Short answer: because usually when you acquiring a handmade object or food you are investing in something made with more care, with better materials or ingredients, and it is more ecological and ethical.
Long answer: it has to do with a better world for all of us. We live in an industrial world where more processes are becoming automatic, and this is not a bad thing by itself. Because of it we now have the popularization of products in all social layers as never seen in human history. But one of the downsides is to lose touch of how things are made. There is a disconnection between people when you never really have to think about how difficult some things are done, how many lives are involved in the process, human and all the other forms. This can bring a lot of serious issues. Perhaps we don´t think as much we should about the pollution created for us because it is done on the other side of the world. Or maybe we don’t reflect as often we ought about the fact that the low price of a particular thing is but a mere reflection of unethical working conditions lived by our fellow human beings. But, if one hand we need some level of industrial products, it is questionable we need so many different ones at the current moral and ecological price.
One of the ways to go in another direction is to pay more attention to things, to what we buy, and how they ended in shelves and tables. If avoiding all consumption is a utopic idea, we can choose to consume more ethically. That means be aware, at least minimally, of the origin of the product and how was made. Most of us don’t live anymore in small villages or cities and we probably don’t know the people behind our bread, like used to be in the past when it wasn’t uncommon for people to know the baker or to produce their bread at home. For those who know at least a little about breadmaking, they understand how hard can it be to have a good sourdough. The several trials, and errors, before having a good way to make the yeast and flour transform in a loaf of delicious crusty bread. And that goes for everything that is done with technique and intention. The search for the best recipe or method provokes also a interior modification on the artisan. When somebody wants to find a better way to do a thing they became this kind of person who wants to improve. This mindset is not something you can isolate, it spreads. A society that has artisans is a society with better people, therefore a better society itself. So, to consume artisanal products is not only more ecological and moral, it is an act that incentive a better world in a broader sense.
Another example, imagine a mug, almost everyone has one and uses it daily, probably a pretty banal object for a lot of people. This mug in your mind or maybe in front of you is not just a mug but the end of a chain of events. The mug is made with water, fire, clay, intention, doesn´t matter if industrial or handmade. But, as more you get into the intention and care more quality you can have on the final product. You can also have better materials, maybe a special clay from a particular place. And when you have a person who has been studying how to do the best mug, an artisan, you can genuinely say that you have something special in front of you. Every detail in this mug was made with a purpose. The edge of the mug was thought to gently receive your lips, the mug handle has that shape to better accommodate your hand, the color of the glaze it was thought to pleased your eyes. The small imperfections on the mug make then more beautiful, giving it more personality, making it unique and impossible to reproduce. Through the mug you are now connected to a history who belongs to all of us, we are, after all, creatures who create things. Some archeologists say that the first pieces of ceramics went back 25.000bc in our history. There is ancient ceramic from all over the world, every continent has its history with clay. In many cultures, argil plays an important role in myths. Is not just we humans create artifacts, but we are also created in the process of making it, we became better.
To support a small business where one or just a few people is responsible for the whole process of creating is then choosing more quality for you, more care for your own experience with things. It is to help local individuals with names and stories, to boost our economy, and to empower other humans like us. It is to show respect for the environment because it is more ecological. Every handicraft product has a rich history behind it and can be a rewarding experience to be part of it. That’s why artisanal matters.