12 May Make a card for Steve Rowe CEO of Marks and Spencer…
We’ve been working with ShareAction, Care2 and Living Wage Foundation to call on retailer Marks and Spencer to provide a Living Wage to their lovely staff. Our craftivism campaign started this time last year and we are making progress (see update here). But need your help to get closer to our goal. Marks and Spencer have appointed a new CEO Steve Rowe and we need your help (pretty please) to encourage Steve to be his best self and give the Living Wage to his lovely employees (yep, they still don’t! Such a sad, shock right?). Wherever you are in the could, could you please make and post Mr Rowe a beautiful handmade card in a eye-catching envelope before the 31st May 2016 to remind him and support him to implement a wage that is treats his workers with respect please? It would really help our next meeting with M&S and our presence at their AGM this year.
So far we have over 78,000 people who have signed the Care2 epetition here (please sign and share). We have sent a letter to the new CEO from this campaign partnership with the Directors of of Care2, ShareAction, Living Wage Foundation and us. All Craftivists who made a hanky for a particular board member have reminding them of their responsibility in their roles and sent them beautiful handmade Christmas and Valentine’s cards to encourage them to use their power and influence for good. We had a meeting with Marks and Spencer’s Director of Sustainable Business Mike Barry and are just confirming a second meeting with him and the Director of HR. ShareAction are advising M&S on how they can implement a Living Wage in a sustainable way (it is very possible!) and Care2 are continuing to share the petition and have an image you can tweet here. We are doing other behind-the-scene crafty (but not craftivism) work with shareholders and shareholding companies as well as this coalition on this campaign so that at the M&S AGM this year (early July) we can have a stronger update on their progress.
The craftivism M&S new project (deadline 31st May 2016)
- Handmake a card for the new CEO of Marks and Spencer Steve Rowe. He has risen the ranks from the shop floor in Croydon. You can sew your card, draw it, colour it in, draw Steve as a knight in shining armour, make it with children… Be creative! As long as its positive, encouraging and has time and love put into it please. We want Steve to feel encouraged and supported to implement the Living Wage and argue for it against any blockers.
- You could make the card alone or with friends or a local group. We need as many people as possible making lovely cards in lovely envelopes.
- Post your card in an eye-catching inspiring envelope to Steve Rowe (personal), Marks and Spencer HQ, Waterside House 35 North Wharf Road London W2 1NW.
- Share your making progress, #crafterthoughts and final card to Steve Rowe on social media (tag @craftivists on Twitter, Instagram and our Facebook page) and encourage your contacts to make cards too. Also tag @Marksandspencer and @planamikebarry where possible as well as your boardmember if they are on social media). You can tag people in your social media images without their names in the body of text: tag in allies and large-reach people such as @shareaction @care2 @livingwagefoundation @citizensUK @zoewilliams @lucyseigle @liviafirth @fash_rev plus any contacts you have with large reach like craft celebrities, M&S models like Annie Lennox etc
Key messaging for your card and social media:
1) Congratulation on your new role as the new Chief Executive Officer of Marks and Spencer. I am particularly delighted by your appointment, given your very rounded experience from the shop-floor to executive leadership.
2) I am disappointed there’s been slow progress on the Living Wage and hope that will change soon under your leadership. As a member of Craftivist Collective and supporting ShareAction, CitizensUK and Care2, we would love to have something to celebrate at this year’s AGM.
3) Marks and Spencer is an iconic British brand, cherished particularly for its values and contribution to the community. As a customer, I am shocked that M&S don’t support the Living Wage. More than 2300 employers have accredited as Living Wage employers, including nearly one-third of the FTSE 100 and retail firms such as Ikea and Oliver Bonas.
4) Working towards the Living Wage is in line with with the ethos of the business, and presents a real opportunity for distinguishing the firm in the challenging landscape for Britain’s retail sector. The operational and reputational benefits for Marks and Spencer could play an important part in any strategy for the future growth and security of the business. I would be very interested to hear about your thinking in this regard.
5) I am pleased that at the 2015 AGM, Mr. Swannell committed to progress dialogue and spoke positively of our craftivism work to raise this issue with the board. We have since had positive conversations with Mr. Barry, as Director of Sustainable Business, but have overall been disappointed by the lack of solid progress since last year’s AGM. I hope you can change this
You’re in hope
#Crafterthoughts: Questions to reflect on whilst you make your card
- What challenges do you think Steve Rowe might face in implementing the Living Wage across Marks and Spencer
- How can you support them in facing those pressures/challenges and how could you help them in serving others?
- Are you being a critical friend or an aggressive enemy in your card? Remember, compassion, understanding and positivity inspires.
Craftivists, you are a vital jigsaw piece of this puzzle and hope you will join in and ask others to join in too. Thanks again for all of your continuous support, passion and stubbornness to not give up!:) Little by little we travel far… xxx