Technology has brought about many advantages in the way many things are manufactured. Now, it’s easier and faster to mass produce many things. This is a boon in many ways for both businesses and consumers. However, this does not mean handmade things have been relegated to irrelevance and disfavour. In fact, there are reasons why some people still prefer handmade things. These reasons can be summed up as follows:
There are things that just need the delicate touch of a human hand. They will not appear as special or valuable when they are made in mass production facilities. Handmade pearl earrings, for example, are deemed more valuable not only because of the pearls in them but also because of the effort put into creating them. They are not churned out in the same way most commercial products are manufactured so they come out with subtle differences, hence deemed more precious than mass-produced ones.
Handmade things tend to stand out because they are one of a kind. Handmade things will always have something that will differentiate them from others. If you want something that is unlike anything being offered on the market, you should get something handcrafted. Of course, this does not necessarily apply to everything, especially mundane consumer goods being offered by local communities. Community entrepreneurs or cooperatives want to maintain consistent quality (appearance-wise in particular) when producing products in volume. The uniqueness advantage being discussed here is more related to high-value items like jewellery, furniture, and special accessories.
Contributing to Local Economic Activity
When you patronise handmade products, you are contributing to helping people have a source of income. You are helping entrepreneurial ventures, especially those of small businesses. You are likely contributing to the economic activity of a small community. Many handmade products come from sole-proprietorships or cooperative businesses in rural areas. They could be selling them directly to customers or selling them to middlemen and retailers. Either way, when you buy handmade products, you are helping small businesses sustain their operations or grow. You could also be helping businesses provide employment to locals.
Handmade crafts do not typically involve the use of processes and supplies that damage the environment or affect communities. They are usually on a small scale and only require manual labour to create things out of certain raw materials. Handmade products don’t only provide income opportunities or jobs in communities; they also make this possible without adversely affecting the environment and people. It can be said that they are environmentally sustainable.
Making You Feel Good about a Purchase
Ultimately, choosing to buy handmade products can make you feel good about your purchase. With the advantages briefly discussed above, you might even feel proud supporting handmade products. It’s not just about having something that is unique and delicately crafted. It’s also about you as a consumer contributing something to create income or employment opportunities for local communities and supporting businesses that are environmentally friendly. Handmade products are certainly not perfect, but they offer a number of advantages that go beyond what you will find in the products themselves.