In recent years, a movement has begun. It’s a movement that takes consumers away from purchasing mass produced products from large, national retailers and introduces them to the people making unique items with their own hands and selling them on a much smaller scale. As a handmade artist myself, I've always supported fellow artisans because, let's face it, I know the struggle is real. But why should you, as a regular consumer, spend your hard-earned money on handmade products?
When you support local artisans, you are supporting their local economy and community. Small businesses and handmade artists are more likely to spend the revenue they earn within their own communities. The money you spend is not being sent to a corporate head office to pay out large bonuses to executives, but is often used to buy produce at the local farmers' market or to support a school fundraiser.
Supporting handmade is also good for the environment. Handmade products do not require large production facilities or transportation fleets, most items are made in small craft studios or in the makers' own homes. Handmade items are also higher quality and made to last, meaning that less waste is being diverted to landfills.
Handcrafted products are unique and allow you to have a direct connection with the artisan. Unlike mass produced products, the nature of handmade goods means that there are fewer of them and you will often find unique differences in each handmade item which makes the item and the purchase very special. And since you can be in contact with the person who made the item with their own hands, you may have the option of customizing certain aspects of the product, such as colour or size, to fit your needs.
These days, buying handmade is easier and more popular than ever. As more and more consumers embrace handcrafted goods, the internet has witnessed a rapidly increasing industry of handmade marketplaces and websites. Buying handmade goods online allows you to access the skills of artisans around the world and when you support artisans, you are also supporting the craft and skills they practice. By supporting the traditional crafts, such as knitting or crocheting, you are helping to pass those skills to the next generation and keep the art and craft alive.