Feel the difference, make the difference

Yarn with a story

7 April 2019 11:29

Yarn with a story

All of our yarns have a story to tell. They're the embodiment of a mission, a vision for a better world.

From the hands of the makers, to our hands, to your hands, they are a thread of connection. Between fibre experts, yarn lovers and makers.

These beautiful skeins of undyed cashmere are now traveling to their forever home in Switzerland.


These days we hear more and more about the mass production of cashmere in Asia. How it is causing the withering of fertile plains, degrading in quality, impoverishing the nomads and threatening their way of life.


Our cashmere, however, is from Afghanistan. Here, cashmere goats have been a part of the countryside for decades. For years the goats only served as food and the hides were exported. But now From the Mountain has a network of spinners in remote areas, managing a cottage industry that supports over 100 women. (After over a decade of conflict, many women have been left as heads of household, but with very few safe and socially acceptable ways to earn income.)


The production is still fragile and vulnerable, when the violence flares up again it is literally too dangerous to produce and transport the yarn.


These skeins that are on their way to Switzerland now, were our last. I can only hope that we will be able to get new cashmere soon. For the people in Afghanistan, the spinners, the brave people who try to create a sustainable production chain in this area, and for all the quality-cashmere yarn lovers.

Because together, we can #changetheworldknitting.

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Hear the voice of the plus-size knitter & crocheter

In the discussion on social media about inclusiveness, discrimination and racism in the knitting community, I am looking at my own behaviour and choices. And I noticed another voice, that of another underrepresented and often slighted group of people. The voice of the plus size knitter/crocheter.


Apart from having to deal with disrespect and all sorts of judgment, you also often face a practical problem. The yarn shop simply doesn’t stock enough yarn for a project in your size.


Now I cannot begin to understand the pain of being constantly denied to be the way you are. The big and the little ways in which a majority says “but not you”, intentionally or not. If you have experienced this pain, know that I feel for you. And if I have been in some way the cause of that pain, I apologise for it.


So, back to what I can do. I see one pretty obvious thing that I can do, and that is to stock enough yarn for plus sizes. Because I understand that it must be frustrating to hear “we don’t have that much in stock, but if you really need it, of course we can order it for you” all the time.


On the other hand, as a small businessowner it is very difficult for me to have 10 or 20 or more skeins of all colours of all of my yarns. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I simply cannot afford that (yet).


So here’s my suggestion. I am now more aware of the frustrations of the plus size knitter, and I will bear those in mind. I will make sure that I stock as much plus size quantities as possible.


You, dear plus size knitter, I beg that you will help me. Tell me what you need, in reply or privately in an email (hallo@yarnz.nl), whatever you prefer. You are part of my community and I cherish you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and inquire, if you need more yarn than I have in stock, or if you have any other questions or suggestions.


That is then and this is now.


For now, you may like to know that I already have quite a lot colours of Bio Shetland in large quantities, and Eco-Fusion, Garthenor and KOKON merino follow close behind. 


And for the luxury yarns, we also have the Large Project Benefits scheme, which gives you 10% off on 10 skeins or more.

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Green Friday 2018

21 November 2018 12:00

Green Friday 2018

This campaign has finished.


In general, we don’t do discounts. And we certainly don’t want to encourage the feeding frenzy this time of the year. People spending too much money they don't have on things they don't want... this is not our way.

I realise this sounds a bit strange, and it is somewhat contradictory. Because we sell stuff. Of course I want you to buy it. The more, the better. Well, yeeessss… but. A big but. 

Yarnz is also about balance, about reducing our footprint as much as possible, about spending your money wisely and ethically, and about being part of a community that values quality over quantity. 

About buying less, choosing well, and making it last.

Green Friday

That's all very well, still, it is nice to celebrate a special occasion. 

Inspired by other (small) businessowners and out-of-the-box thinkers last year, we will join in a White Friday. Or any colour of your choice, perhaps Green is more appropriate, since we sell eco-friendly products.

Anyway, here’s the point: of all webshop orders from now until Monday, we will donate 50% of the profit to Ashwa Uganda. These guys are absolute rockstars when it comes to empowering (young) women, and the world needs many, many more courageous men and women like them.

I had thought to start this on Friday, but what’s the point, let’s kick off now. Buy less, choose well, and make it last. 

So go ahead and shop, and make the world a more beautiful place (for yourself too, because we do have awesome stuff, you know ;))


Michèle


About ASHWA Uganda

AHSWA supports the most vulnerable girls and women in Uganda, where menstrual hygiene and sex education are very much taboo. Because of poverty, sanitary towels are unavailable or unaffordable. Consequence is that girls regularly miss school and finally drop out of school and become isolated. 

Whereas empowering a community often starts with empowering their women.

Teenage pregnancies are also a major issue.

Girls and women of all ages still have a very limited say over their lives and in particular over their sexuality, a situation that has made them face a number of problems among which:

  • absenteeism where girls stay at home rather than attending school when menstruating; 
  • inadequate waste disposal facilities; 
  • the expense of commercial sanitary pads; 
  • lack of privacy for changing menstrual materials; 
  • leakage from poor-quality protection materials; 
  • the lack of resources for washing such as soap; 
  • limited education about the facts of menstruation; 
  • limited access to counseling and guidance; 
  • fear caused by cultural myths; 
  • embarrassment and low self-esteem; 
  • the unsupportive attitudes of some men.

As an NGO headquartered in Busia Uganda,  ASHWA is currently implementing menstrual hygiene activities:

  • training young women and girls in social enterprise;
  • delivering health education;
  • women’s groups and young girls making reusable pads for their own use;
  • women’s groups offering training to others;
  • a school Program, where ASHWA trains girls to make pads and delivers health education. ASHWA aims at supporting the girl child attend all days of school.

Yarnz will donate half of the profit on webshop orders to ASHWA. They will spend the money on:

  • Materials for making the reusable pads (cotton, fleece and plastic material, buttons, thread,  sewing machines);
  • Stationery (flip charts, markers, chalk);
  • Facilitators Allowances (as a small refund of the time and transport they invest for taking part in our event).

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