Creative United joins with Crafts Council as part of a consortium of leading national organisations to publish the first report to identify and gauge appetite for British craft in a decade. 

Published 26 May 2020, the new Crafts Council’s Market for Craft Report reveals that our passion for craft has never been greater – 73% of UK adults had bought craft in 2019 – snapping up almost 25 million handcrafted objects.  In a significant shift, almost a third (32%) of today’s buyers are aged under 35 – making this demographic the biggest buyer of craft today. 

The report was commissioned by the Crafts Council working with eight national partners and was implemented prior to the COVID pandemic. The research was conducted by Morris Hargreaves Macintyre and surveyed 5,000 UK residents, 1,500 US citizens and 1,700 professional makers.  It has subsequently been layered with a further Crafts Council survey carried out among 573 UK-based makers post lockdown. The joint findings will be utilised by the Crafts Council to lobby the government and industry bodies to support the recovery of a creative sector which generated over £3 billion for our economy in 2020.

Creative United’s involvement in the report reflects its commitment to supporting the development of the crafts sector in the UK through the delivery of the Own Art scheme. The report offers an encouraging picture of the potential for growth and impact of the sector, whilst highlighting a significant need to work with makers, creative enterprises and the wider industry to develop economic sustainability and resilience post-COVID and beyond.

The report suggests that the maturation 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. 

The report’s findings confirm the significant growth in appreciation and consumption of UK craft in recent years and point to the need for further interventions to help grow the market and to encourage existing buyers to engage more deeply, developing their knowledge, confidence and connoisseurship. This includes further investment in retail finance mechanisms such as Own Art which provides interest free credit to customers for higher value purchases.

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive, Creative United said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with the Crafts Council on the production of this important piece of research which describes the positive shift in the size and shape of the UK market for craft over the past 10 years. This gives us great confidence in consumer appetite for and appreciation of craft and design as a significant and growing part of the UK’s creative economy, and will be influential in guiding our strategy for the development of the Own Art scheme in the years ahead”.

The 100-page The Market for Craft report can be read by clicking on the image below and includes in-depth profiling of receptive consumers and buying trends.