The COVID-19 pandemic has had a mixed effect on consumption. Some categories and distribution channels for “essential goods and services” – from food and mass retail to e-commerce and online services – saw record growth; while “non-essential” products, like fashion retail or the creative manufacturing and handmade (CMH) sector, saw much of their business come to a standstill. The artisans that make up much of the CMH workforce are among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable workers. Many of their businesses are now challenged with inventory backlogs, cancelled orders and supply chain disruption. Heritage skills have already been erased by offshoring in recent decades and more could be under threat.

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