Where should I sell ethnic handicrafts online

Handicrafts in Vietnam: Sales fell sharply

Vietnam took drastic measures to contain Covid-19 early on, and to date not a single death has been reported. The fair trade organization Craft Link, which cooperates with the Bread for the World partner CSIP (Center for Social Initiatives Promotion), is committed to the preservation of traditional handicraft techniques. Their products are made by ethnic minorities, in traditional craft villages and by people with disabilities. Many women producers live in remote mountain regions - the income from the craft is an important part of their livelihood.

Bettina Meier: How is Craft Link affected by the lockdown as a result of Covid-19?

Tuyết Lan Trần: Our situation is difficult. We have been able to work again since April 23, with masks and a safe distance. But our shops are closed because we can't pay the rent. Many orders from abroad have been canceled, some customers have reduced their orders, and some could not be delivered. We are trying to survive and hope that things will get better in a few months.

Meier: What about the livelihoods of the women producers whose goods Craft Link otherwise sells?

Tuyết Lan Trần: We try our best to support women. Wherever they manufacture, we provide them with protective masks. But because we sell so little, they naturally also have less income. We still generate income for traditional handicrafts such as ceramics, wooden sculptures and textiles through our export channels, but much less than before the pandemic. Fortunately, our women producers in the mountains, the members of the Hmong, Tai and Dao, still have their agriculture and livestock farming, which helps with their livelihood.

Meier: How long will it be before Craft Link can sell more again?

Tuyết Lan Trần: I think it will be at least six months before tourists are back in the country buying souvenirs. We are currently strengthening our online offerings and changing our designs to make our products more attractive to Vietnamese customers.