How do I attain the Skilled Artisan guarantee?

Description: This brand works to preserve traditional handicraft techniques or works with skilled artisans on a small-scale.

What qualifies for this guarantee? 

  • Traditional highly specialised skills have been incorporated into a significant part of the collection.
  • Slow and considered production with handmaking skills which have not been automated or mass-produced.
  • Artisans have to be involved in the design and production process, e.g. feeding into the design process with iterations, not simply following a pattern / model.
  • Superior quality and attention to detail.

Category Accepted Not Accepted
Clothing & textiles
  • Completely in-house pattern-making and production for complex garments by professionals with highly specialised skill-sets.
  • Hand weaving of fabrics
  • Hand dying and printing of fabrics
  • Hand made details e.g. beading, embroidery, lace
  • Hand knitting & crochet
  • Outsourced production of garments (unless in immediate local area)
  • Items of basic construction e.g. t-shirts, sweatshirts
  • Hand-forged jewellery
  • Intricate casted jewellery (e.g. complex and unique designs different to mass manufactured pieces) and only if it is outsourced to local casting houses in the vicinity of the brand. All finishing, setting and assembly must be done by the brand themselves.
  • Detailed and specialised beadwork, sewing, painting, clay-work to create the jewellery components.
  • Entirely outsourced production
  • Pre-made parts which are assembled in the brand’s studio
  • Simple beadwork e.g. threading bracelets.

Accessories, homeware & beauty

*Due to the varied nature of these pieces, they will be considered on a case by case basis but any brands will be assessed to the same guiding standards set out at the top of this article

  • Skilled leather workers
  • Carving / engraving sculpture for homewares
  • Hand spun pottery & ceramics
  • Hand poured candles 
  • Handmade / formulated products in brand’s own studio

What supporting evidence do I need?

  • Description of which of the above skills are used in the collection.
  • Confirmation of whom the artisans are, outlining their specific skill-set.
  • Photo evidence and/or step-by-step report of how the products are made.

Why is this important?

Fast fashion practices have put many traditional crafts and techniques at risk as retailers seek to streamline their processes and costs. This guarantee highlights how brands can partner with communities and skilled workers, to preserve traditional craftsmanship and keep these skills alive which are not often embraced or considered by high-street retailers.