A few decades before fast fashion took hold of our wardrobes with their reduced pricing, we had to completely rely on handmade clothing. Unlike a mindless machine churning out products, making f artisanal goods is a deliberate process. Now we no longer see artisanal clothing as main shopping, but more as a collector’s pride. The effect of this skewed market is that artisans cannot sustain this alone. Many of them left making crafts because it does not provide enough to sustain a livelihood. Many artisans who are currently creating handicrafts are way past their jubilant youth. Many crafts are slowly heading towards extinction.
Many artisans see this as an emblem of heritage something they preserve as a part of their legacy. They are keen on preserving it even if it does not give them much in return. It is a misconception that they lack business acumen. They do, but they do not have enough technology or capital to use this in capital and tech-driven world.
Here comes the scope of Self-help groups amicably called SHGs. Artisans, especially women can collaborate and work to find credit and market their goods to a larger audience. Being in a group not only empowers them financially but also gives them better product ideas. This will help them to sustain in the craft much longer than they would have otherwise.
Companies with CSR policies and commitment towards local culture can promote handicrafts. They can commit a certain amount to develop skills and techniques for the artisans. Governments should form trusts and funds that would handhold craft clusters through the initial period. As many artisans work in form of MSMEs, they can be provided help through specific schemes.
However many artisans use chemicals lavishly in their processing, taking away their chance to receive complete benefits of the organic and sustainable fashion market. They need to go back to complete traditional way of using organic materials which can fetch them certifications and premium price in international markets