Perhaps we do not realize it, but as consumers we have the great power to move the market and the economy according to our selection criteria. The choice of particular brands, designs and materials pushes producers to adapt to the requests. Every purchase has a value, it is like a vote in favor of a certain type of goods.
In contrast to the logic of industrial mass production of disposable items that seems to reign over our society, there is the world of the handmade, that is carrying out a profound ecological transformation. In fact more and more artisans and creative people follow a philosophy that tends to minimize the environmental impact by choosing eco-friendly materials and consider the recycling an important element of growth, maintaining high quality and originality.
Why we should prefer a handmade product rather than an industrial one?
Here is a list of reasons!
Each piece is one-of-a-kind
Since it’s made by hand, a craft product will be difficult to reproduce identical to another. Having a one-of-a-kind accessory or a garment makes us unique too, it allows us to escape the impersonal logic of mass production.
Talent, originality and creativity
…all those human skills contained in every handmade product that machines cannot replace.
The ability to repair, regenerate and recycle is typical of the artisan world. As already mentioned, the small handmade production is changing its direction towards ecological choices.
On the other hand, let’s see what happens in mass production: a sad example is the textile industry that is the second most important source of pollution in the world and uses thousands of chemicals, many of which are harmful to both our health and the environment. When we buy from multinational companies at bargain rates we should also think that we will wear phthalates, formaldehyde, heavy metals, solvents and toxic dyes on our skin.
A handmade product is often tailored, it can be customized according to customers’ desires.
Each product has a story and behind it there might be a long time dedicated to the design, the study of techniques, experimentation, errors and successes. If you buy from a small business, you can come into direct contact with the person who created the product and you have the opportunity to know how an object was born and what was inspired from. Just knowing its story you can understand the real value of an item.
High quality, attention to detail and durability
The price of handmade items is usually high and that is right.
On the contrary, industrial products must have a fundamental characteristic to be made in series: they must be cheap. But to be low-cost, the materials cannot be of high quality, therefore the lifetime of these articles will be short and in modern logic it is normal to throw them away and buy new ones, increasing waste and pollution.
No child labour and exploitation
Choosing handmade you will not exploit anyone, especially not children. Actually you will be helping small businesses or individual crafters who independently decide the value of what they create. The craft work does not restore dignity only to things, but also to people. When I buy from a maker who does everything by himself I feel like a patron who gives the opportunity to create unique, artistic pieces that otherwise could not exist.
For example, have you ever thought about how much will earn and therefore how will live who is behind a piece of clothing that costs only 5 dollars? In what conditions will he or she have worked? Have you ever tried to sew something yourself? Do you know how much time is needed, how much skill, how much effort?
Each handmade piece is the result of love and passion
And with your choice you can help to carry on these passions and make the world a better place!