The Handmade Movement and Trends in Social Entrepreneurship

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Industry News, Social Entrepreneurs

I’ve been a fan of the do-it-yourself movement for a long time so, by osmosis, the handmade movement has also been something I keep an eye on as a great alternative to products that are more mainstream. Before was as enormous as it is now, I used it frequently for knick-knacky stuff and one of a kind clothes.

That said, I recently bumped into an awesome post that made an interesting connection between the handmade movement, specifically at the Renegade CraftHandmade Movement Fair, and the future of social entrepreneurship as an industry. The article’s main points were that the do-it-yourself-ers are social entrepreneurs in the most basic form, and that the industry is moving in that direction. Specifically there are 3 main points:

1. Entrepreneurship is Increasingly Social

– Couldn’t agree more. As someone in the industry, I see on a daily basis the amount of people that have a deep-rooted mistrust for large companies and their business practices. Smaller companies have more flexibility and generally can keep their core values less diluted without the various business changes (acquisitions, downsizes, poor company culture commitment, etc). Not only that, but new start ups usually are the most environmentally friendly, mainly because they don’t have the funds to not be. If there are light bulbs that use half electricity and save money, those make more sense.

2. Technology Makes Social Entrepreneurship Viable

-Once again couldn’t agree more. But I would say that it makes it more viable. Framing different philanthropic and environmental missions as investment for the future helps give businesses a bigger perspective. From the standpoint of an individual making handmade goods like pillows or mittens, websites like Etsy have produced a new, worldwide marketplace overnight. Rather than being tied down locationally, these producers generally run into the bottleneck of production volume more frequently if they have high demand goods.

3. Market Demand is Moving to the Social

-We’re in an age where people are expecting more and more from the companies they buy from. Brands require more backstories and image than they did 20 years ago. When you wear TOMS shoes, you’re not just wearing comfortable shoes, you’re wearing something that put shoes on a kid’s feet. When you buy from Charity Water, you know that you are also giving someone else clean water that they wouldn’t normally have. As a society, when we buy a product we are coming to expect a cause and epic story behind it. This is one of the opportunities we saw at ROOZT: to give these entrepreneurs a spotlight while fulfilling the growing need for people to be connected with their brands. What better connection and business model than to support causes that can literally change the world?

The future holds an endless amount for social entrepreneurs, and we’re excited at ROOZT to be involved! Check out the original post and stay close to keep up with what new stuff we’re throwing your way

Peace, Love, ROOZT

-ND with the ROOZT team


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