Shoes with laces from straws, multipurpose plastic products and art crafts made on glass are part of the portfolio of ecofriendly products that members of AGEXPORT’s Handmade Products Commission are offering abroad, due to an increase demand of products made from 100% recycled materials, especially in Japan. This Commission estimates exports of more than US$63 million on 2018, a figure 12% higher than in 2017.
Handcraft businesses started producing cotton products with natural dyes, cushions made with beads, blown glass, textile accessories and high-fashion pieces made with handmade textiles to display the cultural value of handcrafted Guatemalan products. These companies worked intensively to increase their productivity and competitiveness levels to compete internationally.
Our companies identified that ecofriendly products with recycled materials are a trend in high demand on international markets. As such, they started producing innovative and trendy products that successfully entered a new market: Japan. Additionally, our companies also export to the United States and Europe; said Mrs. Monica Diaz, coordinator of AGEXPORT’s Hand Made Products Commission.
One of the highlights of 2018 for this Commission was launching the “Handmade Fashion” segment, who participated at the 5th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show Guatemala with 40 handmade looks made by seven members that joined ancient techniques and materials with high-fashion Guatemalan designs.
We also organized on 2018 six training sessions with support from the AL-Invest 5.0 and “More Competitive Cooperatives and SMEs” programs from the European Union. At these sessions, we trained 229 businessmen and entrepreneurs with topics such as “Exporting 101”, corporate social responsibility, pricing, cooperation, among others; said Mrs. Díaz.