Are artisan goods eco-friendly?

More environmentally sustainable Handmade products are less dependent on heavy machinery and harmful chemicals. Artisanal manufacturers also tend to use more natural materials, often of local origin. This supply reduces the carbon footprint of the product and supports the local economy. Struggling artisans rarely prioritize eco-friendly production methods.

Their main concerns are to make ends meet, and artisans often obtain their materials locally without understanding the origin or environmental impact of their materials or processes. We can push artisans to adopt greener production methods, for example, by encouraging and paying a premium for the use of organic cotton for weavers. Each of these companies is committed to obtaining and producing their products in an ethical manner and to contributing to artisan communities. Each piece of home decor and utensils, created by groups of independent small-scale artisans, cooperatives and workshops, is made with love using locally sourced materials and time-honored skills.

All their hand-woven pieces are ethically produced in Fowwa, a small town on the banks of the Nile whose artisanal culture Kiliim is working to revitalize. Many artisans work in the fashion industry, and fast fashion in particular is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Committed to ethical and long-term support for her global community of makers, founder Treana Peake meets face-to-face with each artisan in their place of origin, forging meaningful relationships and supporting slow design that honors traditional art. We love the duvet cover sets made by artisans in Portugal, as well as the decorative pillows and blankets sewn with responsibly sourced fabrics.

Their commitment to ethical partnership with their artisans includes fair wages paid on time and often in advance, at prices set by the manufacturers themselves. Originally started in Kenya, Swahili Modern has expanded to employ independent artisans in 15 countries in Africa. The artisanal sector is the second largest employer in developing countries, with immense potential for sustainable development. I will provide information on artisanal production processes through my work as co-founder of Artisan & Fox.

As a member of the Fair Trade Federation and the Alliance for Artisanal Business, The Little Market helps artisans escape poverty by providing them with fair wages and commissions, connecting them to the global market. They celebrate generations of craft traditions in all their exceptional ethically inspired products. The twin brothers wanted to work with artisans who prioritized sustainability and environmental impact. Anchal, which is pronounced on-CHAL, is an accessories and household goods store that empowers its artisans, lifts them out of poverty and keeps them away from the commercial sex trade by providing them with training and employment in fair trade.

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