Hi! This is us. We are Yarnz.
Michèle & Joos
Our stitch artists:
Karen, Ivonne & Joan
We sell ethically produced yarn and honest knitting & crochet tools.
We design patterns that can be easily adapted to your own size and creativity.
With Yarnz, we are Making the Fair Way.
Making the Fair Way
We are convinced that it is possible to run a successful social enterprise, adding something to the world instead of blindly striving for gain. With Yarnz we want to provide not only for our own families, but also support our producers and initiatives that are Making the Fair Way.
Ideals and dreams will stay intangible and without consequence if you don’t put them into action.
So we started this webshop for sustainable knitting & crochet materials. Because there are lots of ethical producers of yarn and tools that offer an alternative to the destructive mainstream products. And there are people, like you, who do give a damn. Yarnz proposes to be the link between the two.
And we’re not a lone voice calling in the wilderness, either. There are other yarn shops and designers who care about their footprint. The more Fair products we all supply, the better. Together we can make the difference.
It doesn't stop at "just" a yarn shop. A large part of our profits are invested in social and environmental organisations all over the world.
For this, we prefer working together instead of donating money. We believe in enabling people to fix things themselves. Dropping a big bag of money, which will often as not just be engulfed by a corrupt society, is usually only a symbolic gesture. We want to make the difference. We can do that by purchasing their products, supporting their organisation, establishing a long term collaboration on which they can count. With their profits, they can invest where they judge it to be necessary.
At this moment (Aug 2017) we're working together with Freeset on a knitting & crochet project bag. We're looking into ways to support Ashwa Uganda. And we have several other plans up our sleeve. If you have an idea or suggestion for an organisation with which we might team up, don't hesitate to contact us.
All of this costs money. We need money for our projects and for ourselves. We're fair & square about this: we want to make money, yes. We’ve got kids to feed (both the furry and regular type), bills to pay, just like everybody else. We can't spend all our time designing patterns, running a webshop and coordinating projects, and have a day job. Yarnz is our business, our way to make a living. We're not dependent on subsidies, we don't take donations, we don't rely on benefits from any government or any organisation. We're independent because we make our own money. With Yarnz, by selling these beautiful, responsible and Fair yarns.
And there we have come full circle. That is our link in the chain of honest trade.
Feel the difference, make the difference.
The materials you work with and wear on your skin should be beautiful. Inside and out.
You spend much time working on a project. You let every centimetre of yarn pass through your fingers. You're making something by hand, for all love! That alone makes it special. It will be made to last. It may even become an heirloom item, living on for generations.
All that starts at the resources. Your yarn and tools have to be honest, ethical, Fair, to be able to make something truly beautiful.
When you choose to Make the Fair Way, you choose to make something truly beautiful. You become that indispensable link, the closing piece in the chain of honest trade. It starts with the person who crafted your materials, who grew the cotton, cared for the sheep, dyed and balled the yarn. Or who selected the wood for your needles, dried and cut it, gave them a nice finishing polish. Or who stitched up your gift bag. All these things are done by real people. Craftsmen and -women who create your knitting & crochet materials. These materials travel all the way into your home, to be finally transformed by you into your handmade item.
This connection is something to treasure.
Fast fashion sucks
The world of fabric, yarn, handicraft and fashion is our world. We love it. We love colour and texture and knitting and… everything. We love learning new techniques, we love the peacefulness of needlework, we love the kick of creating something, we love the endless ways of self-expression it allows. Inspiring others and being inspired is the best thing there is, it makes our souls sing. And we're totally addicted to working with the materials that other craftsmen and -women have made, like beautifully dyed yarn or clever knitting needles.
We love that world. But that world is broken. The mainstream fabric and yarn industry is built on extensive pollution and exploitation. It’s ruled by big companies that don’t give a rat’s ass about human dignity, or the planet we all live on. About child labour, human trafficking, gross animal abuse or environmental atrocities on a large scale. These things happen, we all know about it and we don’t have to draw you a picture.
We want to fix that world. Needlework and yarn is our way. It’s a world we understand and love. Via needlework, fabric and yarn, we’re making the world a better place. We're not the only ones. More and more people choose sustainability and buy less, choose well and make it last.
Slow fashion rocks
Knitting and crochet is not only fun to do. Making your own clothes is a way of self-expression that is by definition unique. Whereas mainstream fashion never fits right. Nobody has standard sizes all over their body. We’re made to believe that we have to adapt our bodies to fit the standard. It should be the other way around.
Slowfashion rocks. Making it yourself rocks even harder.
So we’re working on a range of patterns to create an entire wardrobe. Timeless pieces that will be made to last. Our patterns will enable you to make things that fit your body. We don’t follow the standard sizing system. (Why would you spend hours on a sweater only to have another standard size in your closet? It is a handmade item. It should be made to measure.) We design patterns in such a way that they will fit perfectly.
Our patterns are and will be available online, for free, for everybody. Creativity needs to be free.
This is something that takes time, of course. We have quite some experience in making things to fit ourselves. However that is not the same thing as explaining it to someone else, in writing, at a distance.
Big surprise there.
So we’re working on it. Give us time, or if you like, give us a hand.
Feb 2018: Needlework Retreat