18 Aug 2020

Lockdown trends: the rise of arts and crafts

During the lockdown, we’ve all been thinking of ways to stay safe, sane and happy. For many, the answer has lain in arts and crafts with people channelling their creativity and brain power into creating something new. Ahead of Autumn Fair @HOME, we thought we’d take a look at this interesting lockdown trend.

The numbers

The demand for arts and crafts products can be demonstrated no more clearly than in the numbers released by retail giant Hobbycraft. During the lockdown, Hobbycraft reported a 200% increase in online sales, tripling like-for-like sales.

Online giants LoveCrafts.com also experienced a rise in numbers, with an 140% increase in revenue and a jump of 27% in email newsletter subscribers.

Staying connected

For many, one of the biggest challenges of the lockdown, and the continuing social distancing measures, has been feeling isolated and alone. The new arts and crafts movement has given rise to Noel Fielding’s online art club and Grayson Perry’s TV show Grayson’s Art Club. Simple though they may be, these ideas have inspired many to get involved with a new hobby or craft as well as facilitating sharing and connections across the country.

Many independent retailers and companies have also been helping people stay connected, with online classes and tutorials designed to keep people social whilst they learn a new skill

Keeping active

Following on from a notable rise in lockdown joggers and online fitness classes, keeping the mind active has been just as important. Arts and crafts have long been used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as to help slow down the onset of degenerative conditions like dementia. Using time productively to create and share has been shown to encourage the release of dopamine and endorphins, the brain’s “happy chemicals”, whilst keeping the brain stimulated and interested.

What’s been popular?

It’s clear that arts and crafts have enjoyed popularity during the lockdown, but there are a few activities and projects that have proven popular in the last six months:

  • Creating PPE: From face masks to drawstring scrub bags, making extra PPE provided impetus for many to get involved. And, with legislation stating that face masks must be worn in shops and the like, this trend isn’t likely to die down any time soon.

  • Crocheting and knitting: Yarn-based crafts have been slowly climbing back up the agenda for a while now, but they’ve come to the fore during lockdown.
  • Occasion-based projects: With Mother’s Day, Easter and VE Day all falling within the lockdown period, searches for projects for these occasions have risen dramatically, with bunting, card-making and baking all popular activity choices.

We’ll be exploring the rise of arts and crafts more during Autumn Fair @HOME. Join us on 8th and 9th September 2020 for key brands, the latest industry updates and more.

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