Mass-craftivism to put the Earth centre-stage at COP26

Stitches For Survival is a group of knitters, crocheters, stitchers and crafters from across the UK and beyond with a heart-felt message to the COP26 climate talks to be held in Glasgow 1–12 November 2021.

It is time to put the Earth — the basis for our very survival — and not money, centre stage in political decisions. This is the time to take bold and binding action to stop the devastating climate havoc and ecological breakdown that is evident across the world.

This last year has shown how radically our lives can change overnight when the political will is there and people take responsibility. It is time to act with the same urgency on the climate and ecological crisis!

We are knitting, crocheting, stitching and crafting 1.5 miles of climate messages for the negotiators to urge them to take bold and binding action together. Mass-craftivism to put the Earth centre-stage at COP26!

The length of the scarf represents the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement.

The Stitches For Survival scarf will be used for campaigning locally and nationally in the lead up to COP26. During the conference we will display it near the SECC conference centre where the talks are taking place.

After COP26 the scarf will be repurposed into blankets for refugee communities. Some of the more creative sections will be kept for an exhibition, and be used for ongoing campaigning.

Aims

The Stiches For Survival scarf will be used to convey key environmental messages and to demand that our elected representatives act to:

Keep fossil fuels in the ground

Governments worldwide must take steps to phase out fossil fuel extraction and use. They must ensure a just transition for workers and communities dependent on the industry to energy production that is 100% renewable, nuclear-free and zero-fossil-fuel. We urge local authorities, pension funds and governments to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Find out more about Fossil-Free Divestment

Establish regenerative and distributive economies for the survival of the planet

The earth is not for sale. Models based on economic growth are fundamentally unsustainable. We urgently need to establish economic systems that place the thriving and wellbeing of all life at the centre.

Find out more about Doughnut Economics and the Well-being Economy Alliance

Legal protection for the earth and oceans

With the very forests that sustain life on earth being destroyed at alarming speeds we call for international legal protection for the earth and oceans. We need laws that recognise the interconnectedness between humans and Nature and our responsibility to protect and defend Nature.

Find out more about Earth law

Stitches for Survival is a creative act of collective hope. Join us in changing the world one stitch at a time.

How to get involved

Knit, crochet, stitch or craft as many pieces of the scarf as you would like and are able to — in green or blue yarn, fabric and thread.

Each piece of the scarf needs to measure 60cm x 100cm. This will make it much easier to assemble the full ‘scarf’, and also help re-purpose the pieces for blankets. The shorter edges will be the ones we join together so each piece will contribute 100cm to the length of the scarf. So if you want to do an image or writing on your piece make sure it is the right way up (60cm high and 100cm wide).

Pieces can be plain or intricate, include designs of animals or plants threatened with extinction, or include words in any language. Be creative!

Passionate about one particular climate/biodiversity issue? Stitches For Survival is about them all:

Knitters for Critters — could you support children in your local school to knit/stitch some sections with images of creatures threatened with extinction?

Or focus on international solidarity with a together-knit.

Get together with others in your local area — either physically in a public place or virtually as regulations allow. Post photos on social media and encourage others to take part. Tell the local press and radio about what you are doing and why. You can download the Stitches For Survival logo here. There is also a PDF version of the logo plus website address for printing out.

Organise monthly knitathons or stitchathons.

Sew together the pieces in sections of 20m and roll out your local section in a public place and use it for campaigning — outside the offices of oil companies or big banks investing in fossil fuels; at local authority headquarters to push for divestment etc. We hope that the Stitches For Survival scarf will be used for campaigning on a local, national and international level.

Help grow our community by sharing templates, patterns, ‘how to’ videos and crafting ideas on the Stitches For Survival Facebook group and sharing your story and photos on social media using our hashtags:

  • #Stitches4Survival
  • #knitters4critters
  • #TogetherKnits

The practicalities page has details of what to do with finished pieces.

Here’s a write-up of a Stitches for Survival QandA held in April 2021 with answer to the most common questions we have had about the project.

For those not on Facebook, Chistine Thomson can add you to a Stitches For Survival email group <christinert24601@gmail.com>.