Why buy something made thousands of miles away if you can source the same product locally and even play a hand in building it? This is the thinking behind Fab Market.
Described as an online shop for locally-made products, Fab Market curates, tests, and offers products from makers and designers around the world. The group exists at the intersection of the maker movement and the open-source movement. It aims to push global sustainability efforts forward by shrinking supply chains. People purchase open-source designs of products they want, and then head to one of the nearly 1,000 Fab Labs in the global Fab Lab Network, where they're created using computer numeric control machines, laser cutters, 3D printers, and other tools.
Anyone can propose a design for Fab Market to sell. The more designs people share, the less they pay for other products because Fab Labs offers discounts to designers when their products are sold. Items in the Fab Market, which is currently in beta, include furniture and storage units, lamps, bowls, and other household goods.
Some of the benefits of the Fab Market system are:
- Engaging and empowering people in the manufacturing process
- Spreading the open-source ethos of sharing and collaboration
- Reducing environmental impact of creating and transporting goods
- Increasing transparency in the supply chain
- Reducing the time and costs of production
- Giving talented designers a platform for showcasing and sharing their products
- Connecting a global community of makers
The big picture for Fab Market is to create a distributed economy based on good design and quality products that are made to last.
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