Handmade items have had a huge upsurge in the last few years and for many good reasons – unless you live under a rock I am positive you have taken notice! I believe that (finally!) more and more people are grasping the negative effects that companies who mass produce items are having on economies all around the world and the ecosystem. This realization is allowing people to look at other more sustainable options when making their purchases <insert handmade>. In a post a few weeks ago I touch upon the negative side of items that are mass produced – Buying High Quality Fabric & 3 Easy Tips to Care for Cotton – check it out!
I have friends and family who do not fully understand the reasons behind buying hand made products because they cannot get past the price tag and on some level I get it. Handmade products are more expensive than their mass produced counterparts but there is a very good reason for that. Not only are they unique but they have superior craftsmanship and are more environmentally sustainable.
I did not understand the rave around it until I did my grad school thesis on the handmade industry two years ago. The thesis opened my eyes to the vast world of handmade items (in particular to Etsy!). I focused my thesis on female owned small handmade businesses and not only did I feel empowered by the business savvy these female business owners had I also realized the greatness in handmade products. Below I’ll share three reasons I believe handmade products are important.
Have you ever walked in to a restaurant or a party and notice that at least one more person is wearing the same exact shoes or dress or handbag? It has happened to me before! And while it is not as bad as some people make it seem it has made me think how “generic” my wardrobe is - there is not much special about it. However, if you were to have a beautifully handmade handbag not only will you stand out of the crowd but I can almost guarantee that someone will ask you where you purchased it from – which can lead to an awesome conversation!
Since handmade items are made in very small batches and typically finished off one-by-one the quality of them is much, much better than anything you can purchase in your usual big box store. The level of attention to detail that is given to each and every item is beyond outstanding. That is the type of product you want to put your hard earned money towards.
As mentioned above handmade items are made is very small batches or one-by-one this in turn makes for an environmentally sustainable practice. Many artists who make and sell handmade goods purchase their supplies right from their local communities. That alone is environmentally sustainable and is very commendable.
These are just a few of the reasons why buying hand made products and supporting small businesses is important on many levels. With holiday shopping right around I really do encourage you to keep handmade and local options in mind! Happy shopping!
Are you a handmade supporter? If so, what drew you in to the handmade industry?