The accuser assured me, "Yes, You."
It took me a while to get over my preconceived ideas of what an activist was. There wasn't much hope in denying it though. I had become, without even realizing it, an activist.
Craftivism on the other hand was a word and a description I loved right from the start. My "activism" has always revolved around awareness. The concept of using craft and art to spread awareness really hit home with this crafty chick.
At the time I'd never heard the terms upcycle or freecycle. My friend Nani, who introduced me to craftivism, had to keep correcting me, "not recycling, upcycling." The idea wasn't new to me, just the word. If you came to my house you would find upcycled and freecycled items in every room. Even my car is freecycled!
Pelican Messenger Tote for the Gulf or the Lyme Awareness Wallet. These items by design will spread awareness to anyone who sees them.
Other times the craftivism is more indirect with a portion of the proceeds from individual items going to charities I support.
Combining craftivism with upcycling and freecycling hits home with another of my causes, the environment. It's all about, Reduce Re-Use Recycle!
I also get to spread awareness about the causes I care about when I ask people to donate clothing and materials for my projects. I love posting on twitter asking for people to send me their pants. It is a great conversation starter:
Me, "I need your pants."I could just go down to Joann Fabric, buy everything I need, make things and sell them, but it just wouldn't be the same.
You, "What! Excuse me?"
Me, "Just the pants, you can keep what's in them to yourself."
The reward is so much greater when I've connected with someone who sent me their pants or other materials. I get to turn their "trash" into treasure, spread awareness about the causes I care about, and help protect the environment all at the same time.
The items I make have been on journeys, they have stories to tell and jobs to do. They've been reinvented and given a second chance at life!
I am an activist and a proud craftivist. I firmly believe that by doing my part, even though I am just one person, I can make a difference.