The Coniston Institute redevelopment plan included the installation of a small, unmanned Honest Shop, designed by artist duo An Endless Supply (Harry Blackett and Robin Kirkham). The shop has now been running successfully for three years, and provides a valuable opportunity for collaboration and cohesion between local producers, as well as securing additional income for individuals.
The Honest Shop is stocked with locally grown produce, meats from Lawson Park and other local farms, cakes and ready-meals, as well as craft items and other such products that are generally absent from the shelves of the more regulated shops in the town; all made by local community groups or individuals.
Stocks fluctuate and change naturally with seasons and as production and the availability of each item rises and falls - thereby providing a continually surprising shopping experience and making it impossible to guarantee you'll find the same thing twice.
The shop operates on a self-service basis, relying on the honesty of customers to record their sale and leave money in the box for collection. This bespoke, unregulated model for trading highlights the process of exchange, as opposed to commercial consumerism and profit-driven markets. The shop actively contributes to a developing alternative model for the village, one that is driven by individuals, enthusiasms, seasons and goodwill.
A new Honest Shop will be included as part of the exhibition The Politics of Craft: After Ford 151 at Glasgow School of Art; designed in this instance by Giles Round for APAP Korea.
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