Post Industrial Blues or, The Plight of Today’s Artisan


A friend of mine sent me a link to this article and it pissed me off to no end.


This seemed like just the article Etsy wants needs to back up their decision to allow machine manufactured goods (aka mass-produced goods), which has been met with much outrage in the artisan community.

I think it’s unfair. Etsy is being greedy. They changed their whole ethos (and effectively their original mission statement) by implementing this rule. Do you know why they did it? To keep the top 10% of sellers (who bring in most of the money) happy, thus keeping them from migrating to their own websites or other e-commerce platforms.

In this post-Industrial Age era, pretty much everything in our lives are massed produced. Etsy (and other sites like it) filled a once diminishing and much-needed niche: one of a kind goods made by small businesses. The author said one thing I wholeheartedly agree with: “Making things by hand is slow. Really slow.” That is part of the charm of getting something custom made… you know at the end of it all, a real human being took their time to make you something awesome and one of a kind–it’s the difference between buying a custom knit scarf and buying a scarf from Target that 406969707 other people will also have this winter. Handmade doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that went into that item was made by hand; that’s a ridiculous way to justify mass-produced goods as legitimately handmade and I am sad that this was used as an excuse.

If you have other people helping you, that’s great–collectives have been and are allowed by Etsy and they still count as handmade. But, if you have 23040 Indian women making your shit…. it’s considered factory made. YOU or other persons you know didn’t make it. End of story.


Thanks for the love <3

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