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Handmade Makes a Comeback

Handmade Makes a Comeback

"The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect."

December 19, 2007 —

One wouldn't normally associate knitting or candle making with a backlash against mass consumer culture, but perhaps it's time to. According to a piece in this week's NY Times Magazine, D.I.Y.-ism — a movement normally associated with underground music, film, and zines — has spread to the handmade crafts market. This influx of young people has not only served to revitalize arts and crafts, but has lead to a remarkable web presence and a movement of sorts, against the Wal-Mart ethos and in support of uniqueness and self-sufficiency in the consumer products market.

The online crafts dealer has more than 70,000 registered merchants, offering items like hand-knitted mouse cozies, clocks made from recycled circuit boards, and thousands of different jewelry styles. Many of the merchants on Etsy are able to support themselves entirely on the money they make peddling these handmade goods, while others just do it for a hobby or second source of income. Whether or not you view D.I.Y. knick-knacks as our best defense against an economy based on disposable, mass-produced goods, you can be sure that nothing you buy on Etsy has been made in a sweatshop.



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