The Coolest Things to Buy From 14 Different Countries on Etsy
I have to confess: when I sit down to plan a trip, I'm often not looking for the latest It hotels or the must-try restaurants. Those will come later, after I've spent a few solid Sunday-afternoon hours researching the local boutiques and vintage shops. They can be really emblematic of the spirit of a place — not just in the wares themselves, but in the opportunity to chat with the artists, designers, and curators behind them.
Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson and I have this desire to fill our homes (and closets) with handicrafts from around the world in common. And Etsy's latest trend guide, put together by Johnson, is a treasure trove of just that.
"The wonderful thing about Etsy is that you're working with and buying from a real person," Johnson said. Often, this gives you the opportunity to potentially personalize and customize, but it's also able to bring that human connection element we seek out in our travels into an online transaction.
And we're definitely not alone. In the past year, Johnson has found that Etsy searches for “international” are on the rise, with searches for “international jewelry” up almost 100 percent year-over-year. So for the retailer's summer trend guide, she pulled together data that highlights the biggest rising shopping trends in 14 countries, spanning every continent.
On the world tour, expect to find easy-yet-chic summer garments, fun home décor, and plenty of where-did-you-get-that-worthy statement jewelry.
Israel: Contemporary Leatherwork
Australia: Sustainable Fashion
In Australia, the past year has seen a 20 percent rise in searches related to sustainability as shoppers are making more of an effort to buy goods that are made in an earth-conscious way. Sellers like Brisbane-based Kirralee & Co. and Adelaide-based Days of August are crafting artful accessories out of recycled and reclaimed materials — from wood to stainless steel — and using business practices like carbon-neutral and solar-powered production and biodegradable packaging.
Lithuania: Modern Linens
Lithuania has a rich history in linen production, one that dates back thousands of years, but the styles and silhouettes trending with Etsy sellers are very much of the now. OffOn, which is run by a Lithuanian family of four, has fashioned the summer staple fabric into boxy separates and androgynous jumpsuits while LinenSpace brings the ease of linen into the home with minimalist blankets, tablecloths, and pillow covers.
Spain: Sculptural Jewelry
As the home of greats like Gaudi and Picasso, Spain is no stranger to modernist art and architecture. Today, the country's jewelers, like Barcelona-based Philo K. Studio and Sew a Song, are incorporating those clean lines, simple geometrics, and muted color palettes, and Etsy shoppers are loving it — searches for "Spanish jewelry" on the site are up by 30 percent.
Canada: Innovative Woodwork
Canada has the highest number of trees per capita in the world, so it's no surprise that the country is known for its incredible woodworking, Johnson said. As searches for "woodwork" are on the rise, Canadian sellers like Les Substituables and Keephouse Studio are reimagining the roles wood can play in the furniture, décor, and accessory categories."
Netherlands: High-concept Lighting
In the past year, Etsy searches for "statement lighting" have gone up 38 percent and "minimalist lighting" is up by 42 percent. Luckily for Dutch décor designers like Nellianna in The Hague and Arp Design in Haarlem, both trends align seamlessly with their fun-but-functional design aesthetics.
Japan: Understated Ceramics
According to Johnson, Japan is all about ceramics right now. On Etsy's blog, she's spoken before about a trend called wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that's all about embracing imperfections. Local sellers like Kei Kawachi and Hitoshi Morimoto are creating quietly beautiful pottery that's intentionally imperfect. Flaws and all, the fact that a piece is handmade by a person is what you love and celebrate about it.
Germany: Vintage Rattan
The '70s are having a serious interiors moment right now, which may explain why Johnson has seen searches for "rattan" rise 90 percent globally with 30 percent specific to Germany. Vintage collectors like A Bohemian's Attic in Berlin and Krohnografie in Hamburg have done the hard work of the flea market hunt for you, curating the best rattan furniture, planters, and more.
Kenya: Beaded Jewelry
As shoppers crave more and more authenticity in their products, it's no surprise that searches for "international jewelry" on a person-to-person platform like Etsy are up almost 100 percent in the past year. Kenyan creatives like Janes Beads Ke and NaHERI are giving new context to ancient African beading techniques with gorgeous necklaces, earrings, and even sandals.
France: Natural Beauty
We can always count on the French to stay ahead of the beauty curve, so while search terms like "natural beauty" and "organic beauty" are up 17 percent worldwide just in the past year, Provence has been making natural, artisanal soaps since the 14th century. At shops like My Happy Soaps and Les Simples de Charlotte, it's simply not enough for the products to be organic, they'll also make the prettiest additions to your bathroom shelf.
India: Block-printed Textiles
Pattern lovers, rejoice: On Etsy, searches for "Indian fabric" and "block print" are up 16 percent and 11 percent, respectively. This traditional printing technique which uses hand-carved wooden blocks to "stamp" patterns onto the textile is still used by Indian sellers like Kharakapas and The Kaithari Project who are working to keep it — and many other heritage-based skills — alive.
United Kingdom: Letterpress Art
Italy: Opulent Statement Accessories
Italians are anything but shy when it comes to style — just think of the utter vibrancy that comes to mind when you picture some of the country's biggest fashion houses (ahem, Dolce & Gabbana). There's no shortage of these over-the-top styles from Italian sellers like Heluna Art and Mayré Accessori, where you'll find eye-catching patterned scarves and decorative soutache jewelry.
Uruguay: Merino Wool Weaving
In Uruguay, sheep outnumber people nearly two to one, so it's the perfect country to turn to when you're in the market for a cozy wool blanket or pillow. When merino wool saw a 43 percent uptick in Etsy searches, artisans like Texturable Decor and Quiroga Quiroga were more than prepared to meet the demand.