Craftwashing : The Uses and Abuses of Craft in Popular Culture
Author(s): Sandra Alfoldy
What is the relationship between craft, industry and popular culture? How do companies use terms such as 'craft', the 'handmade' and 'artisinal' to sell their products? Sandra Alfoldy's study explores how brands like McDonald's, Starbucks, and Nike use notions of craft production to market their products, even those that are mass produced in factories.
Alfoldy's discussion focuses around concepts of skill, quality, authenticity and uniqueness - qualities that have traditionally been associated with craft production and crafted products. Through a range of case studies, she shows how these have been co-opted to sell everything from beer to cars, and from sneakers to 'custom burgers'. She also considers the idea of 'kindness' as central to craft production, and questions how the appropriation of craft ideals by business affects our understanding of and the practices of contemporary making.