Art matters. And crowdsourced design platform Minted is making it easier than ever to support independent artists.
The holidays come in a whirlwind of impulse buying, often seeing us give more, rather than simply better, gifts. But in an age where more stuff is the last thing our planet needs, there’s reason to think outside the box when it comes to gift-giving, be that for the holidays, birthdays, weddings, or any other occasions. Need a place to start? The art-focused gift platform Minted is destination number one.
Investing in quality gifts over quantity is a boon for the planet by decreasing the demand for cheap plastic stuff. According to the United Nations, we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste annually across the globe.
“Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s. About 60 percent of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment,” the UN explains on its website.
Not all of that comes from holiday gifts, of course, but making a dent wherever we can is important. And, according to Minted, it’s also a way to support smaller creators and artists. The platform was founded on the principle that independent artists produce great art that can help to connect us in important ways. But the modern marketplace doesn’t favor independent artists. Most retailers are all filled with the same brands and products.
Started by Mariam Naficy in 2007, Minted was an early crowdsourcing platform. It has embraced the technology since its infancy, using it to hold design challenges to help connect consumers to talented artists from around the world.
A design marketplace, Minted sources the best creative content from its community of creators. It turns those designs into art, home décor, and stationery options. The platform pays the artists a commission for each design. It also helps them to identify the industries where their designs may perform the best.
This helps independent artists follow their calling and earn income doing what they love. Always growing its roster of independent artists and designers, Minted’s current community spans all 50 states and more than 100 countries. These include illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms.
Minted’s pledge to support the global community doesn’t stop with the art. By the end of 2021, the company pledged to ensure that 100 percent of its stationery packaging will be recyclable or compostable, and more than 80 percent of that is coming from recycled, post-consumer waste, plant-based, or sustainably sourced materials.
“We have all learned that taking care of our planet is an urgent need,” the company says on its website. “As a brand founded in California, we love both paper and our natural environment, and we believe that there should be no tradeoff between beauty and sustainability. This is only part of our effort to move Minted towards more environmentally friendly practices. We will not stop here.”
Need another reason to gift art? It’s a gift that lasts, for one. But it’s also like music, something wide open to our own interpretation and meaning. It’s also an important way to sidestep preconceived notions about cultures different from our own. Like music (and food, for that matter), art is a detour around the political or religious narratives that can dictate so much of how we see others—and even parts of ourselves. It’s a fast lane to the very heart of the personal, the cultural, even the spiritual. Is there any gift better than that?
1. Straw Stool
A one-of-a-kind, functional, handmade stool crafted from cypress wood and straw. Cypress wood is durable and longer lasting. It is resistant to decomposition due to a liquid released by the wood, which means the bench can be left untreated without worry.
2. Custom Greeting Cards
Support Minted’s roster of independent artists and break the corporate greeting card habit once and for all. With a gorgeous selection of designs and made on recyclable or compostable card stock, you’ll look forward to card writing with these greeting cards.
3. Stormy Palms Limited-Edition Wall Art
From Ventura, California, artist Kamala Nahas, this photo is all about mood. “Wind and rain adds a dynamic element to photography that is irresistible to me,” says Nahas. “I’d finished a portrait session just as the storm was building and decided to stay to see what it would produce. Needless to say, I arrived home drenched and sandy with my husband just shaking his head at me.”