About us

Contact Us: craftivist[dot]collective[at]gmail DOT com

In the words of one of our craftivists Rosa Martyn: A spoonful of CRAFT helps the ACTIVISM go down

Craft connects your heart, head and hands, and when you relate that to justice issues, it can be world-changing personally and politically.

Betsy Greer coined the term ‘Craftivism’ in 2003 but it’s not a new concept. There is a long and inspirational history of craft being used to expose injustices: Chilean women for example used arpilleras to help bring down Pinochet.

Our manifesto is: “To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.”

Sarah Corbett  founded the Craftivist Collective in 2009 after craft-lovers around the world asked to join in her craftivism (activism through craft) as a way to make positive change and give introverts a voice outside of traditional extrovert forms of activism. This is a growing movement of innovative reflective introverted campaigning Sarah designed for people including burnt out activists & creative introverts to do ‘slow activism’ as well as offering a tool to marginalised communities to express their personal experiences of injustice through the power of craft. The Times named us one of their 5 ‘New Tribes’ of 2012, and we has been featured in numerous magazines, blogs and even been on French TV channel Canal+.

We now has thousands of members all over the world doing our craftivism projects on their own and in groups doing ‘Stitch-Ins’. We create projects, products, instruction videos, workshops, talks & are currently working on creating an online hub for craftivists to connect with and share their projects with each other. We have exhibited in galleries including Brighton, Geneva & LA and have worked with creative institutions such as Tate, Hayward, British Library, TOMS Shoes, Greenbelt Festival, cult jewellers Tatty Devine & the groundbreaking Secret Cinema (managing to get 5000 customers dressed as prisoners doing reflective craft on the issue of the prison system’s revolving door problem!) and worked with charities such as Save the Children on national projects to engage new audiences in campaigning. We have a craftivism book coming out in October 2013 through Thames & Hudson & Sarah has a monthly craftivism columnist for Crafty Magazine. You can watch a 10 minute talk by Sarah here,  a 20minute documentary here & read a short blog here

We are open to more collaborations and constantly  thinking of innovative ways to reach out to new audiences (such as craftivist bootcamps, more kits ideas, Craftivists popping up in shops, public transport and cafes so you can find them and stitch with them….)

We want to show people that making people aware of the injustices and poverty in the world can be joyful as well as empowering & fulfilling. It doesnt have to be stressful or elitest. Anyone can be a craftivist whatever their skill or understanding.

Our craftivism projects aim to challenge people’s views and reach out to those who may have not have previously accessed activism and groups for social change. You don’t have to be creative or an experienced campaigner. We also target media outlets that may not cover social justice issues but would cover craft, art, culture or fashion stories. Check out our Press page for more info.

We often display our finished products in public spaces to provoke passers by into thinking about the issue. But also, the act of creating a product – crafting something with a campaigning message – should provoke thought in the maker and observer. In addition, we encourage craftivists to send us examples of their craftivism and their thoughts for our blog.

Our Definition of Craftivism

With the term ‘craftivism’ being used much more nowadays and sometimes used by others to label something such as upcycling, recycling or making crafts to raise money for charity, we decided to make it clear what we see as craftivism as well as tell you a bit more about who we are and what we do

Betsy Greer coined the term ‘Craftivism’ and defines it as:
“A way at looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper and your quest for justice more infinite.”
In a July 2010 interview with Betsy she wrote “I’m glad that Sarah [Craftivist Collective Founder] has really understood what I was trying to get at all those years ago. The heart of the idea is so important to me that it makes my day when someone else sees the same power in it that I do”

The quickest explanation of craftivism is “craft +activism = craftivism” but this can make it appear that the craft and activism are in equal parts, in reality, when the Craftivist Collective talks about craftivism, we’re normally talking about activism through craft or crafty activism – but craftivism sounds way better .

Craft is our method of campaigning but it is the political and social change that is the most important part. We enjoy craft and creating but we’re passionate about working towards a fairer society for all.

Services we can offer:

  • Talks – presentations or part of a panel (by our Founder Sarah Corbett)
  • Lecturers at University (by our Founder Sarah Corbett)
  • Workshops (of our projects or bespoke projects)
  • Exhibitions
  • ‘happenings’ this can be participatory art installations in galleries, conferences and other spaces
  • Creating bespoke projects for organisations that fit with our ethos.
  • For more information please email craftivist [dot] collective [at] gmail [dot] com
  • commissions

Help needed:

Our Founder Sarah is full time running the collective. However she isn’t superwoman and still needs lots of help. If you can help with any of the below please contact her at craftivistDOTcollectiveATgmailDOTcom

  • Writing blogs on your craftivism projects
  • donate craft supplies especially cotton fabric, thread and needles
  • Events promotion
  • Admin
  • Sponsorship
  • Funding application help
  • Spread the word! 🙂