Consumers urged to ‘Go Green’ and Give Irish Craft this Christmas.

18 November 2013

Consumers urged to ‘Go Green’ and Give Irish Craft this Christmas.

• More than 8 out of 10 consumers now feel that Irish craft makes an ideal Christmas gift
• Interest in buying and owning Irish craft jumps 16 percentage points since December 2010
• High standards of design and quality cited as main drivers for success
• Almost 6,000 craft workers in Ireland hoping for continued interest in buying Irish made

The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI) today confirmed that Irish consumers are now, more than ever, interested in buying and owning Irish craft products. This Christmas, CCoI is encouraging all consumers to ‘go green’ by choosing authentic Irish made craft gifts and supporting Irish creativity and jobs.

Details of the myriad of Irish made gift ideas at a range of prices can be found on CCoI’s newly updated website, www.giveirishcraft.com, along with a directory of retail shops where they can be purchased. This year, special attention is given to online sellers, for busy gifters who may prefer to shop from home this year.

CCoI’s annual Consumer Perceptions Survey, conducted on their behalf by Millward Brown Lansdowne, shows that interest in buying and owning Irish crafts increased by a substantial 16 percentage points since December 2010 (from 39% to 55%), reflecting a growing appreciation for Irish craft and design. Over 80% of consumers agree that Irish craft makes an ideal gift. Surprisingly perhaps, men closely follow women in their interest in craft, with 79% of males and 85% of females looking for Irish made gifts.

Almost 60% of respondents say that their most recent purchase of Irish craft was as a gift for someone else and the top product categories are ceramics, jewellery, candles, textiles, knitwear, woodwork, and glass. These survey results show that a continued shift towards buying Irish made craft has the potential to significantly boost the sector over the coming weeks during the busy gift buying period.

“Every purchase of Irish craft keeps money in the Irish economy and helps in sustaining and growing Ireland’s vibrant and innovative craft and design sector,” said Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Crafts Council of Ireland. “The industry contributes almost half a billion euro to our economy and provides vital employment for close to 6,000 people in both urban and rural areas throughout the country so giving a gift of Irish craft is giving a gift with meaning.”

“Making a concerted effort to support local business can have a huge impact at Christmas and throughout the year, as every €10 spent locally generates an additional €24 benefit to the local economy,” Ms. Hennessy added. “With hundreds of selected stores all over Ireland selling beautiful Irish craft, it’s never been easier to shop locally and find a stunning selection of Irish handcrafted gifts to suit every budget.”

From jewellery and fashion to homewares and accessories, www.giveirishcraft.com showcases a distinctive range of authentic Irish craft gift ideas for every occasion, which can then be purchased directly from stockists of Irish craft across Ireland. Prices range from under €10 to gifts of €50, €100 or more. Each product has been Imagined, Designed, and Made in Ireland.

The featured designers and craft makers will also be represented through point-of-sale material on in-store displays. The striking “Imagined, Designed, Made in Ireland” symbol will assist consumers in easily identifying genuine Irish craft at participating craft retailers as well as at craft fairs throughout the country in the lead up to the Christmas period.

Head of Market Development at the Crafts Council of Ireland, Brian McGee, noted: “Irish retailers have made a strong move toward supporting Irish made products and there are now more than 120 outlets around the country listed on our website. Irish consumers, keen to be sure of the products’ authenticity, are now asking shop assistants where products have been manufactured.”

“The global potential of online retailing is growing for Irish craft. This year we are seeing exciting new e-commerce offerings from both established and new retailers selling authentic Irish craft online, keen to respond to the growing demand for Irish made products,” said McGee.

Internationally recognised brands such as Max Benjamin, Alan Ardiff, Nicholas Mosse Pottery and Jerpoint Glass as well as contemporary designer makers including Juvi, Klickity, The Handmade Soap Company, Jennifer Slattery Textiles, Carve On and The Irish Handmade Glass Company are amongst those featured on www.giveirishcraft.com. New to the selection of gift ideas for 2013 are jewellery collections from Pierce Healy, Chuppi, Christina Belle and Natasha Heaslip; candles by La Bougie; ceramics by Sliding Rock Ceramics and knitted accessories by Kennedy of Ardara.

Participating retailers include Arnotts, The Kilkenny Group, Blarney Woollen Mills, House of Ireland and Carraig Donn, as well as Designyard, The Irish Design Shop, The Design House and Cows Lane Designer Studio in Dublin, The Kilkenny Design Centre in Kilkenny, Leitrim Design House in Carrick-on-Shannon, The Cat & The Moon in Sligo town and Ardmore Pottery in Co. Waterford.

For consumers who like to purchase at the click of a button, a wide number of shops are now selling Irish craft online including Arnotts.ie, coldlillies.com, irishdesignshop.com, makersandbrothers.com, kilkennygroup.com, swoop.ie and houseofireland.com. Purchases can also be made at pop-up shops around the country such as Coldlilies in the RHA and Makers&Brothers on Dame Lane in Dublin and from the many makers who also sell direct online, in their studios or at local fairs.

Full details of all gift ideas and participating retail outlets and makers can be viewed at www.giveirishcraft.com.

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