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The global handicrafts market was worth US$ 663.9 Billion in 2019. Handicrafts refer to products that are handmade using simple tools and represent the culture and traditions of a country or region. Their production requires considerable hand-eye coordination and intense concentration. Each handcrafted product is unique as each crafts person applies their strength differently, owing to which every product has distinct qualities. Handicrafts play a vital role in the economic development of a country as they are a prominent medium for foreign exchange revenue, require low capital investments and offer employment opportunities. In addition, handicraft items are perceived as a symbol of status owing to their uniqueness, quality, usage of natural materials, and the essence of vibrant art and culture.
In recent years, with the emergence of online retail and the proliferation of various e-commerce channels, the accessibility to handicrafts has become more convenient for consumers. This has provided a boost to the sales of handcrafted goods across the globe. Another factor driving the market growth is the shift from ethnic to contemporary designs, coupled with the strong demand from offices, hospitals and hotels. Apart from this, the growing travel and tourism industry has provided vast opportunities to local artisans and handicraft manufacturers to produce commoditized products and sell them to tourists who are willing to spend significantly on souvenirs and other craft items. Moreover, handicrafts have lower energy requirements, unlike machine-made products which involve the utilization of electricity and various other fuels. On account of the low capital investments, the industry is flourishing, particularly in the developing regions such as India. We expect the global handicrafts market to continue its moderate growth during the next five years.
Breakup by Product Type:
Handprinted Textiles and Scarves
Embroidered and Crocheted Goods
Zari and Zari Goods
Pottery and Glass wares
Attars and Agarbattis
On the basis of the product type, woodware currently represents the most popular type of handicraft products across the globe. These woodwares are also used in the manufacturing of kitchenware, decorative materials, toys, etc.
Breakup by Distribution Channel:
Region-wise, North America exhibits a clear dominance in the market as consumers in the region are willing to spend substantially on handicrafts, including handmade jewelry, apparel and handcrafted home accessories.
The global handicrafts market is fragmented in nature with the presence of a large number of small and big manufacturers. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
Fakih Group of Companies
Shandong Laizhou Arts and Crafts
Ten Thousand Villages
Oriental Handicrafts Pte. Ltd.
NGOC Dong Ha Nam
Minhou Minxing Weaving Co. Ltd.
Native Crafts and Arts Industries
Our artisan and weaver communities in India – the creators and makers who, strangely and sadly, benefit the least from our country’s unparalleled handmade in India industry that is the second largest employment generator and contributes US$4 bn to India’s export earnings.
In India we have more than 7 million artisans and over 200 million people involved in this industry, we need to start somewhere. So, we, DMZ International is working now on promoting Chendamangalam Handlooms as our Initial step towards helping the handmade in India initiative. Though Chendamangalam weavers raised like a phoenix from the ashes of 2018 & 2019 Kerala Flood with the help of many celebrities and NGOs, now again they are hit by corona virus-induced Pandemic.
The corona virus-induced lock-down and a dull Vishu in 2020 turned the wheels of time and a pall of gloom has fallen over the weaving sector again now.
Onam and Vishu are decisive festivals for the industry. While 60 per cent of the handloom stock is sold during Onam, the remaining 40 per cent sells during Vishu. The latter’s sales provide for procuring the raw materials required for the upcoming Onam and salary for the weavers. However, the lock-down has spelt doom to the livelihood of weavers. According to them, not a single piece of festive wear was sold this season. They had made several hundred festive outfits for the season. Not a single piece has been sold. These can’t be sold later owing to the crashing economy. The public may have just enough money to procure essentials. Weavers have been weaving looms at home but the raw materials are unavailable. There’s barely any money to buy medicines for weavers. The government had promised `1,000 from the Welfare Fund but they haven’t received the same. Currently, they are surviving on the free ration provided by the government.
The free uniform scheme in the state, which doubled income for weavers in the sector, hasn’t fed their stomachs this time either. Hantex usually collects all the completed uniforms, but a month’s worth uniforms lies uncollected in the godown.
While several sectors have been plagued due to the pandemic, the weaving industry is likely to be among the worst affected. They just got back on their feet only to fall again. I’m afraid that the sector is heading towards doom again after the rebirth of floods in 2018 & 2019. Keeping aside the availability of raw material, weavers are unable to repay their loans and interest. Around 60 per cent of them have availed the Mudra loans from nationalized banks. Simultaneously, as the weavers haven’t worked for the past 40 days, they have been unable to pay their part towards ESI (Employee State Insurance Scheme), thereby making them ineligible for free hospital treatment.
They had expected a huge sale for this year’s Vishu. Weavers began making clothes from October and completed the same by mid-March. By then, the lock-down was almost in place. This year, they had even received several orders from Gulf Malayalis. Special sarees and collections were made but they’re unsold too.
It’s a FACT that a handloom product provides livelihood to minimum of 5 people. Also Its a FACT that timeless legacy of our cultural heritage, the handloom sector is the second largest employer after agriculture that keeps the rural economy alive.
So, DMZ International is currently working with Amazon to promote the Chendamangalam Handlooms in below countries:
United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia &
Currently the Chendamangalam weavers are living in the memories of a prestigious past and the calamities of the presets. They dream of a forthcoming good for the handloom sector which was their life and livelihood. We are ready to help them with our full potential to achieve this dream and to protect the age-old craft!
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