Art, craft and textiles for the Planet

by Maria Barbu in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,600

raised so far



Creating art, supplies and textiles that nurture the Planet, through supporting regenerative farming, natural dyes and a local supply chain

by Maria Barbu in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 6th July 2022 we'd raised £1,500 with 32 supporters in 48 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Who am I

I am a textile artist and keen environmentalist who believes that healing, for both humans and the Planet comes from a connection with nature and mindful crafts. I started creating textile art a few years ago as an exploration into my own mental health, which I believe is the best thing one can do for themselves and the others, as when one is in a good head space, they can pass on that energy. At the same time I, as many others, was struggling with the crippling anxiety generated by the news that our beloved Planet is in danger. While not talked enough, I strongly believe that environmentalism and mental health are closely connected. 

My journey so far

Always a keen walker and forager, in early 2020 I decided to try and work closer with nature and pigment from nature, to try to create colour in fully non-toxic, non harmful ways. At the same time I was doing a research into British natural fibre supplies and learning about regenerative agriculture. It was regenerative agriculture and learning about a soil-to-soil model that changed everything for me. We are told that every product depletes the Earth in some way, that everything we create creates waste, some level of pollution and ultimately harms. Learning that there are ways out there in which one can work with the land and help it regenerate and thrive instead of harming it, learning you can be creative in a way in which everything you take can return to the soil in some form, all this gave me hope! I desired from all my heart to support it. I do not own land, but I have my art!

And so my adventure started. I wanted to create art which used a fibre that regenerates the Earth, while at the same time working with nature for pigment, collecting water, reusing that water in the garden, composting the plant remains and any fibre off cuts so they can feed the soil. No nasties, nothing than cannot be returned to the land. At the same time I wanted to encourage others to take up crafts and other already crafty people to use a yarn that has been creating in an Earth loving way. I wanted to support farmers who are making efforts to shift to and mantein regenerative practices. I wanted to support local growers, local dyers and small businesses which supply dye plants and pigments, I wanted to explore nature and grow and forage for pigment myself.

That year I found my fibre supplier, with whom I have been working since. Based in Somerset, they hold the EOV (Ecological Outcome Verification) and regenerate the land with their sheep. They are incredibly inspiring people and I am so incredibly happy to support them. I also found incredible UK small businesses which grow or stock dye stuff which is Organic certified. I invested in gear. I invested in a space. I bough seeds. I started growing myself. I started composting. I started collecting water and reusing my dye baths in the garden (rhubarb leaf and nettle can be used as fertilised). I learned about the seasonal plants.  I created something I truly belied in: a yarn for the Planet, an art for the Planet.

All is wonderful but...

I was hopeful, and a dreamer, and a believer. I still am. I will always be. But now I know that the journey is not as straightforwards as I thought. It requires a lot of work. It's exciting work no doubt, but a lot. It requires a lot of investment. And a lot of time. And energy. And resources, much more than I have anticipated. And it came a day when, after self funding this adventure for two years, I have actually ran out of resources or possibilities to fund it. 

So I need help!

Once, during the pandemic I told a friend running a small business that if they need help, they should ask for it. Now, I'm trying to follow my own advice. I actually feel strange about it and rather embarrassed. But surely living, working and creating in a Earth loving way is worth it. Supporting farmers in their efforts to regenerate the Earth is worth it. Helping artists learn how to work with nature is worth it. 


What do I need help with and how will this help

I need space and resources and time. So I've set a few targets.

First goal £4000 would enable me to:

  • Keep securing a space to work. I need space for gear, yarn, drying space, access to ventilation and running water. I would also like to use this space to run group sessions and teach others more about plants and meditative practices which would nurture their mental health.
  • Purchase more regeneratively farmed wool and thus support farmers further. I have very little left knitting yarn and I’ve just ran out of the weaving yarn I use for my art.
  • Purchase an electric skein winder as I have sustained a wrist injury recently. Winding skeins and cakes of yarn is integral to my work, there is no dyeing or weaving without it, but it increasingly makes the injury worse.
  • Time to actively engage in growing myself. I have done it last year and it really felt like I bit more than I can chew. It is very time consuming and while it’s probably the most beautiful part, not being able to put the physical time in it, is very limiting. Being able to engage more in growing means also that I can bring the dream of a local British supply chain closer to reality.
  • Carry out a research into more than just pigment for textile, but also creating supplies for other mediums such as ink, watercolour, pastels.  

Second goal £7000 

I have for so long dreamt of regenerative local fashion. Think regeneratively farmed British fibres, naturally dyed with British grown plants, woven by hand into an artistic cloth on a wooden loom which doesn’t require any electricity or fuel and tailored into wearable pieces by a local tailor. No corporations, no unfair pay, just small makers doing what they love while working with nature. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s the dream. 

I’d really like to trial this. This goal would enable me purchase enough fibre to actually weave meterage (which I cannot do atm), dye everything myself using British grown plants and work with local tailors who would be payed fairly for their expertise, time and effort. Having a chance to actually trial this IRL and actually produce garments would also enable me to create a plan for the future and try to find ways that this could become more and more of a reality in today’s fashion world. I cannot change the world as a single person, but the more chances we get to work towards this, the more we can learn and understand, the more chances we get to tackle these issues, the more we can come together, bring our expertise and unite our efforts towards a better, fairer and Earth loving future!

Some lovely rewards in store for you as well! Please allow a month or two (for the woven pieces) for these to be completed! Any help in any form, including sharing and spreading the love, is highly appreciated! Together we can make a difference!




This project offered rewards

£20 or more

Surprise skein of yarn

A surprise lovely squishy 50g skein of naturally dyed regeneratively farmed British wool

£20 or more

Natural dye advice

If I know the info, always happy to help! If you're walking the natural dye path as well and want advice or just share and connect, always feel free to message me (ideally Insta as my mail sometimes goes to spam without me knowing it). Always happy to share what I've learned and I will do my best to advice! Please bear in mind that I do not know everything though and still have lots to learn! Also that my area of expertise is protein fibres!

£50 or more

Mystery Box

A mystery box of naturally dyed regeneratively farmed British wool

£50 or more

Weaving on my loom using naturally dyed yarn

If you're local to London and want to have a go at trying my loom and using my naturally dyed regeneratively farmed yarn, you're more than welcome to drop by. All yarn included and happy to share with you more info on dyes. I can also offer you a nice cup of herbal infusion!

£100 or more

Small handwoven wall hanging

A small surprise handwoven wall hanging, woven with love on my wooden floor loom with naturally dyed regeneratively farmed British wool. Decorate your home in an Earth loving way!

£100 or more

Yarn Subscription

Do you want to receive a surprise naturally dyed regeneratively farmed skein of yarn every month from July until the end of 2022? With the yarn subscription you'll be receiving one of these beauties each month until the end of the year.

£150 or more

Advent calendar

An amazing Christmas treat, a beautiful full palette set of naturally dyed regeneratively farmed British wool. 24 x 25g mini skeins wrapped individually for you to open every day in the run up to Christmas. Delivered in November for your December fun.

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