The maturing of the craft market in the UK can be attributed to a number of wider trends that are likely to accelerate as a result of the pandemic – the rise of e-commerce, investment purchases over throwaway objects, and an interest in sustainability and supporting small businesses.
10.3m Brits are buying craft online – a figure that has more than tripled over the last decade. However, the report also showed that the majority of British adults still prefer to buy objects in-person.
The export potential for the UK craft sector is highlighted – 2.5m people in New York and 1.7m in Los Angeles have purchased craft from a UK-based maker, but a further 6.9m across the two locations said that they would be likely to buy UK craft in the future. This represents a sizeable untapped market for exports.
The current pandemic has highlighted the growing craft trend – the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee has shifted to a prime-time BBC TV slot and attracts audiences of close to 5 million, and sellers of craft supplies for the domestic market are seeing a surge in sales. With 20% of British consumers indicating that they would pay to attend a craft workshop, it is no surprise that such a significant number of people are turning to online tutorials and craft kits to learn a new skill while they have more time at home.