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To many participants, [crafting] is not a new shopping trend or even an art movement. It is a kind of consumption revolution, a community based on celebrating individual creativity and artisanal skill—and rejecting mass-produced goods. Like the brand underground entrepreneurs such as Barking Irons and the Hundreds, the DIY practitioners prized their independent, nonmainstream status. Crafters, however, often postioned their efforts as not just an alternative to or a luxurylike refinement of mass consumer culture, but an overt challenge to it.

“Crafting is a political statement,” Jean Railla, the founder of, argued in the first issue of a magazine called Craft, which appeared in late 2006. “With globalism, factory labor, and sweatshops as growing concerns, and giant chains like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Old Navy turning America into one big mini-mall, crafting becomes a protest.” Railla, whose 2004 book, Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec, placed self-made goods in the context of third wave feminism and a “bohemian” identity, returned in the new magazine’s second issue to argue on behalf of “the punk of craft.” Reiterating the political and “antiauthority” aspects of the “ethic of Do It Yourself,” she mused: “In the age of hypermaterialism, Paris Hilton, and thousand-dollar ‘It’ bags, perhaps making stuff is the ultimate form of rebellion.” . . .

[And yet . . . ] Grounded in commerce, the DIY movement not only accommodates consumption and even marketing, it depends on them. It’s not opposed to the meaning of objects, it’s about the meaning of objects.