What are Slow made Goods?

Just Got Made • 30 Jul 2019
Aimee betts emboidery for &Other Stories
Photo: Hand Embroidery by Aimee Betts

Helen Kemp, founder of Just Got Made realised there was a term for the type of products she was craving this year when carrying out some manufacturing research for a new project


” When I found the phrase Slow Made Goods, it was like the scales fell from my eyes. I’d heard of the slow food movement, and the idea of Slow Tourism happening in Italy and Greece, but somehow the definition of slow made goods culture passed me by. It feels like I’ve finally got a way to explain the things I value now, what I want to create and how I like to shop.”

Slow Goods stems from ‘The Slow Movement’, which encompasses a culture or a way of thinking, advocating a shift toward’s slowing down life’s pace. In writer Carl Honoré’s book ‘In Praise of Slow’, he describes the Slow Movement as

“..a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”

In terms of making and manufacturing goods, it taps into a way of production that spans centuries

  • a focus on low production runs
  • using craftspeople within the making process
  • using local or onshore manufacturing
  • an output that promotes quality over quantity

and working in a collaborative way with smaller suppliers.

But why is this relevant now? In a world of rapid fire media and streaming consumerism amid a background of aggressive politics and environmental destruction maybe we are looking for an alternative and more positive way to interact with the world around us.

Surrounding ourselves with fewer but better-made objects seems like a comforting place to start. Connecting and supporting the makers of these goods seems like an even better idea. Let’s see if the next decade might take us on a slow made journey.

Are you a maker of slow goods? Try the Just Got Made directory to find brilliant suppliers for your little black book.