Rebekah Bibb, a UNM senior, is using the annual Sustainability Expo on Thursday to advocate for local economic development with a craft market consisting of various local and student vendors
Bibb, a student in the UNM Sustainability Studies program, is dedicating her senior capstone project in the program to promoting more sustainable buying practices and giving students an opportunity to showcase their crafts.
“I wanted to do some sort of market that allowed students the opportunity to sell their craft if they didn’t have a venue,” she said. “I got the idea because I personally love handcrafted things and supporting the local economy, so I wanted to bring that to the campus.”
Bibb said she originally planned to create a separate market on campus to sell her own crafts, but, with advice from the Sustainability Department’s lecturer and coordinator of the expo, Jessica Rowland, she decided to take the project to greater heights.
Together, they organized a group of six vendors who would have their own craft market at the expo.
“If you look around here we have so many local artists, especially in Nob Hill and around Central. We really should take the time to check those out and support them,” she said.
The market will feature hand printed T-shirts made locally by Stone Bison, which donates $2 of every purchase to the Stone Bison Conservation fund.
Other vendors will be selling crafts like non-toxic soaps and lotions, recycled and upscaled jewelry, bags made from reusable material and even a face painter.
She said it was important to her to help give back to the Albuquerque community and foster a sense of culture among its members.
“You can always go to Walmart and get something that’s made from a big corporation and there’s no real connection. Or you can go to a mom and pop shop and buy something unique and with more community connection,” she said.
Bibb said she also plans to be present in the market at a table with more information on how to continue to support local businesses and artists. She will also be asking students to give their opinion on what buying locally means to them.
“Just be conscious of where our money is going,” she said. “I know sometimes it can be hard to shop local, because it may be more expensive. But other times it necessarily isn’t. So just looking for those opportunities to practice sustainability with your money.”
She said she hopes the sale will encourage students to market their own creations and in turn improve their own economic development.
Gabriela Garcia-Huff is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @thegreen_gablin.