Code of Practice for Partnerships in Craft & Design
These standards of best practice apply to the production of handmade craft that involves a foreign designer. Their aim is to promote practical, equitable, and continuing partnerships involving producers (artisans, suppliers, and workshop managers), developers (designers, retailers) and users (consumers, collectors).
Traditional crafts have potential to grow through closer connection with foreign markets. However, cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings and unethical practices. The Code offers a common set of standards on which there can develop trust in mutual long-term interest.
Standards of best practice (condensed version)
The standards are based on two core principles:
Honesty about origins and outcomes of product development (the right to know)
- Accurate information is shared about production, design, packaging and means of sale.
- Terms of payment are agreed in advance, including the final sale price.
- Agreements are honoured.
- Permission from communities is sought to use their designs.
- Permission from designers is sought before copying their designs.
Respect for creative contributions (the right to be known)
- Creative interpretation is allowed in the making and use.
- All those who have made a meaningful contribution are attributed.
- Payment is made on or above standard rate.
- Production does not involve risk to health or social status.
- Setup costs are recovered in payment or useful in future commissions.
- The retailer is not undercut.
This translates to six key principles of SANGAM:
- Support – only copy the partner’s design with permission.
- Appreciate – respectfully consider a creative contribution from the partner.
- Notify – make any terms of payment clear from the beginning.
- Give – honour any agreement about payment and conditions.
- Acknowledge – recognise the partner’s contribution according to their wishes.
- Make known – be honest and open about the rest of the supply chain.
In normal practice, there are roadblocks that discourage participants from applying these standards. The full version of the draft Code includes protocols to assist in compliance.
The current Code has evolved out of roundtables, workshops and forums as part of the Australia India Design Platform, a strategic initiative of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. While it is adapted to the concerns of Australians and Indians, it can be used as a model code for other transnational partnerships. A platform is currently in development whereby those who subscribe to the Code can develop partnerships with other trusted partners.
To provide feedback to the draft code, either send an email to email@example.com. Full version of the Code can be found here. You can also find a checklist that covers the “nuts and bolts” of this code here.