A Craftivist's Manifesto

Here at the Craftivist Collective we focus on campaigning and activism where we question and challenge the root causes of poverty and suffering and look for long term solutions to those problems. The solutions might be a change in law, a shift in behaviour or a change in attitude. Our heroes are activists like Ghandi, Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes who all brilliantly changed our world for the long term. So the Craftivist Collective is not about fundraising, donating or simply awareness-raising. We use craft (mostly hand-embroidery and paper craft) as a powerful tool to create slow, quiet, thoughtful and compassionate activism as a catalyst for long term positive change in our world and in ourselves. We believe craft, if done wisely, can be a powerful, change-making instrument to add to the toolbox of activism.

We believe:

 “If we want our world to be more beautiful, kind & just, then our activism should be beautiful, kind & just”


We are aware that good intentions are only the start and that we can benefit from guidelines so that we don’t harm others. When we are working for example alongside vulnerable people to help them out of poverty and suffering, we believe we have to be even more emotionally intelligent and sensitive than if we were working in another area that doesn’t focus on justice issues. All of our craftivism actions should be rooted in our values, crafted with skill, sensitivity and wisdom.

As part of my recent exhibition in Stockholm,Sweden I created this manifesto (pictured) as the largest piece in the exhibition room. It took 6 months to write, rewrite and reflect on before I thought it was good enough! For the Craftivist Collective and for myself, activism is the priority and craft is our tool where appropriate, never our taskmaster.

I hope our manifesto is a useful creation to help others understand what it means to be part of the Craftivist Collective community and maybe even be a useful tool to help with other forms of activism…. Hang on your toilet door, office, studio or craft room. Important for anyone who wants to do effective craftivism.

Craftivist Collective, England


The Craftivist Collective is exactly that – a collective, an inclusive group of people committed to using thoughtful, beautiful crafted works to help themselves and encourage others be the positive change they wish to see in the world.

It started with Sarah Corbett, an award-winning campaigner with 30 years’ practical experience as an activist. In 2008, burned out from too much confrontation, slactivism and clicktivism, and doubting the effectiveness of many elements of conventional activist, Sarah starting looking for alternatives. When she discovered craftivism – a term coined by American writer and crafter Betsy Greer in 2003 – Sarah realised that craftivism could offer what she’d been looking for: something new to add to her activism toolkit.

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