be. The way that could make a difference if the right factors for success were present.
Continuing MC’s journey
I’m left reflecting on what I can do better as a consumer to support businesses that give me that “changing-the-world” feeling.
Businesses like Tiny Toy Co. and their up-cycled learning activities. Started by a Toronto librarian, they now service Canada and contiguous USA.
How can we be part of their journey?
Shop instead of browsing the craft store, puzzle isle, book store, toy store, or dollar store.
Email them with a request for a missing part to any of your children’s materials, puzzles or family games. They’ll search their inventory and get back to you. Right out of a solarpunk dream!
Send them your loose pieces otherwise destined for landfill. We started filling a Tiny Toy Co. years ago and one day, when it’s full, I’ll drop it off, have them pick up (Toronto only) or mail in. Learn more about their up-cycling process he here >
Are your inspiring shops still around? Still doing their good for the world and shaping their markets? Still active pursuers of a circular market, sustainably grown and produced materials, equal access and rights, transparency around production and wages?
Who are these beautiful entities? Where do they exist and what do they do?
I’m leaving you with the final words of that final goodbye email:
In the meantime, keep consuming what you need mindfully, keep supporting second hand markets, keep mending and reinventing your items in their end of life. This will be the best absolute way to make MC’s essence live on.
- Jad + the Mini-cycle team
Raise In Place is written by Erika Fraser, founding partner and designer behind the shop + studio Bueno Market - Montessori expanded for modern families.