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Host your own event

 

Group stitch-ins are great. Having other people to share ideas with can be incredibly inspiring, and you can’t beat the support of working alongside a few friendly faces. Stitch-ins are also a brilliant way of spreading the word about craftivism and encouraging gentle protest about the issues you care about. If you’d like to put on your own event – whether private or public – here are a few tips that will help you make it really fun and effective.

 

Bristol Stitchable Change-makers workshop in The Letterpress Collective studio

You don’t have to have a public stitch-in, you might want to do a closed quiet workshop with no distractions first to engage deeply in the issue before interacting with the public. Bristol Stitchable Change-makers workshop in The Letterpress Collective studio

Tips:

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

 

Above all, craftivism should be a form of gentle protest, an alternative to some of the more aggressive kinds of protest around. Stitching in public is a great way to get people involved in the conversation, but only if they want to. Don’t be intrusive or take over a public space so others feel excluded. Instead, enhance the space and create a welcoming environment that people can engage with.

 

Always a gaggle, never a gathering

 

Small groups make for the best stitch-ins. The main reason is that they’re less threatening and more intriguing to passers by, who will find it easier to approach you and find out a bit more about what you’re up to.

 

Craftivists in Cardiff at their stitch-in outside M&S SImply Food at the train station

Craftivists in Cardiff at their stitch-in outside M&S Simply Food at the train station encouraging staff and customers to support our campaign for the real Living Wage (and it worked! Read more here)

Green fingered stitching

 

Thread care for the world we live in through all you do. Craftivism begins at home, so choose materials that are kind to the environment and to your fellow human beings. You can use our ethical project kits to ensure that every element is responsibly sourced, plus you’ll also get instructions, tips and ‘crafterthought’ questions to help you reflect on the issues individually or as a group.

 

Knowledge is power

 

Not everyone in your group will necessarily know much about craftivism or about the issues you’re focusing on, so make sure you have enough information on hand. Being prepared with a bit of guidance about how it all works and background notes on the subject you’re tackling will help them get up to speed and feel more comfortable.

 

Collaborations can take you places

 

It’s true. The right partnership with the right group, event or charity can really open doors for you and maximise the impact your work has. Keep a keen eye out for the opportunities to devise mutually engaging projects with organisations that can really help promote your message to a much wider audience. We’ve delivered workshops for Tate, Southbank Centre, Schumacher College and others around the world. Always be mindful of how, as a Craftivist, you can add value for them. Remember, collaboration’s a two way street.

 

Finally… breathe

 

Remember that craftivism should be a slow, gentle form of protest. Don’t rush. Relax and allow yourself to think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Rushing will never help you arrive at a thoughtful, considered outcome.

For a much more in-depth guide on how to engage with craftivism either as an individual or as a group, check out our brand new book, How to be a Craftivist: the art of gentle protest.