Photograph by Simon Mills
9 August 2018
Craft-practice is vital to the prosperity of South East Asia. As a core expression of cultural identity, craft-practice provides an important lens for interpreting historical and contemporary norms regionally, nationally and locally. It continues to inspire local designers to innovate and differentiate themselves and cultural products in a global market-place.
The craft industry is also an extensive employer, particularly for women and those more isolated in rural areas who have the opportunity to enrich their local communities. The sector’s success provides opportunities for governments and NGOs alike to work towards Global Sustainable Development goals such as gender equality, responsible consumption and environmental sustainability.
Yet, the craft sector is facing a number of challenges. In an increasingly inter-connected marketplace, artisans are facing competition and pressure on their raw materials, work-force and the quality of their work and approaches. Their market has shifted from local communities to a much wider, more competitive and more demanding consumer base.
All of these factors are influencing artisans’ livelihoods as well as their approach to the design and production of their craft-practice.
This report, carried out by Love Frankie, identifies ways in which the craft sector can prioritise and tackle common challenges using digital channels, products and tools.