Category Archives: craftivism

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Craftivism: #astitchintime for the #livingwage pt.2

Around this time last year Craftivist Collective along with Share Action started a positive campaign asking Marks and Spencer (M&S) to pay their staff the living wage. If you need a wee reminder here’s my blog post about it. A … Continue reading

Craftivism: #astitchintime for the #livingwage

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I believe that an individual can instigate positive change however, when a group of like-minded individuals comes together it is even more powerful. This is certainly my hope for the hanky I’ve just created for the Craftivist Collective / ShareAction campaign I’m involved with.

Did you know that Marks & Spencer is not a Living Wage employer? This surprised me especially as they promote themselves as everything that is good about Britain and have a reputation for being a good employer. I naturally thought they would be one of the 1570 employers in the UK who paid the Living Wage (£7.85 ph UK and £9.15 ph London), employers that include Scottish Government, Santander and Transport for London but they’re not. So when Sarah Corbett of the Craftivist Collective contacted me to find out if I would like to take part in their campaign I gladly accepted.

Along with 24 other people I stitched a unique hanky for one of M&S board members and influential celebrities. I chose board member Laura Wade-Gery not only because of her progressive outlook but because, like me, she likes her classical music. Along with a hand written letter from me it will be hand delivered to her at M&Ss AGM on 7th July. All I ask, as a M&S customer, is for her to do the right thing and implement the Living Wage across M&S. Sarah sums up the campaign beautifully in this blog post.

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History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.

I chose to quote the opening of Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy as I know she studied history at university, for its importance in recent historical events including Bill Clinton’s speech during the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and more importantly because it is about hope and knowing the right time to be on the positive side of justice. (the character who says these words was injured, spent time in the wilderness but ultimately went on to be the person who freed Troy during the Tojan wars)

I also embellished my hanky with a dandelion puff with our wishes and hopes interspersed with musical notes echoing the poem and our joint interests in music. The colours purple, white and green reflect the suffragette movement and with over 70% of M%S employees being women I hope it is not lost on her.

Naturally other craftivists also wanted to get involved so as part of a more visual campaign they have been tweeting and even stitching outside of M&S stores from Brighton to Irvine engaging with members of the public and raising awareness of the campaign.

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I’ll keep you informed of the progress we make however if you want to know more about the organisations involved or the Living Wage her are some links to get you started:

Craftivist Collective

Living Wage

Marks & Spencer

ShareAction

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Stitching Out Stigma

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  Some posts are easy to write whilst others are very difficult. This is one of the difficult ones as it is about me, my life with depression and a fab cross stitch project set up by a fellow sufferer. … Continue reading

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I wish…

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I enjoy embroidery for embroidery’s sake but sometimes I’ve used it to express my political (with a small “p”) feelings. So I was really pleased to find out more about a movement called craftivism. I’ve been reading about this slow, … Continue reading

Slow, thoughtful activism

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Just over a month ago I joined other curious folk at Cushion & Cake to meet Sarah Corbett to find out more about craftivism.

During the meeting we contemplated what our legacy (or footprint) would be on earth. This was assisted by the CC footprint pack which required us to think of a phrase or quote that meant something to us. We then started to embroider the phrase onto a footprint for us to keep and contemplate on while Sarah explained more about craftivism.

Craftivism is a slow contemplative form of activism. There’s no shouting or banging of drums but rather while you stitch your mini protest banner or Don’t Blow It hankie for your MP you have space to think about your cause. When you’re finished photograph it, blog about it and start spreading the word. Who knows how many people will stop, look and think about the mini protest banner you put up in a public place.

Don’t get me wrong I believe that marches and demonstrations can create change too but this allows the individual to have an impact too.

I chose a quote I found on a gravestone that resonates with me

as measured rolls of set music we march to the grave in quick and slow step.

It might not seem cheery at first however it reminds me not to judge others and that I can still make my voice heard along with those whose voices have been muffled.

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Some of us have subsequently met up to finish our footprints and have some interesting plans to take it forward…but that’s for a future post:-)

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Here are some useful links to find out about this growing movement:
What is craftivism?
Craftivist Collective
How to host your own stitch in

Craftivist Collective : #imapiece

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With Christmas being a time of giving I thought I’d curl up on Boxing Day, listen to the radio and embroider my part for the Craftivist Collective’s I’mapiece jigsaw.

This project is in support of Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign and asks us to think about how we can play our part in tackling this tragedy which happens all over the world, every minute of every day.

I decided to go with the phrase “we’re all Jock Tamson’s Bairns“. Who said it first is lost in history but it means we’re all the same. Simple but perfect for this project. I also went for some childlike writing in split stitch and added colourful French knot hearts with cheery pink edging.

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There is still time to take part and you can contact Sarah and the Craftivist Collective team directly for a PDF of the jigsaw template or buy one which includes the cut fabric jigsaw in their Folksy shop. You can also get more information here including a jigsaw template.

If you don’t sew but perfer to cook why not download the ecookbook for a suggested donation of £2 or more if you can afford it.

If you make a piece and are on Instagram don’t forget to photograph it and tag it #imapiece.

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Right, I’m off to send a #imapiece to my MP and ask them to do their bit too.