If you still think of artisans as mere ornaments of tourism or a cottage industry, it may be time to take a closer look at their value and growth potential in the global economy. While “artisanal” has become an easy way to both attract millennials and tease their preferences, the shift towards reviving artisan supply chains is much more than a fleeting trend.
Let’s start by defining an artisan. Most loosely, an artisan is a craftsman who produces a good, whether a textile or accessory, by hand.
Là Fuori, an artisan-centered lifestyle brand, takes the definition a step further to include a generational element that ties a particular craft to cultural heritage and lineage. The artisans her brand works with have often had their craft passed down to them over multiple generations.
Globally, artisan enterprises help employ hundreds of thousands of people and are the second-largest employer in the developing world. It is widely proven that supporting artisans can help balance gender inequality and support local economies both in developed and developing economies, as well as preserve and promote culture and sustainability.
To shed further light on the growth and potential of artisans, Là Fuori shares three reasons why we feel that artisans have a very important role to play in the new economy.
Supporting artisans translates to preserving cultures at risk of erasure
A community’s ability to generate a livelihood through its artisan traditions generates far more cohesion, pride and meaning than the all too common rural dispersion into crowded and polluted urban centers for day wages. And on a broader scale, cultural (like biological) diversity makes us richer and more resilient in both our ability to express ourselves and collaborate meaningfully with others.
Là Fuori discovered that an artisan trade, like block printing, represented much more than a novel mechanical process; it represented an intimate understanding of material and creativity, rooted in a sense of place and shared history.
“To be an artisan then,” we say, “is to be a steward of that deep knowledge and maintain its continuity through dialogue and adaptation.”
Artisans provide a sustainable alternative to problematic industries, like fast fashion
With fast fashion facing criticism for its heavy carbon emissions, water waste and poor treatment of garment workers, consumers are hungry for a new model that offers stylish essentials and accessories.
By opting for brands that focus on small batches, fair wages and one of a kind products, we begin stemming the tide of our compulsive consumption and forging more meaningful relationships with the objects in our lives, not to mention, lessening our environmental impact.
The handicraft market is growing rapidly
When the 2008 global financial crisis drove markets down by nearly a quarter, demand for artisan products kept growing — doubling in value from just six years before.
These promising — and undeniable — numbers motivated Là Fuori, as a premium luxury brand, it keeps us motivated to move forward with a launch line of hand-printed , crafted and hand coutured clothing line, even in the midst of a global pandemic and national recession.
We Là Fuori –
Là Fuori is committed to producing 30% of each collection at the source of inspiration, i.e. directly in contact with the community of craftsmen and artists who inspired us for the garments of a particular season. We share 10% of our profits directly with the weavers, the embroiderers and all the artists with whom we collaborate in our path and the distribution of profits is obviously additional to the salaries we pay for the creation of our products.
Finally, we take care to distribute the money directly to the artisans and we document on the web and our social media channels the entire process of exchange, beauty and growth that we draw from this project in which the local craftsman is the true protagonist of
the Là Fuori brand.
Whether as a sound investment or entrepreneurial venture, artisans represent the future, while, quite profoundly, reconnecting us to our roots.