"As West Elm opens up new stores around the country, they actually wholesale items from local Etsy sellers and put those items in the store," Dickerson says.
Dickerson says Etsy does monitor the site; users flag shops that look suspicious and Etsy investigates. "We ask for documentation and photos and basically proof of how the item is being produced and then we make a decision on whether to allow that item or that shop the ability to stay on Etsy," he says.
But they don’t all share the values Etsy promotes, which Walker calls a "kind of moral purity of the handmade as a response to the alienation of mass-manufacturing culture."
Handicrafting has its roots in the rural crafts—the material-goods necessities—of ancient civilizations, and many specific crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a limited geographic area.