Why Preserving Handcraftsmanship Matters

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 months ago | Features

Image: designer Holly Ryan handcrafting jewellery. 

Most fashion is handcrafted – at least in the sense that people, rather than Terminator-like robots, made it. But not all handcrafted fashion is created equal. Which is to say that not all handcrafted fashion upholds the cultural value of age-old craftsmanship. This is a problem, because as Business of Fashion points out, traditional craftsmanship is “on the verge of extinction” right now. Enter handcrafted jewellery, which is made using ancient techniques and is built to last.

The trend cycle in clothing tends to move much faster than it does in jewellery. And, unlike clothing, the materials used in jewellery making – like silver and gold – never actually lose their value. Which means that they can be passed down through the generations, or even repurposed into new pieces by melting down the raw materials. Most importantly, though, the handcrafted nature of jewellery represents the continuation of traditional techniques that have existed for centuries.

According to Tanja Kovacevic, designer of Petite Grand, "it is important to invest in anything handmade. It is so much more special and you can feel the energy of the person who made it. You are more likely to hold onto handmade pieces for a long time and they can serve as a memory of a special time in your life." This is pretty vital, in an era where speed is king and cheaply made pieces are not the exception, but the rule.

The storytelling aspect of handcrafted jewellery is also second to none. These pieces are an investment in sartorial self-expression – nothing adds personality like a statement earring ­– and they can become future heirlooms too. “I aim to create timeless investment pieces” explains jeweller Holly Ryan, for example. “Pieces that you will wear every day, for years to come and potentially even pass on as an heirloom.”

In this way, jewellery is pretty symbiotic with the Well Made Clothes MO: to bring you well-made pieces with ethical values and a great story to tell. So, in this spirit, here are some of our favourite handcrafted jewellery selects:

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