Activism & Leadership

Sarah Corbett: Craftivism - the Art of Gentle Protest

Video with Sarah Corbett on Saturday 20th May 2017

Part of the advaya event, Earth Action: Shifting Mindsets, Changing Behaviour, 20 May 2017

Talk: Craftivism: The Art of Gentle Protest
Activism often conjures up quick transactional signing of petitions, clicktivism, loud and aggressive ways to demand justice. Craftivist Collective provides ‘slow activism’ that uses craft as a meditative tool to stop, reflect and act on injustice issues in a transformative and gentle way. Join in this hopeful, creative and thoughtful way of doing activism.


Craftivist Collective provides ‘slow activism’ that uses craft as a meditative tool to stop, reflect and act on injustice issues in a transformative and gentle way. Join in this hopeful, creative and thoughtful way of doing activism.


Bio: Sarah Corbett founded Craftivist Collective in 2009 when after years of marches, signing protests and working on campaigns for large charities, she had begun to doubt the effects of some conventional activism, and as an introvert didn’t feel she fitted in to many activist groups. The time felt right to add a slower and less aggressive approach to the activism toolkit, not to replace other forms of activism but to add more tools to do activism effectively.

Sarah saw how she could use some of the beneficial processes of craft and the final products as tools for a more gentle, respectful and more targeted way of doing activism. Although as a principle ‘Craftivism’ already existed, it took no time for Sarah to develop her own unique approach she calls ‘Gentle Protest’. One focused first on putting the contemplative moments spent stitching to work for the maker; exploring global issues and using craft for critical thinking. But then the finished craft piece are used in different ways to engage, empower and encourage people to become part of the change we need to see in the world.

Now with thousands of members, Craftivist Collective is thriving. Craftivism kits and tools are sold to craftivists and intrigued people all over the world. ‘A Little Book of Craftivism‘ book was release 2003 and a more in-depth book ‘How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest‘ is due for release October 2017. You can find their approach to craftivism in many different publications (and languages) around the world; 4 TEDx talks; over 300 workshops and presentations given around the world attended by over 11,000 people, and many successful partnerships with charities (including Unicef and Save the Children), art institutions and universities (such as Bauhaus University, Falmouth University and Parsons New School NYC) have all helped carry the‘gentle protest’ methodology to a global audience whilst their campaigns have created tangible positive change. Worldwide project exhibitions and high profile collaborations, with the likes of cult jewellers Tatty Devine, The V&A and Secret Cinema, have helped extend its reach beyond the normal bounds of activism.

Stitch by contemplative stitch Craftivist Collective continues to thread activism through all it does, prioritising social injustice and using craft as a tool not taskmaster to expose the world’s injustices and always striving to help people be part of the solution.

Sarah Corbett #

Sarah Corbett founded Craftivist Collective in 2009 when after years of marches, signing protests and working on campaigns for large charities, she had begun to doubt the effects of some conventional activism, and as an introvert didn’t feel she fitted in to many activist groups. The time felt right to add a slower and less aggressive approach to the activism toolkit, not to replace other forms of activism but to add more tools to do activism effectively.

Read Sarah Corbett’s profile