Craft Focus - December 2022/January 2023 (Issue 94)

36 As we all become increasingly careful about how we choose to spend our money, the craft industry is reliably nimble in offering a huge range of products to continue to make creativity accessible for everyone. Consumers are more conscious of both pocket and planet, and we’re likely to see trends in the industry that lean into this demand. Crafters are making choices based on key factors including wellbeing, sustainability, ethical sourcing, and value. We’ll likely see trends on upcycling, reusing and circular fashion continuing as crafters use their skills for sustainability. Our theme for CHSI Stitches this year is Conscious Crafting which recognises these factors and examines how the industry can continue to respond to these evolving consumer demands. The Craft Report, an annual independent industry research report will be unveiled at the show providing valuable data and market intelligence. Next year’s report aims to explore the ‘Conscious Crafter’ and highlight opportunities for the trade to better engage with them, as well as supplying valued updates on key trend data such as spending, hierarchy of crafts and audience growth and profile. What we know is that buying choices are no longer solely about the product itself. Crafters purchasing decisions are influenced by other factors and our industry is making huge strides at recognising this. People are doing their research before buying, and rightly so. Crafting is a core part of wellbeing for many and ensuring people feel good about the products they are purchasing is vital so that the whole experience is a positive one, from research to finished crafts. Steve Mitchell, ICHF Events With the on-going cost of living crisis, I see 2023 being the year of value for money. Customers will be looking for products that create an experience, teaches them something new, or crafts an heirloom item to treasure for years to come. Affordability will be key, but we are seeing people spend that bit more when they know they will get a real lasting value out of the product. Kits will therefore continue to be strong sellers, particularly where they offer further skills than just the basics. Tools and patterns for crafting with left-overs and existing stashes will also be popular such as weaving looms and small knitting and crochet projects. Sustainability will still be important, but with a stronger focus on purchases that will be used time and again, or that give you a skill to carry forward on to other projects. Money is going to be very tight, and customers will spend it where they see they are getting more than just a ‘thing’ - the lipstick purchase that uplifts them and brings joy to these hard times. Stephanie Carswell