Marketplace gives the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market a double-dose of coverage with reports in the morning and evening edition. Last night, they explained the dynamic that forces traditional craftspeople to go upmarket in search sales:
Keith Recker follows the craft market for Hand-Eye magazine.
Keith Recker: The market for used American clothing in West Africa in many cases, particularly in men’s wear, has supplanted traditional garments. And to see it go away in the name of a, you know, a used New York Knicks T-shirt is for me a negative of globalization.
When artisans get priced out of their local market by cheap imports, Recker says they’re forced to adapt.
Recker: Sometimes it means taking on a job in manufacturing, or taking up some other way of making a living. And we lose their skills.
Alternatively, African seamstresses can seek out new venues to sell their work abroad. American Karen Gibbs founded By-Hand Consulting to help artisans link to global markets.
Karen Gibbs: Those handmade textiles from West Africa now has to seek this higher value, more luxury market in order to be competitive.
Santa Fe Festival Boosts International Crafts People (Marketplace.org)