Here's The Deal About About Craftcore

When the pandemic first hit, many people were left with no option but to stay home. With all that newfound free time in their hands, many people turned to honing in on their craft skills or learning new ones. In fact, there was a 70% increase in arts and crafts sales in early 2020 as reported by N.P.D. Group. Searches for "crocheting," "knitting," and "embroidery" also increased at that time (via ModernRetail).

The desire to craft rapidly increased as more people discovered that these new hobbies helped them during difficult times – so much so, that it also began seeping its way into what is trending in fashion. Many people began to appreciate the art of handmade, crafted goods as they gave them much more attention and appreciation, per Vogue. In an ever-evolving and creative fashion industry, designers are always looking for ways to make their clothing stand out, and they too began implementing these techniques. But even people at home discovered they could also create for themselves.

What is craftcore?

Craftcore is the act of implementing hand-crafted elements, often created by artisans, into fashion pieces. Whether it is a hat, jewelry, a handbag, a dress, or a pair of pants, items made through crochet or knitting became increasingly popular. Additionally, adding embroidery or beaded embellishments into a piece of fashion can also be included in this category. It gave the spotlight to the idea of what slow fashion looks like. 

"When we were forced to take a pause during the lockdown, we realized that taking things slowly wasn't necessarily bad," Péro designer, Aneeth Arora, tells Vogue. "We also understood the beauty of the handmade and the uniqueness of these age-old techniques where no two pieces look alike."

Because of its connection to intentional slow fashion, it also creates a connection between the wearer and the designer or artisan. According to L'Officiel, it's a way for many people to feel like they are supporting sustainable fashion. Sometimes, it can also be a way to sustain smaller, independent brands. It helps create this notion of ethical consumption where customers are supporting small businesses over big business, partaking in sustainability, and upcycling when they can.

How craftcore looks

Finding garments with artisanship designs has gotten easier today with websites like Etsy giving independent designers an easier platform to sell their creations. For example, the brand Dauphinette featured upcycled beaded bags and hand-painted practices in its first ever fashion presentation in 2020. "By incorporating hand-painted pieces and real floral elements into my design thinking, I hope to access a more lifelike, storied form of dressing without taking away the inherent function of clothes," Dauphinette's designer, Olivia Cheng, tells Nylon. For Cheng, this intentionality and purpose behind her designs is at the core of reinventing fashion. 

You can find a variety of craftcore goods to fit your style. Consider crochet clothing, where just about anything you wear can be made with a crocheting method. Patchwork clothing or accessories are other beloved craftcore items whether it's a dress, a quilt, or adding patches onto a pair of jeans. Like Dauphinette's technique, painted clothing or accessories is another popular style for clothing, handbags, and shoes. Many artists offer up their painting services while others D.I.Y. the painting at home. Beaded jewelry is a great example of craftcore fashion that you can wear. Find beaded items made into earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and even handbags. Chances are you will find something unique that you love or you can find someone to create it for you through craftcore (via L'Officiel).