All around the world, there are artisan traditions rooted in ancestry, whose transmission and diffusion are often limited to the perimeters of the local community that applies and perpetuates them.
Some knowing connoisseurs, whose interest in savoir-faire is matched with a strong desire to benefit people and to help consumer habits and world commerce evolve, have decided to change this: they set out with contemporary communication and marketing tools as well as commercial strategies in the service of local production, to increase their visibility and diffusion– guaranteeing as well a higher standard of living for artisans.
Three web projects involved in this type of activity:
Market Colors organizes training in Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi: artisans transmit their savoir-faire to impoverished women, thereby giving them a sustainable way to meet their needs. The association promotes the products of this training throughout the world through their website: you can buy bags, scarves, pocketbooks and iPad covers, all entirely made by hand and accompanied by information about the artisan and the origin of manufacture.
Manos del Uruguay is an association created in 1968 and a member of the World Fair Trade Organization since 2009. A fervent definer of Uruguayan identity and tradition, Manos works to improve living conditions of local populations through sustainable economic growth and increasing work opportunities for women in precarious situations. Their method? The organization of small groups of women-workers, previously isolated, into cooperatives, always local yet focused on innovation and the future, careful above all about preserving traditional skills. The result? A hand-spun wool sold in Europe and in the United States in unique colors — ponchos, stoles, and vests created by hand and bearing the signature of the designer and the location of fabrication.
Lydali is an online sales platform driven as much by aesthetics as by ethics. Starting from the principle that talent is universal while opportunities are often not, Lydali attempts to use the potential of globalized commerce and interest in scaled-down consumption to help those with real know-how to get out of poverty. The site offers a fresh and transparent way to buy by connection the consumer directly with the artisan producing their product. The Lydali client buys pocketbooks from the Proud Mary cooperative in Guatemala (who use traditional weaving and dyeing methods), bracelets from Peace Cord woven by Afghan women, or perhaps Shupaca shawls, woven of alpaca on wooden looms according to centuries-old methods…
These three sites, beyond their ethical dimensions, illustrate as well an attachment to the uniqueness of the artisanal object and the value of savoir-faire in their creations: by valuing the human hand hidden behind these objects, each piece incarnates and tells many stories, at once human, technological and cultural.