As the first front of industrialization, the closest to local resources and traditional knowledge, and the least demanding in terms of financial capital and technological innovation, material culture-based goods have become a modern example of sustainable and endogenous growth based on small and micro cultural firms. For these reasons, goods based on material culture are, in relative economic terms, more important in developing countries, where technological innovation and industrial mass production are less common. A brief discussion of the definition of material culture and a historical overview of the sector’s evolution will be followed by an analysis of quantitative data on the economic importance of artisan goods on national and international markets. The focus of the paper is to present a model on the transition from traditional handicraft production to soft industrial design and address the two main policies which should be adopted: the cultural district perspective and the assignment of collective trademarks.