Artisanal Preservation:
The Value of Traditional Craftsmanship in Sustainable Living

April 13, 2023
by Mona Bavar
Photo by Beatrice della Volpe

Photo by Beatrice della Volpe


"One should always be surrounded by objects that hold a memory, a meaning, a soul."


In the modern age of mass production, traditional craftsmanship is a rare and valuable art form that has been overlooked for far too long. But as the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable living, the value of artisanal preservation has come to the forefront. Craftsmanship that is focused on quality and durability is more than just an aesthetic preference – it is a way of life that respects the environment, preserves culture, and supports local economies. 


The Loss of Traditional Craftsmanship

With mass production, traditional craftsmanship has lost its significance. Machines have taken over the production process, leading to the standardization of products and a decline in quality. The use of synthetic materials has become widespread, leading to environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources.

Additionally, the shift towards mass production has led to the loss of traditional crafts and skills. As machines have taken over, the knowledge and expertise of artisans have been neglected. This has resulted in the disappearance of many traditional crafts, which were once an essential part of cultural heritage.


The Renewed Interest in Traditional Craftsmanship

However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards sustainable living, which has led to a renewed interest in traditional craftsmanship. People are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of mass production and are seeking more sustainable alternatives. They are also recognizing the value of quality and durability and are willing to pay a higher price for products that are made to last.

Artisanal preservation has become a way to promote sustainable living, preserve cultural heritage, and support local economies. It is a way to bring back the human touch to the production process and promote a more socially responsible way of living.


A blacksmith hammering a piece of metal into shape at their forge
Photo by Beatrice della Volpe

The Advantages of Traditional Craftsmanship

One of the main advantages of traditional craftsmanship is that it uses natural materials and minimizes waste. Artisans use every part of the material, leaving little to no waste behind. This is in contrast to mass production, which often generates a large amount of waste and relies on synthetic materials.

Additionally, traditional craftsmanship practices do not rely on large amounts of energy and do not produce harmful emissions. This is beneficial for the environment and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

The focus on quality and durability is another advantage of traditional craftsmanship. Products are made to last, and the materials used are of the highest quality. This means that products made using traditional craftsmanship methods have a higher value and are often considered works of art. They hold sentimental value and are passed down through generations.


The Role of Traditional Craftsmanship in Preserving Culture

Traditional craftsmanship is not only about the production of goods but also about preserving culture. Traditional crafts are often passed down from generation to generation, with each generation adding its own unique touch to the craft. This results in a rich cultural heritage that needs to be preserved.

The production of goods using traditional craftsmanship methods helps to keep these crafts alive. It provides a source of income for artisans and keeps the craft alive for future generations to learn and appreciate. By preserving traditional crafts, we preserve a piece of history and culture.


Artisanal pottery being crafted by a skilled potter

Photo by Beatrice della Volpe


The Importance of Supporting Artisans

Artisans are often small business owners who rely on their craft to make a living. By supporting artisans, we are supporting local economies and helping to preserve traditional craftsmanship. Additionally, buying products made by artisans often means that we are buying products that are unique and have a story to tell.

When we buy from artisans, we are not only buying a product but also supporting a way of life. We are supporting the continuation of traditional crafts and helping to preserve cultural heritage. It is a way to promote sustainable living and a more socially responsible way of living.


How to Celebrate Artisans and Fine Craftsmanship

As consumers, we have a powerful role to play in promoting artisanal preservation and sustainable living. By choosing to buy products that are made using traditional craftsmanship techniques, we can show our support for artisans and help to promote a more sustainable way of life. This might involve seeking out handmade clothing, furniture, or pottery, or choosing to buy locally-produced food and drink. By making these choices, we can help to create a more sustainable and socially responsible world, one that values quality over quantity and respects the environment and cultural heritage.


A weaver working on a loom creating a colorful textile


Traditional textile weaving: 

Traditional textile weaving is a craft that has been practiced for thousands of years and is still alive in many cultures around the world. By supporting traditional weaving practices, we can help to preserve cultural heritage and promote sustainable practices. Traditional weaving techniques often use natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, and silk, which are biodegradable and have a lower environmental impact than synthetic fibers. Additionally, traditional weaving techniques can create unique and intricate designs that cannot be replicated by mass-produced textiles.

In a world where fast fashion and mass production dominate the textile industry, Iris Delruby's dedication to traditional textile weaving is a refreshing and important reminder of the value of slow and sustainable practices. As the founder and designer of Delruby, Iris works with Nepalese artisans in order to bring to life stunning, handwoven shawls and blankets. 

Delruby's textiles are made from natural fibers, such as cashmere and wool, which have a lower environmental impact than synthetic fibers. They are also hand-woven using traditional techniques, which create intricate designs and patterns that cannot be replicated by mass-produced textiles.

By supporting traditional weaving practices, Iris is helping to preserve cultural heritage and promote sustainable practices. She is also providing employment opportunities for local artisans, which helps to support their livelihoods and communities.


A girl wrapped in a handmade wool blanket in the middle of the desert

A beautiful handwoven cashmere scarf with earth tones



Natural dyeing: 

Natural dyeing is another traditional craft that is becoming increasingly popular due to its eco-friendly and sustainable nature. Natural dyes are made from plant-based materials, such as roots, leaves, and berries, and do not contain harmful chemicals that can harm the environment or human health. Additionally, natural dyeing can support local communities by promoting the cultivation of dye plants, such as indigo in Japan or cochineal in Mexico.

Through a multifaceted approach to design and sustainability, Cantieri Creativi, an architecture, interior design and decoration studio specializing in natural materials and finishes, is able to create experiences that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also conscious of their environmental impact.

Their focus on natural materials and finishes, sustainable construction techniques, and ethical and refined furnishings allow them to create timeless atmospheres and experiences that embody a slow and intentional lifestyle. Drawing from traditions of the past, Cantieri Creativi consciously transforms them into elegant combinations of wild and classic, raw and sophisticated, sustainable and innovative, creative and experiential.

With a love for nature, design, wabi-sabi, and atmospheres suspended in time, the team of landscape architects, designers and curators continuously research ancient materials, faded techniques, and forgotten construction processes. They translate these elements into their contemporary work, which exudes dreamlike, art, and the elegance of simple things.


Girl with hand on a beautiful rustic wall with natural colors

the tools of craftsman mixed with the earth

Cantieri Creativi


Handcrafted furniture: Handcrafted furniture is often made using traditional woodworking techniques that have been passed down through generations. By supporting these crafts, we can reduce our reliance on mass-produced furniture made from unsustainable materials. Handcrafted furniture is typically made to last and can be repaired if it becomes damaged, reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable approach to furnishing our homes.

Seventh-generation furniture maker Davide Barzaghi, together with his wife and co-founder Christine Sintermann, are leading the charge toward sustainable and eco-friendly furniture design. By using 100% natural and certified materials, there company, BioSofa is not only preserving traditional know-how but also revolutionizing it.

By supporting the skilled craftsmanship and traditional woodworking techniques that have been passed down through generations, they are promoting a more sustainable approach to furnishing our homes. This means reducing our reliance on mass-produced furniture made from unsustainable materials and embracing handcrafted pieces that are made to last and can be repaired if damaged, thus reducing waste. With a focus on minimalism, functionality, and elegance, their handcrafted furniture pieces not only look beautiful but also promote sustainable living. 

Through BioSofa, Davide and Christine have created a true labor of love that reflects their shared vision of creating beautiful and sustainable furniture. Their passion for traditional woodworking techniques is evident in every piece they create, and they are dedicated to creating unique and timeless furniture that will be cherished for generations to come.


    Raw material for making a sofa

    Hundred precent natural sofa in royal blue handmade in Italy




    Pottery is another traditional craft that has been passed down through generations in many cultures around the world. By supporting pottery made using traditional techniques, we can help to preserve cultural heritage and promote sustainable practices. For example, the use of wood-fired kilns in pottery production can reduce the energy required to fire the kiln and produce unique textures and colors in the pottery.

    Through her work with Claire Luna, the artist and founder Chiara Della Santina is a passionate advocate for traditional crafts and sustainable practices. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Chiara infuses her pottery with organic shapes and textures that evoke a sense of timeless beauty. She embraces the unique imperfections that come with traditional techniques, crafting one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story of their own.

    But Chiara's commitment to sustainability goes beyond just the aesthetic appeal of her pottery. She carefully selects materials from local suppliers and avoids the use of harmful chemicals in the glazing process. By using wood-fired kilns, she reduces the carbon footprint of her production process and creates pieces that are not only beautiful but also eco-friendly.

    With the Claire Luna masterpieces, Chiara promotes the importance of preserving traditional crafts while advocating for a more sustainable future. Her passion for art and the environment is evident in every piece that she creates, making her brand a true celebration of traditional craftsmanship and sustainable practices.


    An incense burner in black handmade in ceramic shaped like a half moon

    three ceramic espresso cups handmade

    Claire Luna


    Honor Tradition Through Intentional Shopping 

    Artisanal preservation and traditional craftsmanship play a crucial role in sustainable living, preserving culture, and promoting quality and durability. By embracing traditional craftsmanship practices, we can reduce our environmental impact, support local economies, and preserve cultural heritage. As consumers, we can make conscious choices about the products we buy and support the artisans who create them. By doing so, we can promote a more sustainable and socially responsible way of living.

    Let us embrace the values of artisanal preservation and traditional craftsmanship and work towards a more sustainable and equitable future. At DLISH we are shining a light on fine craftsmanship and design while celebrating the artisans making the collectable and unique objects that we make available to you. 


    Shop with intention at DLISH and celebrate the art of fine craftsmanship and the artisans and designers preserving it.