Rhizome sees the gap between craft and industrial products as an opportunity for design, market and sustainability—a sweet spot for SMEs working with natural/sustainable resources.
Technology-intensive value chains often inhibit the participation of poor producer communities, limiting their role to just supplying raw materials or being primary processors. Craft-based value chains, on the other hand, naturally allow communities to reap economic benefits and give them greater control, from resource extraction right up to marketing.
Therefore, Rhizome takes its cue from craft practice, and designs products that are made from local materials, do not require a capital-intensive infrastructure, and offer employment to local communities, including marginalized groups such as women.
We, at Rhizome, believe sustainability needs to be brought into the mainstream to be relevant. Our philosophy is to achieve this by designing products based on the craft tradition, that can be made from locally available, renewable/upcycled materials, produced equitably by local communities, in line with commercially viable markets—making them culturally, ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.