Announcement: Webshop is closing down. Clearance sale will start on Feb 01. READ MORE

Feel the difference, make the difference

Closing down

18 January 2022 10:00

Closing down

I have decided to quit the Yarnz webshop.


I have enjoyed social enterprise for a long time, but no more. I am tired, to the bone, I am even too tired to find the right words to explain why I take down the webshop.

If you have been following me on social media, you will know that I have had a couple of difficult years. We had a beautiful but very intense baby girl, and just as things were settling down after a year or so, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in November. 

I've not been able to manifest Yarnz in the way I had envisioned, and these intense years, with the pandemic with all its consequences on the side, have drained me.

I need time, lots and lots of time. To grieve, to recover, to just be a mother to my little girl. To knit, crochet, felt, perhaps take up sewing, and create, create, create. Just to be. Without having to make money from it, or battle impossible algorithms on social media, or work with deadlines.

Knowing myself, I might very well start a business again at some point. The moment my decision was clear, new ideas were already popping into my head. No rocket science, just a blog, a podcast, I don't know. I'd love to stay connected, to keep sharing my creative exploits and to read about yours. To tell you about beautiful sustainable yarns, their backstory, possibly their downsides. To do the good work, trying to do my bit to make the world a better place. Without being biased because I also happen to sell that yarn.

For now I'll keep my Instagram and Facebook accounts, so if you want to stay in touch, be sure to connect!

This is the link to my Instagram account

This is the link to my Facebook page


So that's the how and why, more or less. These words don't really do it justice. Like I said, I am too tired to find the right words.

I'm sure I'll tell more about it in the time to come, on the social media and who knows, one day on a new blog or something.

For now, I thank you most heartily for your support, your orders and your dedication to sustainable, earth friendly and people friendly crafting materials.

Keep making the change you wish to see in the world!


Clearance Sale starts Feb 01

The clearance sale will start on the 1st of February.

The sale will start at 10%-15% depending on the product. I'll see how it goes from there. Perhaps I will increase the discount a bit, perhaps not.

I will definitely not sell the yarns at dump prices. They are too precious for that, I'd rather knit my own things from the leftovers than sell them at a loss. 

Obviously Large Project Benefit no longer applies during the sale.


Please note that we might need more time to ship your order than usual.

Also, the inventory in the webshop might not be up to date. I try to prevent disappointments, but it can happen that your ordered items are already sold out. (In that case I will of course contact you and discuss the possibilities, alternatives or a refund.)


Thank you for sticking with me!

With love from Holland,

Michèle

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Brioche sweater in Eco-Fusion

26 July 2021 11:35

Brioche sweater in Eco-Fusion

I am trying out a little brioche experiment. These nice summer colours of Eco-Fusion will look lovely on my little girl, even if it probably won’t be finished until Fall...

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Meanwhile on Planet Yarnz...

21 May 2020 11:12

Meanwhile on Planet Yarnz...

Some rambling thoughts to share... I'm still here, all is well! 38 weeks pregnant and going strong.

In a way, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times. The best, because my husband is working from home and it is great to be together so much in these special last weeks. And due to social distancing, we have even more quiet cocooning quality time together, now that there are hardly any social calls to make.

But it's also sad not to be able to share as much of this pregnancy with friends and family as I would like. And the Corona situation makes me feel isolated in many other ways as well, even from my beloved online community. I believe there are many other yarny friends and small businesses who feel the same way, the lockdown and restrictions weigh on us all.


I really should be telling you all about the new yarn that has arrived, it's a gorgeous addition to the Yarnz collection! I should be photographing the colours, putting it all up on the website, etc. I'm also testing another new sustainable yarn brand which looks very promising.

But I can't find the focus and energy.

In general I'm very healthy and the babe is doing well, for which I feel blessed. There's just one major drawback: I sleep *very* badly and have for months now. So I take naps during the day and the energy I do have goes into preparing for the arrival of our daughter.

For the rest, I'm not doing anything very much, slowing right on down, knitting a stitch or two and watching the birds in our garden. Life is good ☺

I may take a little longer in replying to your emails etc. But thanks to darling Karen, orders still ship out as usual! #Kareninaction This is of course a huge blessing for me in these times, otherwise I'd probably have to shut the webshop for a bit. I still might once our baby is born, we'll see how it goes then.

Wishing you all the best, stay happy and healthy.

~Michèle

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Challenges of a sustainable yarn shop

It isn't easy sometimes, to keep a collection of *really* sustainable yarns. Let me tell you about some of the challenges, and allow me to complain a bit in the process ;)

First of all, I have to make sure that the yarn really is sustainable, of course. As sustainability (happily) becomes more and more popular, we also see more and more greenwashing everywhere. 

I can't always actually go and see for myself, and yarn producers - understandably - don’t want to give away all their craft secrets. So this in itself can be difficult enough. Still, I need a certain degree of transparency, and most eco yarn producers are happy and willing to tell more about their production process. 

But even when the relationship is cordial and transparent, information about traceability, dyeing methods, animal husbandry etc can still be very difficult to obtain. It is a big and complex world out there. 

This is also one of the reasons why it is difficult for me to work with indie dyers. As beautiful and artful as their yarns can be, small independent dyers usually buy their base yarn from one or two big wholesale businesses and can’t guarantee the sustainability of the yarn itself. This is not unwillingness from the indie dyers – this information simply is not available. And it will not be made available for small businesses like us or the indie dyer, insist as much as we like.

There is also the difficulty of working with other pioneering businesses in general. Most of them genuinely try to produce high quality yarns, as earth-friendly and people-friendly as possible. But small businesses are vulnerable. They usually need a lot of time to produce and deliver. All sorts of things can go wrong to delay or mess up the production process. Local circumstances may change with big and sudden consequences. They may have to change their products, or their prices, or some crucial part of their business strategy. They can suddenly be unable to keep to former agreements, which can have big consequences for me as their retailer. Because I too have a small business, and am vulnerable.

There are also situations when the difficulties arise from deliberate unwillingness. I am sorry to say that I have known it happen that producers knowingly and consciously undercut and back-stab their retailers. Because more money is to be made by selling directly to the public, or the business has grown and doesn’t need its retailers so much anymore. Sadly, sustainable production doesn't automatically also include integrity and good will, and fair trade doesn't always seem to apply to all partners concerned.

Like I said. It’s a big and complex world out there.

When I include a yarn in the Yarnz collection, this is usually a big investment. Not only in money, but also in time and spirit. So when I have to let go of a yarn, it is a huge loss - not only financially.

I try to build a good relationship with my yarn producers. Often, I am happy to say, this is very rewarding. Because there is nothing like growing together and working on something in which you truly believe, with likeminded people. And if you even get to play with gorgeous yarns... it doesn't get much better than that!

But it is difficult, complex and risky to run a social business. 

Still, I wouldn't have it any other way (if only because I'm useless at anything else XD)

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Green Friday 2019

27 November 2019 07:30

Green Friday 2019

GREEN FRIDAY

We sell fair products for a fair price, all year round. So in general, we don't do sales. And we certainly don’t want to encourage the feeding frenzy this time of the year. People spending money they don't have on things they don't need or want... this is not our way.

I realize this sounds a bit strange, and it is somewhat contradictory. Because we're a shop. 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 treading lightly and kindly, 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.

Still, it is nice to celebrate a special occasion.

So this is our compromise, inspired by other (small) business owners and out-of-the-box thinkers, we celebrate with a Black Friday alternative.


This is how we do it:

From Friday Nov 29 until Monday Dec 2 (midnight):

- Instead of discounts, we will donate 25% of profits to charity.

Plus an Offer You Can't Refuse: Orders over €75 get a Tony Chocolonely chocolate bar! (If you want the vegan option (dairy free dark chocolate), just say so in the order comments or send me an email at hallo@yarnz.nl.)

- And an extra incentive: We raffle 5 Golden Tickets among all orders over €100. (Well, gold-ish tickets... well, a nice voucher anyway ;) Each voucher is worth €10 of shopping credit in our store. Use it on your next Yarnz shopping spree, or give it to a friend!


Two charities. One for people and one for the planet:

1. For people: ASHWA Uganda.

ASHWA supports the most vulnerable girls and women in Uganda, where menstrual hygiene and sex education are very much taboo.

Sanitary towels are unavailable or unaffordable. Consequence is that girls regularly miss school and finally drop out of school and become isolated

ASHWA teaches about menstrual hygiene and how to make their own reusable sanitary pads.

I know the founder, Eric Omondi, personally. I am absolutely convinced that they are making the difference in many Ugandese communities and have been a proud supporter of them for years.

These guys are absolute rockstars when it comes to empowering (young) women.

The world needs many, many more courageous men and women like them.

Half of our Green Friday donation will go to ASHWA Uganda.

2. For the planet: Trees for All.

Every year ten billion trees are lost. With disastrous consequences for people, animals and climate. 

Trees for All plant trees, protect and restore existing forest and raise awareness about the need for trees. Both here in Holland where I live and also further away, through sustainable forestry projects in developing countries.

Half of our Green Friday donation will go to Trees for All.

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