Knowing that the products we purchase are having a positive impact on communities both close and far away is a great feeling. We can help make those positive changes by paying attention to where items come from, how they’re made, and the social and environmental impact they have.
One part of being a conscious consumer is thinking about who makes the essentials and gifts we buy. This isn’t always easy to find out, and not all goods are part of a straightforward or ethical supply chain. But as transparency and social consciousness become a greater priority, businesses are starting to share who exactly is behind their production. At Prosperity Candle, we are proud to share that every candle is handpoured by a woman artisan, but what does artisan mean?
An artisan is someone who makes an item by hand and is usually an expert in her or his specific trade. Artisan products encompass all types of goods, from clothing to home décor to tools. An artisan’s craftsmanship may be rooted in history, as their practices can be native to a specific region or culture and passed down from generations before. There is not one specific artisan made meaning, but most definitions can agree on these elements.
You may see many brands using words and phrases to show that they are ethical and environmentally friendly, and this includes the label “artisan made.” Most times, the word artisan is connected to a small business or a smaller scale of production. It implies that a person, rather than a machine, creates and builds the items by hand, which is not always the case for a lot of the essentials that we buy every day.
Artisan made also suggests that the maker is valued by the business, being treated with respect in a safe work environment and entitled to fair wages (which sadly is not true for all workers in modern day production systems). Or it simply means that you are purchasing directly from the maker herself, and her goods are crafted by hand. It's important to keep in mind, however, that without Fair Trade or other 3rd party verification, "artisan made" does not in itself mean an item is ethically produced.
You might be surprised by how many products are artisan made! Wooden and ceramic goods for our kitchens, textiles for our clothes and bags, and metal and glass pieces for jewelry and décor. Artisan products are candles, toiletries, cosmetics, journals, toys, and so much more that have been handcrafted with care. And on top of tools and décor, artisans also make delicious and authentic baked goods, coffee, cooking oils, and much more in the culinary world.
You may find that products made by artisans tend to be more expensive, but this isn’t without good reason. Artisan made goods are often unique and handmade with a personal touch or cultural significance, and are of a high quality with great attention to detail and materials. The artisans are ideally respected for their craft and paid a fair, livable wage for their work. So when you purchase artisan made products, you’re showing your support for all of these initiatives.
Buying artisan made goods has so many positive effects on communities both near and far. Besides supporting an ethical supply chain and ensuring high quality items (which are still so important), we can also support traditions of skilled work. Technology is often replacing skilled artisans with machines, using lots of energy and materials to mass produce products. When we buy items that are artisan made, we are keeping their skills and traditions going while also keeping the art and personality in our everyday essentials. We are making sure that we can keep buying handmade goods at reasonable prices.
Supporting artisans also allows us to support small or local businesses and show that we as consumers care about who makes our products. Artisan made items tend to put people first, and this idea extends not only to the maker but also to their families and their own community. We can prioritize their creativity and talent in the market, and ensure that they can continue their craft as a respected artisan with a fair wage and in a safe work environment.
Here at Prosperity Candle, our artisans represent our mission of creating a product that benefits not only the consumer but also the woman making it. Our team of artisans are all former refugees who are resettled to the United States and are working to build a brighter future for herself and her family.
There are so many reasons to support artisans and their crafts. When it comes to the products we buy, we can choose to embrace creativity, quality, and integrity in business. We hope you have a better idea when thinking about the artisan made meaning. So the next time you’re shopping in stores or online, try searching for some artisan made products to make a positive impact!
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