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The fashion industry isn’t as glamorous as many people believe. Prada, Gucci, and Channel aren’t the main brands most people use. The truth is that several fast-fashion brands are ridden with the exploitation of people and the planet.

These brands make their staff work like slaves for hours while trapped in poverty. They also take a significant toll on our environment, generating vast amounts of waste and pollution while making clothes and accessories.

However, there is a solution to this: supporting our local artisans and workers who put their heart and soul into their pieces. Buying from them empowers the local economy and protects the planet. In this article, we will learn more about the current state of artisans in the world and how they positively impact our society.

Where Do Artisans Stand Today?

The truth is that being an artisan isn’t easy. It takes tremendous creativity and skills to create the magnificent, handcrafted pieces they make. They also need to have a sense of responsibility to create as many pieces as their clients need while knowing their clothes will never be the same, as each of them is a unique masterpiece.

It is also difficult to not know whether they will have enough orders to pay their bills or if the materials will go to waste due to a canceled order. They must also be aware of delivery times and all the risk factors that come with being an artisan.

This is the sad reality that all artisans experience when working on their own, but working for a company is no better than that. They have the most important job in the fashion industry, yet they’re at the bottom of the power structure. These companies expect to hire the best artisans who deliver incredible and high-quality pieces but pay them as little as possible.

That’s why fast fashion brands are often criticized and boycotted. How much could they be paying their workers if the pieces they sell are so cheap?

Is the Support for Artisans Increasing?

Several fashion experts have explained that 80% of the manufacturing sector in India is unorganized and depends on local buyers to continue functioning. This means that they would be the first people to suffer economically due to the rise of the fast fashion industry.

On the other hand, other experts have coined the term “highly skilled artisans” to refer to those craftsmen who specialize in handicrafts and detailed embroidery. Huge brands, such as Dior, Chanel, and Gucci, usually search for these artisans to create their pieces, and although they receive much better pay, they’re still highly unrecognized for their labor. On the other hand, online shops such as Etsy, Novica or Discovered offer artisans a platform to sell their products and reach costumers.

It is crucial for us as a society to recognize the cultural labor of artisans in the world, as they’re not merely a way of making money through clothes. They create art and cultural nourishment. We have started seeing fantastic clothing pieces being exhibited in museums, just like paintings and sculptures, which helps us understand how amazing the labor of our artisans really is.

Bottom Line

Over time, artisans have been exploited and unrecognized. Instead, huge brands get all their credit. These are the same brands that pay their artisans the lowest possible wages and appropriate their art pieces.

It is time for this to change and for us to appreciate the artists behind the clothes we wear on a daily basis, and we can start doing it by supporting our local artisans or relying on companies with a social purpose.

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