What Does Artisan-Made Mean?
In a society that heavily mass-produces, I am constantly fascinated by brands who ethically source artisans in communities around the world to lead their slow manufacturing process, to honor the heritage and skill that is often found in these communities. This small-scale model, is a huge step in offering a shift in our culture’s reliance on mass production. Offering the alternative to purchase products that are made by hand, slowly and consciously whether it be in the U.S. or sourced elsewhere.
Of course, it is a complicated idea to hop over to Bali (let's say) and find a textile weaver to create the dresses you are wanting to sell here in the U.S. There is a delicate balance of deeply understanding the culture, community, and economy within these places before this type of business model can be possible and not to mention ethical.
My friend Renata’s brand Muna Skye is a wonderful example of this artisan-made model. Her stunning bag collection was started in 2017 in a small town in Nicaragua where her family is from. I wanted to learn more about her process and hear how it call started:
This slow design process is an involved one and I wanted to learn more about the start-to-finish production process:
We don’t often consider where our products are made or even who made them. We are most concerned with the final result. This way of thinking allows for an overabundance of products being sold, unethical labor practices and the loss of heritage driven craftsmanship. Of course, we don’t need to only shop artisan made but understanding where our products are made, and who made them, is extremely important in helping to eliminate our society’s mass-produced way of shopping.
Photos by: Felicia Lasala
Bags: Muna Skye
Dress: hand-dyed silk vintage dress