Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Handmade Economy

Designers, take note. There is a new economy out there screaming to be noticed. One of a kind. Handmade. Handcrafted. Yes, a new economy, yet a very old one. We have come full circle.

In a world of mass production and super Wal-Marts, we are yearning for the craftsmanship and human touch of handmade goods. In a world seeking to find sustainability after learning some very hard lessons about excess, we are tired of seeing the tags saying “Made in Sri Lanka” in our mass-produced clothing, “Made in China” stamped on our toys, and tired of talking to “Tommy” in India about the charge on our credit card that isn’t ours. The towns that used to be the furniture production capitals of the world are virtual ghost towns because we are now importing from China and other Pacific Rim countries at staggering rates.

There is a yearning, running quiet and deep, for something we have lost. Our great-grandparents knew it, maybe even our grandparents. But somewhere along the way, industrialized economy made us want bigger, more…cheaper. And now, we are feeling something tugging at our sleeves.

There is a movement out there and if you are very quiet, you may just begin to hear it on the wind behind the noise we’ve become anesthetized to. You may pick up a word here or there. “Handmade.” “Locally grown.” “Community.” Look closely. Greenmarkets, WholeFoods, craft fairs, artists’ co-ops. And, the Web. Yes, the big WWW has gotten in on it, too. Because “community” has gone global. Real, honest-to-goodness people creating a real honest-to-goodness economy of the new “handmade.” Join us at the Design Style Guide in taking back the “art” of commerce.


Kristina Law said...

Yes, it is so exciting to be involved in this movement at this time. The timing is better than ever before:)


Village gossip said...

beautifully said. American culture has had too much of a consumer disconnect. I can't tell you how different it is buying an item from an artist or crafter who really puts a part of themselves into their work. I believe everything you make has a little part of you...a happy part.

What part is this if you go to the big box stores and buy something made by someone unhappy trying to support their families on almost nothing wages, or some even in modern day slavery.Your buying someone else's sadness. How could these items enrich your life?

They can not even be compared to real handmade or handcrafted by artists in love with their medium. People in love with art, in love with craft.

You can change your buying habits by making conscience decisions to support local artists and crafters or those of us online, and in doing so enrich your own life as well as not contribute to the consumer disconnect.

Anonymous said...

"Join us at the Design Style Guide in taking back the “art” of commerce."


DesignedWith Glass-Carrie Millen said...

I completely agree. It's also a way for us artists to leave a small part of ourselves in a positive way in our world.

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