Bringing Back Handmade - Are We Now Seeing the Appeal?

What has happened to our handmade culture? There have been many TV shows recently showcasing British talent, real handmade manufacturing done right here on our own soil, going back to something we appear to have left behind.

The biggest key change in our culture over recent years is wanting something for nothing. We are a nation willing to sacrifice quality for price. Our demand has increased, we want things "now" and at exceptionally low costs.

But are we also a changing culture? With the real love for Vintage fashions and accessorising, we have begun to recognise that in fact quality is worth a lot more and the days of real manufacturing should no longer be a thing of the past?

Recent TV personalities such as Mary Portas have certainly made a case for this. Mary's most recent TV show (The Bottom Line) aimed at kick starting the British manufacturing industry again, promoting home manufacturing rather than outsourcing and mass producing. She explains that this isn't about paying over the odds for goods, it is just anti the cheap products that compromises ethics, quality and values, "You know what the truth of this is: stop being so greedy. It's greed and gain that got us into the state this country's in today".

As a consumer we are seeing an increased awareness that perhaps cheaper mass produced products come at a cost. Consumers are now leaning towards quality goods, knowing that this is what we as a nation deserve and should strive for.

But how do we go about purchasing unique hand made products? It is true to say that finding little boutiques on the average high street is increasingly difficult. So how do we live out this ideal? It is a fact that online shopping is big news in the UK and gaining in popularity. With this shift in our purchasing habits we have been graced with some great websites where consumers are able to purchase such goods direct from the designers and hobby crafters (such as and

A real trend has also seen the popularity of second hand shops particularly those that promote vintage style. This has really helped boost interest in an era of elegance and quality.

The popularity for vintage style has most certainly grown over recent years. More and more individuals are seeking an alternative way of defining their style and culture. Pushing the boundaries and taking their images back into "vintage decades" they think best reflect them.

The wedding stationery industry is also starting to realise this and where once there were very bland mass produced cards, there now seems to be a demand for something unique, something that reflects the couples style and individualism. Couples want to wow their guests announcing their wedding with style, making theirs stand out from the rest.

Again, the term "vintage" has been a great boost for this industry as more and more designers are beginning to realise that there is more to wedding stationery than just a printed piece of card.

Slowly we are beginning to see wedding stationery evolve into handmade products, where designers use elegant touches such as vintage styled jewelled embellishments, buttons, lace and pearls.

Our passion for an era gone-by has been a great boost to the design industry showcasing British talent and style, encouraging handmade luxury.

But will this passion be enough to take on the mass produced industry? Even if a new fad kicks in and the image of Vintage begins to fade for some, I would like to think that it has at least opened a gateway to peoples understanding of quality and beauty. The hope is that we encourage and promote the growth of handmade products. We should view such products as a way of growing our sense of individualism and reflecting our style in a way that mass produced goods just can't do.

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