Preservation of traditional craftsmanship
Arts and crafts and artists should be taken seriously. In a world of fashion as fast moving as we are experiencing right now, there is growing concern about the loss of craft cultures and techniques. Before today's global fashion model, there were different and very locally recognisable types of clothing in many places. While the different types of clothing are not so easily recognisable in recently developed countries like Australia, there are other countries like Japan with their kimonos or India, the land of the sari. In each culture and region, traditional knowledge about manufacturing, handicrafts and arts and crafts has been passed down through the centuries.
Handicraft quality gets lost
As fashion becomes cheaper and cheaper worldwide, production shifted abroad. As a result, many of these traditional practices and skills are being lost, either due to a lack of demand for traditional clothing or due to cultural changes to follow fashion trends or the availability of cheap fashion. The demand for high quality clothes has declined as consumption has increased. Those who are now trained in cutting, making and sewing no longer have the same level of finesse and craftsmanship as is known from, for example, Italian boot makers or handmade French lace.
Why second-hand shopping is not the only sustainable option
Second-hand shopping can be a really great way to buy new clothes without polluting the environment. And why? Because second-hand shopping does not require new resources and you save an item from going to the landfill. In some cases you also donate to charity when you buy from a Second-Hand organisation that supports charities.
Regardless of how great this opportunity is, there are many reasons to choose to buy from craftsmen. When you support a craftsman, whether it is a jeweler from a neighbouring country wearing local wooden beads and fashion from local artists, or a Peruvian label that promotes traditional manufacturing practices and uses sustainable fibers, you are supporting the development of community spirit and the preservation of traditional knowledge.
Implementation of the intentions in the current situation
A very recent case shows the current situation of the Corona Virus. People are now only allowed to leave the house wearing face, mouth and nose masks. Look around, many small shops in your area make such masks, support them and don't buy cheap plastic masks from abroad. Implement your intentions right here and now.
ECOLOOKBOOK lists small labels that do their best to help maintain the craftsmanship.