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Keeping Up With the Trend – Artisna Finds Out How

Rapid changes in market trends indicate that the underestimated handicraft industry will witness changes sooner than we thought. Future holds a rather large scope for hand crafted items because of instant communication channels and competition among mass producing retailers and wholesalers. In the next 5 to10 years, product life cycles are expected to shorten further and this will cause more burden of manufacturing unique and longer lasting products for consumers. According to a study conducted by the USAID (United States Agency for International Development), world markets are becoming increasingly integrated as a result of improvements in technology, more competitive transportation and communication costs, and reduced trade barriers. Globalization has accelerated a trend that is not new: the growing commoditization of handicraft production.

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At various times in history, mass-produced factory items have replaced goods that were formerly made exclusively by artisans. As early as in the 19th century, centers like Paisley in Scotland grew around the production of machine-made versions of handcrafted textiles such as the highly prized shawls of Kashmir in India. Today, many observers fear that the advance of globalization has intensified the precarious existence of artisan communities through increasing global competition, the mass production of craft goods, and rapidly shifting trends in fashion, cultural taste, and aesthetics. From a different perspective, globalization has opened up significant new market opportunities for handicraft producers.

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A recent study of India’s handicraft sector for instance argues that the risk that handcrafted products will be phased out due to competition from mechanized industries is overblown. In fact, demand for handmade global and cultural goods has and will continue to grow with increased international and domestic tourism, growing interest in interior decoration, greater spending on home furnishings, and as a reaction (especially in upscale markets) to the homogenization of mass-produced goods. Our organization follows the principle of welfare for all and we live and work by it through and through. We bring the world closer to the artisan community and their talent to the forefront.

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The impact of globalization is palpable and practically tangible; therefore access to market information becomes necessary to be able to comply with buyer requirements. Though the handmade goods sector wins the battle when it comes to providing unique, long lasting and beautiful creations in every piece, staying abreast of the market trends is still a major challenge. This is primarily due to lack of awareness which Artisna aims to do away with. Our volunteers and in-house teams are engaged in constant activities to educate the skilled but naïve creators from around the world. We seek your support in helping these artists retain their one of kind tradition and culture through this platform.

Lily Evans

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