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Why Buy Handmade and Eco-Friendly Bags, Hats, Linens and More

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

All the goods sold on Joan Art are hand-crafted by artisans from the island of Madagascar, and this is literally a nation of people who have learned and retained their skills as passed down to them by generations of handcrafters before them. Over all those generations, a great deal of skill and quality have been developed, and all that gets passed along in each one of the superbly made items in our store. Handcrafting is a skill and tradition which is born of necessity on Madagascar, where industry is as scarce as jobs in general, and the people are obliged to find ways of subsistence which they can manage for themselves.

Whenever you purchase a tote bag, a hat, or any kind of linen from Joan Art, you are buying an object which was lovingly made by a skilled female Madagascar artist, who perfected her skills through long hours of practice and improvement. The materials used in the preparation of these products also come directly from the island, where the Raffia Palm tree provides much of the fiber used in making these goods. The object you hold in your hands after purchase, is literally a representation of the island nation of Madagascar, and the skilled artisans who have perfected their talents there. Here are some of the reasons we think you should choose handcrafted items over the mass-produced goods favored in the West.

Thoughtfully produced

As mentioned above, every product created by one of our female Madagascan artists is imbued with tradition, skill, and a little bit of love to create a beautiful item worthy of admiration and appreciation. You have the opportunity to demonstrate that those qualities mean something to you by patronizing these artists, and helping them to achieve at least some level of financial independence.


Over the years, a great deal of tradition and skill has been acquired by all the Malagasy artists who contribute pieces to the Joan Art collection, and you can count on purchasing a product that will last for years. The maker of each piece understands its value, and that's why each item is made to exacting standards to show the craftsmanship of its creator.

Handmade objects are green

Handmade objects are inherently green, simply because there is no factory supporting them which mass-produces items, and creates all kinds of undesirable byproducts in the process. Any object made by a skilled artisan passes through only a few sets of hands before finding its way to the buyer, and that means you can count on a direct link to the artisan who made it. In the case of Joan Art pieces, virtually all of them have been created from materials taken directly from the Madagascar countryside, and shipped right to your door.

There's a story behind each handmade piece

Every handcrafted product sold in our store has its own individual story, because it was lovingly created by a female artisan in the island nation of Madagascar. As opposed to purchasing some item produced by robots or machines, you can be sure that your Madagascar item is the direct result of the skill and craft learned by an island artisan after years of practice. The story of your handcrafted item is literally the story of the artisan who made it, and that's something you can be proud to own.

Handmade is supportive

Whenever you buy a handcrafted item, you can be positive you're supporting the local economy, in this case a real artisan from the island nation of Madagascar. That can be a very good feeling, to know that you are helping a skilled artist survive in the world, so their talents can be appreciated by others. Every time you purchase a handcrafted object, you are literally supporting the artist who gave a little bit of themselves to create your product.

Handmade is sustainable

Especially in the case of Joan Art products, the quality of materials used is exceptional, and those materials are specifically chosen from available fibers grown right on the island. Anytime you have a situation where goods are mass-produced, there's a possibility of unethical sourcing. Handmade items on the other hand, are made painstakingly and in small quantities, which means you can have much more confidence in the end product.

It keeps the skills and traditions alive

By purchasing handcrafted items, you are contributing to creating demand for these types of products, and that is absolutely essential for continuing the traditions and the skills necessary to create them. This means you are literally supporting the learning and skill development of the artisans who take up this profession. Most people understand the importance of endorsing and supporting art and creativity, and buying handmade objects is one of the best ways of doing that.


Anytime you purchase factory-made goods, you can pretty well be sure that there is nothing unique about them, and that they're very much like the thousands of others which are created in that same image. Handmade goods on the other hand, are absolutely unique and are a one-of-a-kind item in every sense of the word. A unique display of craftsmanship gets poured into each and every item produced, and that imbues a certain sense of character to every single product. Buying handcrafted items actually represents a commitment to authenticity, and a guarantee that no other piece in existence is an exact copy of the one you own.

Buying handmade feels good

When you buy handmade goods, you can be sure that your purchase has made an impact on someone's life, and that impact was for the better. As opposed to buying mass-produced goods, patronizing handmade artisans avoids the possibility of unethical sourcing or using low-cost labor. By purchasing handmade goods, you are literally supporting the artist's livelihood, and making a conscious decision to redistribute wealth. This can make all the difference in the survival of the artist who created your product.

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