15 Jan 2016 Has Only Made Us Stronger…
We did it! Six weeks ago I asked people to adopt a craftivist (me) for the 12 months of 2017 so that this year I can work sustainably, be fully focused on our mission, build on the success of our campaigns and grow them. 183 people replied to the call and have adopted me so far (from UK, USA, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and beyond!) so that I can be on the UK Living Wage for 2017 (you can still adopt me here). Because of these kind adopters you can expect more support and resources this year from Craftivist Collective to match the eagerness we receive from people to be effective changemakers crafting the world we want to live in
Mahatma Gandhi said:
“When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of trust and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.”
In 2016 Craftivist Collective have worked quietly and gently to…
…help Marks and Spencers increase their wage to the current Living Wage for over 50,000 of lowest paid staff. We’ve delivered over 30 talks and workshops to audiences keen to implement our gentle protest approach of craftivism into their own campaigns or existing ones. We’ve brought our Wellmaking Clinic to places across the UK and even at Helsinki Design Week helping people become more compassionate, courageous and careful global citizens (even helping one student successfully address sexual harassment in her school where it was previously being ignored by staff). Our work is being studied by more students across the world than ever before and taught as part of many Professors modules. Our craftivism kits and tools are being stocked in more shops across the globe including America. We’ve gained more media attention across the world in multiple languages and in more books and when I thought we might have to close this collective, 183 people have helped us guarantee we can survive through to the end of 2017 and hopefully beyond.
What will we be doing in 2017?
Here are just 3 of the many things we will be doing:
1. Our book will be born!
I’ve finished our book! I’ve had to spend 80% of my time in 2016 writing our book ‘How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest’. It hasn’t been an easy process but the best things take time and brain power. It was tough to say no to other craftivism activities but I had to focus on doing the book well and not spread myself too thin. With the help of our adopters I’ve been able to spend the last 6 weeks over Christmas and January 2017 with our brilliant editor pruning 95,000 words into 75,000 words and questioning every structure, statement and sentence to make this book the most useful, beautiful and enjoyable book for readers around the world. The manuscript will be sent to the copy editor for final proof reading tomorrow and the book will be out Oct 2017. There is still time to join 574 people and preorder the book which will mean you will have your name printed in the back of each copy as a supporter: www.unbound.com/books/craftivist
2. The ‘School of Gentle Protest’ will open
In Spring 2017 we will launch our online ‘School of Gentle Protest’. I’m so excited about this! I’ve been quietly making lists of the most frequently asked questions I get and where people are struggling most in their change-making. My hope is that this school gives practical ‘lessons’ (vlogs) on how to protest gently (sometimes using craftivism, sometimes not) whether that’s protesting against someone who says something racist or protesting against harmful global systems in our world. I’ve already lined up interviews with four incredible creative activists that I will interview on their gentle approach to protest and how we can learn from them. Please do send me your questions for us to add to the curriculum to cover.
3. We will launch two new international craftivism kits
One will be launched in March to support Fashion Revolution and it will be called ‘Mini Fashion Statements’. See a short video about the craftivism ‘gentle protest’ activity below. The second kit will launched this summer for children (aged 7 years+) to do with a parent or guardian. More information about it here. Like all of our kits, they will both include in-depth instructions, crafterthought questions to reflect on during the making of your craftivism plus what message to stitch to be the most effective in improving our world. They will be made ethically in the UK using recycled, upcycled and sustainable resources and through people who are paid a minimum of the living wage and within dignified working conditions. Without our adopters these new project kits would not have been possible to create so I send a huge thanks to those.
Join us and join in:
There is more we will be doing so keep an eye on the Craftivist Collective here on the website, on Twitter and Instagram (@craftivists) and Facebook (page: Craftivist Collective). Being a craftivist is a journey not a destination. We need patience and resilience to gain trust and grow relationships with people to help make positive long term change. The path might be long, uneven, rocky, wiggly, and steep at times but it is also full of beauty, joyful moments, enlightening views, and is travelling with a sense of solidarity and purpose. Some craftivists will dip in and out of campaigns. Some groups will last for one session, others for years. But I haven’t yet met a craftivist or a supporter of our ‘Gentle Protest’ approach to craftivism who regrets their involvement. So pick up your tools and lets see what we can create in 2017…