We’re still buzzing from last week’s #FairCraft event, co-organized with Kate Black from EcoSessions®, and with generous support from the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. Because the event followed the conclusion of the NY NOW gift show, many of our artisan enterprise partners were in town and able to attend, making it a wonderful celebration commemorating the close of the #FairCraft survey.
After an introduction by DEED Director Cynthia Lawson, Research Fellows Nicole Bohrer and Daphna Lewinshtein presented the results of the survey. Some highlights include:
- We received 103 responses representing artisans in 37 countries, and conducted 18 phone and in-person interviews
- There exists no consistent practice across the artisan sector regarding artisan wages
- The majority of enterprises surveyed pay their artisans per piece rather than an hourly (or other) wage
- 85% of survey respondents indicated that they have mechanisms in place to ensure that artisans receive full payment
The event continued with the debut of designer Tara St. James’ Conversations in Craft project, in which a line of sweatshirts embroidered to different degrees in Peru, Afghanistan, and the United States brings to light debates about labor issues, artisan craft collaboration, and the value of workmanship. Also favored by the audience was a presentation by Despina Papadopoulos, who brought to our attention the innovative and richly-illustrated Artisan Toolkit, developed as a business guide for Afghan artisans.
The main draw of the conference was a lively panel discussion on the concept of ‘fair craft,’ moderated by Kate Black and featuring:
- Catherine Lieber Shimony of Global Goods Partners,
- Luna Lee of EILEEN FISHER,
- Claudia Muñoz of Chamuchic, and
- Ellen Fish of Friends of Tilonia.
The heterogeneity of the panelists, in both the cultures and the business structures they represented, allowed for a rich discourse enjoyed by all. Finally, the afternoon concluded with remarks by Peggy Clark, Director of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, which included an update on the organization’s partnership with Kiva as a means to extend financing to artisan partners worldwide.
We would like to thank the audience members and speakers who made the event such a success, especially the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise for providing additional support!