In this day and age, we are swamped by fast fashion, bulk fashion, cheap fashion and assembly line fashion. However, it is heartening to note that there is a growing community of consumers, still in a minority albeit growing, who are swapping the hype and gloss of high street stores for artisan crafts. What can you do to join their ranks?
Save artisans – ask questions:
Ask questions before you buy. Who has designed the product? Is it an original design or a cheap imitation? Who has made it? Is it being made in ethically managed workshops or in sweatshops that are little better than hell holes? Are the producers receiving a sustainable wage? Do they have access to food, shelter and basic facilities like potable water?
Save artisans – abandon the herd mentality:
Do not succumb to the lure of big stores with big budget marketing campaigns. Seek out the unique scarf or a beaded kaftan that has elements of handcrafting.
Save artisans – be part of the initiative:
Many independent designers are doing yeomen work to reinvent and re – energise artisan crafts. Lend a helping hand to these people. Spread the word, support related events, buy and use artisan made scarves, kaftans, dresses, bags and so much more.
Save artisans – listen to a good story:
Many designers, who work with artisans and their communities, have good stories to tell. Personalise your shopping experience. Have a lively discussion with the designer and the maker. I can assure you interaction with independent designers and makers will be far more rewarding than encounters with robotic sales assistants who can say little beyond ‘next please’.
Save artisans – feel empowered:
You are the consumer. You can bring about a change with the choices you make. Artisan crafts are part of the legacy we are born with? Would you rather see them perish, drowned by the onslaught of mass-produced goods or would you extend your support by opting for an exquisitely beaded handbag or a unique hand tie-dyed kaftan? The choice is yours.