Giving back.

Today, I am proud to announce the launch of a free pattern collection called “Sustain the Sea”.

Sustain the Sea

I have been thinking hard about how I can meaningfully support faster change in the direction of truly sustainable fishing.

You remember how I got very upset over reading the article on the state of the ocean?  

The level of upset has increased now that I have been doing a bit of reading to understand more.  It has motivated me to need to do more than just not buy seafood.

I spent ages writing and rewriting this post about the motivations behind this collection, but in the end, I decided that it would get too bogged down in detail and probably end up sounding  ‘preachy’ if I tried to explain too much in this one post.  How does one tell the story of the entire ocean in one post?  It’s not possible.

So I’m going to tell you one fact which I have learned now, and leave it at that for the time being:

85% of the world’s fisheries are over-fished or fished to full capacity

– The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Read the full report here.

And I’ll let the collection tell more of the story of the sea as I release the patterns over the next few weeks and months.

I could of course, have left things at financially supporting organisations such as Greenpeace, Forest & Bird, the World Wildlife Fund, Australian Marine Conservation Society and many other similar organisations who do good work in pointing out just how much is broken and encouraging change in the right direction.  I do actually already sponsor one of those organisations, just in case you are wondering.

However, I believe it’s no longer enough to pay some money, think you’ve done your bit, and continue life as normal.  I think the facts show that this is not enough.

This pattern collection is something tangible that I can do for the sea.  It’s a way of inviting knitters to join me:  by knitting the free patterns, and in so doing learning more about the health of our oceans, it may provide food for thought towards what an individual can do in a meaningful way to contribute to the health of the sea and truly sustainable ways of harvesting from it.

Why will my patterns be free?  This is a grassroots movement.  The patterns have been designed to aid to individual empowerment.  I do not wish to financially benefit from, nor necessarily align this campaign to any one organisation.  Asking for money also prevents those who might not/cannot pay for the pattern from using it and missing out on an opportunity for involvement.

By making my patterns free, the energy generated from this pattern will go to where it is meant to go – individuals doing something demonstrable to show support for responsible and sustainable fishing; encouraging individuals to think about and hopefully causing some personal action to begin pushing the fishing industry faster in the right direction through their informed shopping choices.  It’s not just about New Zealand, and I encourage you to find out more about fishing issues in your area.   It was heartening to read the comments from my last post about this issue, so my patterns are my gift to you to use as your personal tool for promoting change if you so wish.  

I hope that over time, by the process of contributing to enhanced awareness of the issues that are already being pointed out by experts, my gift to the Sea will be that more people care, and by caring, do something to sustain the sea, from which so much good comes.  More information about this will be provided in each pattern release.

I believe it’s up to all of us, every single one, to use the power of our wallets, minds and actions to promote change and actively demand sustainability and responsibility towards the sea.  Ultimately, it is the compounded effect of thousands of individual voices and actions that end up producing the most powerful result.

The first pattern from this collection will be launched tomorrow.  Watch out for the Orange Roughy Mitts!

Orange roughy mitts

7 thoughts on “Giving back.

  1. Good for you to have a cause and a passion to follow through.
    The unfortunate downside is that the internet is awash with FREE patterns, that you may have limited buyers to your patterns. I have listed a number of my patterns on Etsy with limited success. And regardless of how innovative,funky, or new your ideas, there is someone else before you. Sad but true. But don’t let that put you off, you don’t know if you don’t try.Good luck

  2. It’s cool that you’re being proactive about doing something for the sea. But it makes me wonder whether we contribute to water pollution by buying all those lovely dyed yarns…

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