MORE PEOPLE THAN EVER ARE BUYING IRISH CRAFT, ACCORDING TO NEW SURVEY
20th March 2012
|Crafts Council of Ireland urges consumers to continue to support Irish craft enterprises and consider Irish craft when shopping for gifts.
Blossom Tableware by Castle Arch Pottery
MORE people than ever are purchasing Irish crafts, reflecting a growing desire from consumers to buy Irish and support local enterprises, according to new research commissioned by the Crafts Council of Ireland.
The survey conducted in December 2011 by Millward Brown Lansdowne reveals that awareness and appreciation of Irish craft is at an all-time high following Year of Craft 2011, with 62% of Irish consumers purchasing a craft item in 2011, compared to just 50% in 2010.
The survey of a nationally representative sample of 800 participants also shows that over half of the population, (51%), are interested in buying and owning craft product, an increase from 39% in 2010. 83% of people now see Irish craft as an ideal gift.
Together with its partners, the Crafts Council of Ireland delivered a programme of craft events and activities throughout 2011, both nationally and internationally. Laura Magahy, Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland, says the increased awareness and appreciation of Irish craft following the Year of Craft 2011 initiative demonstrates the success that can be achieved when partner organisations unite and work together in achieving a common goal.
“Through working with government agencies, local authorities, retailers and craftspeople all over the country throughout 2011, valuable opportunities have been created which we need to capitalise on and the results of this survey show we are on the right track. With the continued involvement of our partners and other stakeholders, we can ensure that supports are in place for sustaining Ireland’s dynamic craft sector. Our plans for 2012 focus on maintaining and growing jobs in the sector and creating opportunities for increased exports through promoting Irish craft abroad,” she said.
Reflecting intensive activity around Year of Craft 2011, 95% of those interviewed said they had seen, heard or read something about Irish craft in the past year: 72% noticed something in retail outlets, 64% read about craft in newspapers or magazines and 58% saw it on TV programmes.
These high level of awareness reveal the positive impact of initiatives such as the Crafts Council of Ireland’s “Imagined, Designed, Made in Ireland” identity on point of sale materials in retail outlets and craft fairs, and the six part TV series Craft Master aired on RTÉ One last autumn. Over a third of respondents (37%) noticed an increased level of activity around Irish craft in 2011.
The survey found that:
• Ceramics and pottery were the most commonly purchased craft item last year, with 17% of those questioned saying they had bought from this category, followed by jewellery at 14%.
• Eight out of ten people say craft items make an ideal gift. Almost the same number believe that being Irish-made is important when choosing crafts.
• While craft is predominantly perceived as a gift, one in three people surveyed say they have bought craft for themselves.
• More women than men are likely to invest in timeless Irish craft, particularly women in the 35-64 age group in the Dublin and Leinster region.
• The average spend on craft during 2011 among respondents was €78, compared to €95 in 2010. However, there is evidence that consumers are buying more craft products but at lower price points, reflecting similar reductions in spend across other product categories.
Welcoming the survey findings, the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Chief Executive, Karen Hennessy said: “The significant surge in interest in buying and owning craft during 2011 reflects not only the increased level of appreciation for Irish craft following the Year of Craft initiative, but also the desire of members of the public to buy Irish and support local enterprises. Consumers want to buy Irish and buy quality, and now is the time to make the most of this valuable opportunity."
According to Ms Hennessy, almost 6,000 people are employed in the Irish craft sector which is worth almost half a billion Euros to the Irish economy and despite the current tough economic climate, the sector holds significant potential for growth.
The Crafts Council of Ireland is urging consumers to seek out crafts Imagined, Designed and Made in Ireland when shopping for gifts for Mother’s Day (which takes place this Sunday, 18th March,) Easter and other special occasions. She also encouraged visitors to Ireland for the Saint Patrick’s Festival to consider Irish craft when purchasing mementos of their visit.
“Our research has shown that Irish craft makes an ideal gift and consumers will find beautiful pieces of work by Irish craftspeople in stockists throughout the country. Irish craft offers a wonderful range of authentic, unique, high quality gifts - everything from jewellery and accessories to ceramics and homewares,” Ms Hennessy added.
Those seeking inspiration can visit www.giveirishcraft.com to view a range of gift suggestions and a listing of stockists of Irish craft throughout the country.