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Published On: Tue, Dec 27th, 2022

Are Handcrafted Goods Becoming More Popular?

Everywhere you look, there are handcrafted goods for sale – and consumers ready to buy them. With modern technology making mass manufacturing cheaper and easier than ever before, why is there such a surge in popularity for handcrafted goods?

There are several possible explanations.

photo Simon Dean Media via Flickr

Demand for Better Quality

Some handcrafted items, like leather mules, offer measurably higher quality than their mass manufactured counterparts. There are several explanations for this. When mass manufacturing items, quality assurance isn’t always efficient or reasonably affordable. Companies are inclined to skip or skimp on QA to save money.

On top of that, people who are dedicated to handmaking items tend to acquire significant expertise over time. After just a few years of dedicating yourself to a craft, you can probably make better items than any mainstream manufacturer.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everything; it would be practically impossible for anyone to hand make smartphones, for example. But for certain items, especially clothing, accessories, and jewelry, this holds true. People who want higher quality in the items they purchase are inclined to seek handmade goods.

Desire for Unique Gifts

One of the downsides of purchasing a mass manufactured item is that it’s one of potentially millions that are currently in circulation. There’s nothing unique or original about it, even if it’s practically useful or aesthetically pleasing. When people want a truly unique gift, or if they want something one-of-a-kind for themselves, purchasing from an artisan is the way to go.

Environmentalism and Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is now a major considering factor for 60 percent of consumers making purchases. People want to buy products that are ethically sourced, responsibly made, and free from extra waste or carbon emissions. Even handmade items have a carbon footprint, but that footprint is much smaller; people crafting goods by hand typically requires less energy and produces less waste. As an added bonus, many handmade goods are created and purchased locally, reducing demand for transportation.

Handmade Platforms and Availability

The trend of buying handmade can also be explained by the sheer abundance and availability of handmade items. Thanks to online platforms like Etsy, it’s easier than ever before for crafters to create an online storefront and sell their best goods. If you’re looking for an item that someone crafted by hand, you’re only a short search away from finding hundreds, if not thousands of options.

Additionally, the presence and convenience of online sales platforms has motivated millions of new artists to pick up the craft and start selling. If you spend even a few minutes browsing mainstream craft sales platforms, you’ll see countless items that spark your creativity and defy your expectations.

Possibilities for Customization and Personalization

Some people may be drawn to purchasing handmade items because of the possibilities for customization and personalization. Since each item is made by hand, you can make special requests to the artist. For example, you might request that the artist include an engraving or personal message to the person receiving your gift. For some items, you may even be able to request a totally different design or approach. If the artist is open to commissions, you can get almost anything you want.

Support for the Local Economy

People love the convenience and speed of ordering on major online platforms like Amazon, but even so, 70 percent of consumers are interested in supporting their local economies. There are many good reasons for this. Shopping locally is good for the environment, since you need to travel shorter distances and produce fewer carbon emissions in the process.

Supporting small and local businesses is also good because small and local businesses are disproportionately responsible for job creation; as these businesses generate more revenue and begin to grow, it can help your community thrive.

Artists and craftspeople aren’t always available locally, but if you visit your local craft and art shows, you should find plenty of options for whatever interests you.

The Rise of Artists

We’ve covered many reasons why demand for handmade items is increasing, but what about the supply? It could be that more people are pursuing arts and crafts in their spare time, using it as a therapeutic way to destress or challenging themselves to exercise creativity in new contexts. Whatever the case, if there are more people producing interesting items for sale, it’s only natural that more people would have an easier time finding these unique goods.

It does seem that handcrafted goods are becoming more popular, both for the people producing them and the people buying them. But it’s impossible to boil this trend down to any single factor. There are many good reasons why the surge in handcrafted product popularity is happening – and this wave probably won’t end anytime soon.

Author: Anna Johansson

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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