Sustaining Crafts and Livelihoods

Employment/ Livelihood, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Sustaining Crafts and Livelihoods: Handmade in India

Wood, Sharmila

Issue 1, Summer 2019                                                                           ISSN: 2581 - 9410
Over the last century, industrial production has steadily replaced traditional handmade production in countries around the world. In India, this has meant the loss of traditional markets for artisans and craftspeople, who struggle to compete against the economic and production efficiencies of volume manufacturing, ushered in by advanced technology, and mechanization. However, in recent times, new markets have emerged, particularly amongst urban consumers, who have ascribed craft, and the handmade, with ethical, environmental, and socio-cultural value. Indian artisans are well positioned to tap into this emerging market, as consumers develop more of an understanding about the externalized environmental and social costs of a product, as it moves from extraction to production, to distribution, to consumption, and disposal. As the link between consumption, and resource depletion, industrial production and environmental degradation, enter the mainstream discourse, craft provides a framework for explorations of how ethical, sustainable and environmental principles are manifested in, and through, particular materials, processes, and objects. The term, ‘conscious consumption’ is used to describe this ethically driven consumer movement, where shopping is conducted in a critical...
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