We did it
On 4th October 2019 we successfully raised £32,039 with 533 supporters in 28 days

BIPOC in Fiber - a website dedicated to making the fibre industry as diverse as the community it serves

by Jeanette Sloan in Hove, England, United Kingdom

Since January 2019 there’s been a vital conversation on social media about racism, representation, inclusion and diversity within the online crafting community.

The urgent need for change has been revealed through this discussion — change that must be led by BIPOC makers.


What is BIPOC in Fiber?

BIPOC in Fiber is a website and resource portal. It's mission is to amplify and celebrate the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour working in the fibre Industry. 

The website will 

  • enable BIPOC working in the fibre industry to find and see one another 
  • enable event planners and publications to be more intentional
  • feature a beautiful, easily navigable directory celebrating BIPOC working with fibre
  • pool resources and articles designed to improve access to opportunities for BIPOC working with fibre

BIPOC in Fiber is the idea of Britain’s most prominent black knitwear designer, Jeanette Sloan. Jeanette and her team need your help to develop this project and its aims to the next level. 


What's the history of BIPOC in Fiber?

Long before the recent online discussion began, Jeanette was exploring issues of race and representation through her own social media platform and through articles like "Black People Do Knit", written for Knitting Magazine. 

Putting out calls across social media asking the online crafting communities to contribute names of designers and makers of colour, Jeanette heard that all non-white ethnic groups felt invisible and underrepresented. She also learnt that institutional barriers and the bias of social media algorithms meant that many BIPOC makers were not getting exposure or representation at fibre events or in fibre publications.

This prompted her to create the POC Designers & Crafters List on her Wordpress blog — a practical list designed to raise the profiles of BIPOC makers working in the fibre industry. 

https://jeanettesloan.wordpress.com/poc-designers-crafters/ 

This list went some way towards counteracting those problems and has quickly become an essential resource that is leading change. It is influencing how major fibre events are curated and organised and its existence enables BIPOC crafters to find and see one another. It helps event planners and festival organisers to be intentional when planning marketplaces and booking speakers and teachers... and it stands as a brilliant and joyful reminder of just how diverse our sector is. Jeanette’s work on compiling and sharing the list is already promoting greater diversity and inclusion in our fibre communities

With your help and support, the list could do much, much more.


More than a list…

BIPOC in Fiber needs funds to expand the capacity and capability of the POC Designers & Crafters List so it can be much more than a list

  • The new directory will be searchable by name, location and craft type 
  • Listings will be visually appealing with photographs and lengthier descriptions of individuals and their work, modeled on the idea of a gallery or showcase
  • The website will publish monthly in-depth BIPOC in Fiber Profiles featuring beautiful photographs and written interviews
  • We will also produce empowering learning resources designed to enable further paid opportunities within the industry for BIPOC makers

 

What we'll do with your backing

  • Fairly compensate BIPOC creators for making and maintaining this vital community resource, for example:
    • Pay Alyson her fee for the development of the website and directory
    • Pay Lorna Hamilton-Brown for producing the project logo and working on the branding
    • Compensate Jeanette for interviewing and writing in-depth BIPOC in Fiber Profiles
    • Pay BIPOC photographers to shoot images for BIPOC in Fiber Profiles
    • Compensate Jeanette and Alyson for their time contacting BIPOC and growing the directory
    • Pay Indiana Hamilton-Brown for the use of the track Refresh in the video for this campaign
    • Pay the amazing BIPOC working with fibre who have produced some of our fantastic rewards 
  • ICO data protection fee and GDPR compliance and safeguards to protect BIPOC listed on the site
  • Research and develop learning resources
  • Ongoing maintenance and hosting costs associated with running the website
  • Rewards for our lovely backers (that's you!)

Funds raised here will ensure that Jeanette’s project continues to grow in the same spirit as her original list—a project by and for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour working with fibre, with the aim of working towards a more inclusive and representative industry.






 

What your support means

By supporting BIPOC in Fiber, you are:

  • supporting BIPOC leadership
  • helping fund a resource for everyone 
  • ensuring BIPOC are fairly compensated for working towards a more inclusive fibre industry
  • contributing towards the creation of a project which will have a lasting and beneficial impact on our whole industry 
  • agreeing to follow our Code of Conduct








 

Rewards

The key goal of this Crowdfunder is to raise funds for BIPOC-led, industry-wide change. BIPOC in Fiber are producing a range of rewards to commemorate your commitment to, and support of, that change. Thanks to Leila Bux at The Urban Purl, Lola Johnson of Third Vault Yarns, and Suraya Hossain of Mahliqa, for each agreeing to produce rewards for the higher levels of individual backing for this project.

In celebration of the fibres which connect our shared passions - knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc. - our tiers are named after different weights of yarn. Please note, for rewards involving actual yarn, the names of the funding tiers bear no relation to the actual weight of the yarn being supplied; please read the fine print carefully to avoid confusion!

 

A note to Business backers

To reiterate what we said earlier: this year has seen the online crafting community reckoning with issues around racism, bigotry and privilege. These are immensely complex problems which must be dismantled in multiple ways and through a wide range of different approaches. 

We strongly believe that the visibility and profile of BIPOC in working in the fibre industry can be increased through intentionally inclusive curation and planning processes: that is the central remit of this project. However, to avoid tokenism, we believe these actions must be contextualised by other strategic work towards inclusion and diversity. Your support for this Crowdfunder is enormously appreciated; you are helping to fund this project and to ensure it remains BIPOC-led. However, this support does not preclude your organisation from supporting other BIPOC-led projects, or from working towards inclusion and diversity in other ways.   

Please understand that BIPOC in Fiber reserve the right to reject backing from business entities whose policies or behaviour are not in alignment with our Code of Conduct.

If you are unsure about anything please reach out to our team at bipocinfiber@gmail.com so we can go over your concerns. Thank you for your support and for enabling us to work towards making this industry as diverse as the community it serves.

  

FAQs

1. Payment

A number of you have reached out to ask whether we can accept payment through alternative means. We really appreciate your wish to support the project! However, unfortunately, we cannot accept payment through any other means. You can back our project using all major international credit/debit cards, but not through AmEx or PayPal. If your pledge is not going through, please try contacting your bank, as it most likely that your payment is being blocked by them. Thank you for your understanding and your wish to help this project reach its goal

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

Cobweb Tier

Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£10 or more

82 of 250 claimed

Lace Tier

Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£25 or more

99 of 300 claimed

Sport Tier

Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£30 or more

37 of 150 claimed

Double Knit (DK) Tier

Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£50 or more

39 of 100 claimed

Worsted Tier

Limited Edition Project Tote Bag; Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£90 or more

14 of 25 claimed

Aran Tier: THE URBAN PURL EDITION

1 hank of hand-dyed 4 ply yarn dyed by Leila Bux of The Urban Purl in a special pink/orange colourway inspired by the orange/pink branding of BIPOC in Fiber; Limited Edition Project Tote Bag; Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£90 or more

11 of 25 claimed

Aran Tier: THIRD VAULT YARNS EDITION

1 hank of hand-dyed 4ply yarn dyed by Lola Johnson of Third Vault Yarns in a limited edition pink/orange colourway inspired by the orange/pink branding of BIPOC in Fiber; Limited Edition Project Tote Bag; Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£99 or more

7 of 10 claimed

Chunky Tier

Choker & Bracelet Kits created by Suraya Hossain of Mahliqa, containing everything you need to produce your own stunning knitted jewelry in a signature colourway inspired by the orange/pink branding of BIPOC in Fiber; Limited Edition Project Tote Bag; Set of 3 x 38mm button badges; Set of 3 Limited Edition Project Postcards; 1 x Limited Edition BIPOC in Fiber Enamel Pin; Digital badge for you to share on your blog/website

£100 or more

Super Chunky Tier (for Business backers)

Year-long license to use the BIPOC in Fiber logo on your website and social media; the option to have your logo on the BIPOC in Fiber website, and to be listed as an official business backer of this project; please read our note to business backers before supporting BIPOC in Fiber at this level. Thank you!

£250 or more

Jumbo Tier (for Business backers)

Year-long license to use the BIPOC in Fiber logo on your website and social media; the option to have your logo on the BIPOC in Fiber website, and to be listed as an official business backer of this project; subscription to a quarterly newsletter curated by BIPOC in Fiber and designed to share BIPOC-led projects of interest to your organisation; please read our note to business backers before supporting BIPOC in Fiber at this level. Thank you!

£500 or more

Roving Tier (for Business backers)

Year-long license to use the BIPOC in Fiber logo on your website and social media; the option to have your logo on the BIPOC in Fiber website, and to be listed as an official business backer; subscription to quarterly newsletter curated by BIPOC in Fiber; one hour consultation with a team member of your choice; please read our note to business backers before supporting BIPOC in Fiber at this level. Thank you!


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