We are artisans.
 We have been artisans since the world began, carving wood, spinning thread, firing pots, smelting ore, weaving the stories of the world into cloth.
We experiment and innovate, shifting shapes, modifying and adapting, because craft isn’t static, it is constantly evolving. We pattern all manner of surfaces, drawing from nature, from dreams, from our wild imaginings. We interlace symbols, glyphs and motifs. We forge beliefs and values. We reconstruct stories from the past that send a message to our future. Our craft is the fabric of life, made by a million hands.
Before gathering the materials we need for our work, we stop and listen to the beatingheart of our earth.
We walk in nature’s rhythms. We adapt to her seasons. We gather fromher bounty.
When we take, we give back, because we understand our role in keeping the world in balance.
And we always leave enough to regenerate so our craft will be unending.
We cooperate and collaborate in a dynamic back and forth of ideas, like the weft thread gliding from side to side on a loom.
Craft is all about relationships, between each other, with our materials, with our world—a tangle of
tangible and intangible values that extend far beyond the financial.
We speak, and we listen. We show respect, and expect the same in return.
We work within global supply chains too, embroidering fine dresses that cost more than a lifetime of wages.
We work at home, in workshops, informally, without security or unions.
Our work ends up in stores around the world where no-one knows who made it.
We are artisans and we acknowledge the dignity of the hand. This is how we work, because this is how we have always worked.
But not everyone sees the world like us, not in these days when the artisanal is losing its artistry, pushed aside by imitations
produced by machine. Is the world so obsessed with speed, volume and identical flawless production it can’t perceive
the beauty in individual variation? Machines rarely make errors. Nor do they carry meaning.
There’s no happiness, no sadness, no emotion in their threads.
Of course, now and then artisanal becomes a trend, but please don’t use us as a hook to sell
more and more products, especially when no artisan has been near them.
 Our crafts—our living, intangible cultural heritage—are at risk as never before.
War,migration, climate change all play their part, and yet the slow and steady erosion oftraditional skills goes mostly unreported,
less newsworthy than more visible impacts of ourchanging world.
But like the organisms at the bottom of our food chain, the ones uponwhom all life depends,
the diversity of our global craft heritage is vanishing, unnoticed bymost beyond its ecosystem.
One by one, artisan trades cease being passed down to the young. They become endangered, then extinct.
And this despite the fact that craft often represents one of the only viable forms of income, particularly for women,
in rural areas around the world. It takes no more than a generation for centuries-old traditions to disappear into dust.
This is why we have come together to create a manifesto for change, calling for dignity of the hand.
Let’s recognise, respect, learn and practise it.
Because the future is artisanal.
1. We are not anonymous.  
We have names. And we come from a place, a people, a culture. At the same time, we recognise that many crafts derive from collective knowledge and cultural expressions. These are held by our community, our culture, and cannot be owned by anyone.
"I am a Rafugar/darner. This is my inheritance from my forefathers. 
From a tear in a students shirt to museum textiles  I have darned them all with my invisible stitches. 
Very few people know of us Rafugars, for to acknowledge us is to acknowledge that valuable textiles have been repaired. 
We are as invisible as our stitches."
 Nadeem Anver, Rafugar of antique museum shawls, Delhi and Najibabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.
2. Acknowledge the intangible values held in our work.
Craft is more than a product—it is a storehouse of ideas, a container for stories, a web of relationships, a carrier of dreams, a means of communication. It is a repository for ways of understanding. 
“The handmade inspires, connecting us with Pachamama, and the energies of the earth. From beginning to  end, a textile is an important work.
But a machine carries no meaning—no happiness, no sadness, no emotion in its threads. It is nameless.
We don’t know who made it. But craft expresses and embodies an energy”.
Braulia Puma Choqueconza, Master Weaver, Urubamba, Chinchero, Peru.
“Lo hecho a mano inspira, nos conecta con la Pachamama y las energías de la tierra. De principio a fin, un textil es una obra importante,
pero una máquina no tiene sentido. No hay felicidad, ni tristeza, ni emoción en sus hilos. No tiene nombre.
No sabemos quién la ha hecho. Pero la artesanía expresa y encarna una energía”
Braulia Puma Choqueconza, Artesana Textil, Urubamba, Chinchero, Peru.
3. Embrace variation.
Our thoughts and dreams are reflected in our work, and as in life there is no uniformity; what may seem like an error or imperfection is a visible mark of the maker’s hand. We relish distinctiveness in the materials we work with, the methods we employ, the forms we build, the dynamics between our communities. Out of diversity comes richness and strength.
"We try to give value to error. This isn’t wrong, it’s different. Error makes us stronger and strengthens our aesthetic."
Alfredo Orozco, Taller Orozco Textil Experimental, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Intentamos dar valor al error. Esto no está mal, es diferente. El error nos hace más fuertes y fortalece nuestra estética'. 
Alfredo Orozco, Taller Orozco Textil Experimental, Oaxaca, México
4. Recognise our connection to the earth.
We are rooted in the earth. We help keep it in balance. When we source natural materials, we begin a dynamic conversation between all forms of life.
“Uywaña, en aymara, y uyway, en Quechua, que significan "crianza mutua”. La crianza mutua genera una conectividad bien grande.
Por ejemplo, con las materias primas. Sin las materias primas, el arte no existe. Para las tejedoras, los tejedores, las ceramistas y los escultores es bien importante la materia prima. La uywaña no es, como dicen los arqueólogos y los historiadores, la domesticación, el dominio del hombre sobre la tierra y la naturaleza.
Ese es un dominio machista, que no tenemos en las comunidades. El término que tenemos es esta crianza mutua de los cuidados máximos.
 Es: yo te cuido como un ser vivo más de este territorio y tú me vas a cuidar a mí también porque yo voy a vestir tu lana.
Yo te doy y tú me das, por eso son cuidados mutuos.”
Elvira Espejo Ayca, Bolivia.
“Uywaña in Aymara and uyway in Quechua both mean "mutual nurture,” which generates great connectivity. For example, without raw materials, art does not exist.
For weavers, ceramists and sculptors, raw materials are essential. Uywaña is not, as archaeologists and historians say, domestication,
the domination of man over the land and nature. That is a sexist dominance, which we do not have in the communities.
The term we have is this mutual nurturing of maximum care.It is: I take care of you as another living being in this territory
and you are going to take care of me too because I am going to wear your wool. I give to you and you give to me, so it's mutual care".
Elvira Espejo Ayca, Bolivia. 
5. Understand that we have always been climate activists.
Not because of the statements we make or the marches we join, but because of the way we live our lives and the manner in which we produce. The practices of circular economy are rooted in our tenets.
“As natural dyers, our commitment to sustainability and the environment is reflected in the way we live. The fabric of our lives is symbiotic with nature.
The colours surround us are seasonal. We live toxin-free, we conserve water, we overdye, we repair, we care.
This is how we choose to live, these are our principles, this is our advocacy.”
Kate Turnbull, Natural dyer, UK
6. Acknowledge craft as a global inheritance.
Our systems of learning are a continuum of adaptation, innovation and the application of practical intelligence. Often, they have been passed down through generations, transmitted orally, honed through apprenticeship and practice. 
“I am the 12th in the line of weavers and my learning comes from my forefathers and their forefathers before them. 
The world has changed since their time but we continue to make - adapting, changing, but staying true to their principals of following the
rhythms of nature, and of teaching the next generation these values.”
Vankar Shamjibhai Vishram, Master-Weaver, Bhujodi, Kutch, Gujarat.

7. Protect our patrimony.
Our designs are too readily copied, centuries of accumulated knowledge and skills are feeding… feed a greedy machine. We call on you to protect our patrimony and learning, for in doing so you will safeguard our livelihood and a global inheritance.
“We live in a small village producing our textile block prints. Yet, people from big cities are copying our designs. We have seen our designs printed by machine on cloth, on ceramics and other material, with no care for our inheritance from our forefathers. This hurts us grievously. How can we stop this? We need help.”
Mohammed Bilal Khatri, Master-block printer, International and National Awardee, Bagh, Madhya Pradesh, India.
8. Collaborate with us in ways that go beyond the transactional.
Our communities, our culture, our way of life are all under threat: from conflict that displaces us; from the impossibly low price we are paid for our work; from those who steal the riches beneath our earth, or lay bare exuberant habitat; from the changing climate. We are not alone in this fight. This affects everyone, wherever you are in the world. 
" Vivimos amenazados, porque quieren abrir las minas, abrir los cerros, y así quedaría todo contaminado, sobre todo el agua, y así los animales morirán, y donde nos vamos a ir? Esto nos afecta a todos! Queremos que nos escuchen y nos respeten, no queremos vivir amenazados, queremos vivir en paz!" 
Hilda Cruz, Artesana Textil, Caspala, Jujuy, Argentina.

"We live under threat, because they want to open the mines, open the mountains, and then everything will be contaminated, especially the water, and then the animals will die, and where are we going to go? This affects us all! We want to be listened to and respected. We don't want to live under threat. We want to live in peace!" 
Hilda Cruz, Artisan Embroiderer, Caspala, Jujuy, Argentina.
9. Recognise that craft is evolutionary.
It is a dynamic progression, never static. A creative process of adaptation, modification and refinement. Craft is our response to what we see all about us.
An echo of the earth’s convulsions. A reflection of cultural fluctuations. We do this for the continuity of our heritage. We do this for our livelihoods.
We do this for the joy of honing our art. We do this to change the world and be of the world.
"Somos personas y por ende únicas, irrepetibles, podemos divergir en opiniones pero siempre hay algo básico en común en nuestra forma de trabajo.
Cada cruce/interacción que tenemos con nuestros similares nos nutre, nos alimenta y nos enseña algo, nos permite evolucionar.
Hemos sido inspiración e iniciación de desarrollos tecnológicos, seguramente aún queda mucho por ofrecer, y aunque actualmente
nos enfrentamos a un escenario nuevo, de constante y vertiginoso cambio, nuestra práctica nos permite volver a nuestras raíces, a bajar el ritmo,
a reconectar con nuestro ser verdadero y profundo."
Miriam Campos Cornelio, Bordadora, San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca, México.

We are people and therefore unique, unrepeatable. We may differ in our opinions, but there is always something fundamental in common
within our way of working. Every interaction with our peers nourishes us, feeds us, and teaches us something, allowing us to evolve.
We have been the inspiration and initiation of technological developments—surely there is still much to offer—and although
we are currently facing a new scenario, of constant and dizzying change, our practice allows us to return to our roots, to slow down,
to reconnect with our true and intimate self."
Miriam Campos Cornelio, Artisan Embroiderer, San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca, México.

We call on you to recognise the dignity of the hand and its connection to the human spirit.

We are artisans. We who write our names below are but a few of the millions of artisans around the world, but we represent the voice of hundreds within our own communities. Our hope is that artisans from Alaska to Zimbabwe will join us in putting their names to this manifesto for change. 

Would you like to add your name to this list?
Get in touch with us to learn more!


Carry Somers, Sol Marinucci, Ritu Sethi, Braulia Puma Choqueconza, Laura Chimil Bollo, juhi pandey, ana paula fuentes quintana, Shehnaaj BanO, ELVIRA ESPEJO AYCA, Petrona Luere, Sureshkumar Maganlal Dhaiyda, Rajiben Vankar, malika verma, Nadeem Anver, Alfredo Orozco, Kate Turnbull, Vankar Shamjibhai Vishram, Mohammed Bilal Khatri, Hilda Cruz, Miriam Campos Cornelio, Carry Somers, Sol Marinucci, Ritu Sethi, Braulia Puma Choqueconza, Laura Chimil Bollo, juhi pandey, ana paula fuentes quintana, Shehnaaj BanO, ELVIRA ESPEJO AYCA, Petrona Luere, Sureshkumar Maganlal Dhaiyda, Rajiben Vankar, malika verma, Nadeem Anver, Alfredo Orozco, Kate Turnbull, Vankar Shamjibhai Vishram, Mohammed Bilal Khatri, Hilda Cruz, Miriam Campos Cornelio, Carry Somers, Sol Marinucci, Ritu Sethi, Braulia Puma Choqueconza, Laura Chimil Bollo, juhi pandey, ana paula fuentes quintana, Shehnaaj BanO, ELVIRA ESPEJO AYCA, Petrona Luere, Sureshkumar Maganlal Dhaiyda, Rajiben Vankar, malika verma, Nadeem Anver, Alfredo Orozco, Kate Turnbull, Vankar Shamjibhai Vishram, Mohammed Bilal Khatri, Hilda Cruz, Miriam Campos Cornelio,

A Non Profit Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee, Company Number 14560894. 70 Derby Street, Leek, Staffordshire, UK.

Website designed by Irregulars Alliance LLP