12 Reasons Why Indian Handicrafts are Considered Sustainable and Eco-friendly
In recent years, we have seen extreme exploitation of mother Earth which has come in numerous forms. Whether it be the forest fires of Australia or the rising temperatures in different parts of the country, we have seen it all. It has become imperative that we, as the most intelligent of all the species present on this planet, step up and initiate proper actions for the protection and sustainability of Earth. Using eco-friendly and sustainable goods along with a reduction in pollution are the primary objectives which we should focus on. Here is where Indian handicrafts are helping a lot. Arts and crafts produced by the artisans across rural and urban parts of India are mainly eco-friendly and sustainable in nature. India has gained a reputation for the production of such goods in the global market. Let us now go through the 12 reasons and understand why Indian handicrafts are considered sustainable and eco-friendly.
Table of Contents
- Usage of Natural Fiber
- Usage of Eco-friendly Paint
- Energy Efficiency
- Use of New and Renewable Energy
- Waste Minimisation and Beneficial Uses of Waste
- Raw Materials Used in the Production are Indigenous and Renewable
- Production Process is Traditional and Environment Friendly
- Increasing Use of ICT in Production for Improving Productivity and Sustainability
- Skill Upgradation of Artisans Especially from the SCP Angle
- Increasing Investment in Research and Development for the Development of Green Technologies
- Usage of Natural Dyes
- Reduction in Pollution
Usage of Natural Fiber
Fiber is a natural or man-made substance that usually has hair-like structures which means that they are longer in size but not wider. They can be compared to a thread that can have continuous filaments or separate elongated items. We can spin the fibers into rope, filament, or thread. These fibers are very helpful to create composite materials. Fibers that are made artificially are harmful to nature. However, fibers that are made of plant, animal and mineral sources are eco-friendly. India has abundant sources of natural fibers which is evident from the handicrafts that they produce. Natural fibers like cotton, flax, coconut, jute, hemp, cellulose fiber, sisal, silk, wool, alpaca and so on are used in the production of various handicrafts across the country.
Usage of Eco-friendly Paint
Paints that are produced artificially can have numerous ill effects. At the primary level, it is the cause of pollution. It can cause sick effects like burning eyes, irritated skin, headaches, minor skin burns, dizziness and so on. At the secondary level, these artificial paints can become the reason for skin cancer, asthma, urinary disease and so on. Thus, it is very important that we avoid these artificial paints and stick on to the eco-friendly paints that are made up of natural ingredients. One of the most significant points about the eco-friendly paints is that they are water based and they do not leave any deteriorating footprints at all.
The Ministry of Power under the guidance of Government of India has set a target to reduce emission intensities by 33-35% by the end of 2030. Energy efficiency is one of the primal strategies for achieving this target. The producers of Indian handicrafts have embraced this idea and agreed to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Power to achieve this target. Various institutions like the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) have sought to find solutions to the energy and the environmental issues of the various sectors which includes the handcraft sector too. This is done through increasing productivity and technology upgradation in various spheres.
Use of New and Renewable Energy
Non-conventional sources of energy like solar energy, hydro energy, and so on are employed in the production of handicrafts in various regions of the country. Along with the help of government initiatives, artisans have worked to promote the use of these natural and clear energies. The capacity of renewable energy in India has increased by around 250% between 2014 to 2021. Various melas and exhibitions are conducted periodically in and around the country in which handicrafts are coming up that are produced with the help of renewable sources of energy.
Waste Minimisation and Beneficial Uses of Waste
Artisans and workmen across India focus on the minimisation of waste. You will be amazed to know that there are many handicrafts that are produced with the help of wastes. Craftspeople of the state of Andhra Pradesh carve wooden toys that are produced from the leftover pieces of wood. One such prominent example of the toys is the Etikoppaka toys. These toys come from a place called Etikoppaka, near the famous city of Visakhapatnam. Even the paints that are used to color these toys are made from the vegetable dyes and then lacquer is used to give the final touch by coating it.
Raw Materials Used in the Production are Indigeneous and Renewable
Most of the handicrafts that are produced in India comprise of raw materials that are indigeneous and renewable. Various toys coming from the region of Andhra Pradesh like Nirmal toys, Etikoppaka toys are very light in weight and do not contain any fiber. Raw materials like lappam, sudda matti, dry ankudu wood and so on are used that are easily renewable. All these materials come directly from nature. Wax used in the production of the Dhokra metal casting can be used again and again. Brass articles produced by the process of metal casting uses recycled brass or utensils that are already used.
Production Process is Traditional and Environment Friendly
Since the Indian handicraft industry is labor intensive, there is minimum use of machines to produce various handicrafts. Most of the artisans produce handicrafts using simple tools and equipment made of woodworks or metals. Many handicrafts like bamboo articles, lac products and so on only need the use of the bare hands and the intricate workmanship and the creativity of the artisans. There are several handicrafts demanded worldwide like jootis, khajoor grass craft, water hyacinth handbags, sisal mats and so on that are the result of the exquisite handwork of the artisans. These handicrafts produced by artisans are like a fresh breath of air in the global market which is full of machine made items.
Increasing Use of ICT in Production for Improving Productivity and Sustainability
ICT basically means Information and Communication Technology. It plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. The Government of India has initiated many programmes and schemes that have started to use ICT in the production of handicrafts for improving productivity so that the handicrafts can cope up with the contemporary demand. The use of ICT can help in the reduction of costs drastically, increasing productivity and developing the base for strategic decision-making. ICT helps to channelise access to the artisans across the country with the global payers, which further helps in the participation of customers.
Skill Upgradation of Artisans Especially from the SCP Angle
Skill upgradation of workers and artisans is taking place across the country through the initiatives of the government of India, especially from the Sustainable Consumption Production (SCP) angle. Upgrading the skills and making the artisans familiar with the latest technologies is helping them cope up with the dynamic demand of the global market. Taking the SCP into consideration, these artisans are working and producing handicrafts keeping in mind the sustainability component. Events and seminars are conducted periodically to create awareness among the artisans and the workpeople to reap the benefit of SCP.
Increasing Investment in Research and Development for Development of Green Technologies
There is an increase in the investment in the R&D for the development of green technologies in the handicraft industry. New players are entering into the market with innovative techniques of production that are solving many existing problems in the area of production. There is an increase in the elimination of handicrafts that demand the use of harmful materials in the production process. Increasing investments in these areas are eventually promoting the use of eco-friendly and sustainable handicrafts globally.
Usage of Natural Dyes
Textiles that are produced in India mainly use natural dyes. These dyes can also be used in coloring the wood, cane, paper, leather, candles and so on. Artisans obtain these dyes from natural resources like animal matter and vegetable matter without the use of chemical processing. By using natural dyes, these artisans are contributing directly in the cutting of toxic chemicals that are produced by the use of synthetic dyes. They are biodegradable in nature and can be easily obtained.
Reduction in Pollution
Indian handicrafts are produced mainly with simple tools and equipment. Even the by-products that are generated during the process of manufacturing these products are harmless in nature. These factors contribute significantly to the reduction of air pollution, water pollution, and sound pollution.
By adopting the eco-friendly processes of producing handicrafts, we can contribute significantly to the protection and preservation of our mother Earth. Over the years, Indian artisans and workmen have embraced the ideology of sustainability and the development of nature for which it has won global recognition in the global market.
A Global Platform for Sourcing Indian Handicrafts
If you want to source eco-friendly and sustainable Indian handicrafts, Craftezy is a one-stop trade platform that you should look out for. It has a gigantic collection of handicrafts coming from the traditional artisans whose forefathers have been engaged in this profession. Craftezy helps you to choose from the various categories of handicrafts that have been listed on its platform after proper quality checks and verification of the artisans and vendors who supply them. Even the negotiation process is carried out by the team of Craftezy so that you can get the best quotes from the vendors. Visit Craftezy and buy handicrafts with a single click.