It is a more ethical and human form of consumption, although many times are more expensive products than those elaborated industrially. Crafts and their knowledge respond to a different logic than to maximize economic profits, producing, however, other benefits, both in communities and creative people and in those people who consume them.
They provide cultural value
In many cases they are traditions of undeniable value, which are inherited in the family bond perpetuating and making known the culture of peoples.
They improve the quality of life of people
Crafts are created by people or groups of young people who develop an art and do so manually. When we consume artisanal products, we value the technique and creativity of the people who make them. It is understandable, therefore, that its consumption improves the quality of life of people in particular, not of corporations.
They are friendly to the environment
Artisanal products are made on many occasions with subjects that are achieved naturally in the environment where artisans live, and production is manual, therefore, large amounts of energy are not needed and do not produce waste.
It is a more feminist form of consumption
Artisanal production implies the solution for many women and their families, being able to work autonomously or collectively, organizing to reconcile with family life. They enhance entrepreneurship by allowing the creation of collaboration and mutual help networks among women. Such is the case that initiatives are growing throughout the world that enhance association between artisan women and the transmission of knowledge, knowledge of undeniable value that helps perpetuate cultural and regional identity.
An example of these initiatives is Makiwan, a network of textile artisan organizations in the province of Jujuy, Argentina. It is composed of more than 300 artisans from 25 communities. It is an alliance of different origins and ethnicities, which aims to enhance crafts in flame fiber and vicuña. They have a store to the public in Tilcara, the Humahuaca ravine, with a very good level of sales that has allowed their members to improve their quality of life and its productive workshops. In 2018 they made the first collective collection of garments. Today, they are advancing in the formation of an export consortium and in the opening of new marketing lines abroad. This project seeks to strengthen the autonomy of indigenous women and promote export with origin of origin, sustainable development objectives included in the 2030 Agenda. This project is only an example, there are many similar ones around the world with a booming trend in recent years .
These initiatives imply an example of sorority as a job strategy to the existing social and economic disadvantage, which allow women to progress and empower themselves through cohesion and defense of the same facing neoliberal logic.
If we consume with ethical awareness, knowing where the products come from, who elaborates them and in what way, we will contribute to this world being a more fair and balanced place, as Eduardo Galeano said:
“They are small things. They do not end with poverty, they do not take us out of underdevelopment, they do not socialize the means of production and change, do not expropriate the caves of Ali Babá. But they may trigger the joy of doing, and translate it into acts. And, after all, act on reality and change it, even if it is a little, it is the only way to prove that reality is transformable. ”
María Sancho, Social Worker and Master in Gender Relations