In celebration of Cooperatives Fortnight 2016, we’re sharing a little about what makes us tick and why we love being part of a cooperative…
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved with Stitched Up.
I began to catch on to the dark side of the fashion industry in my early teens, around the same time that I became disillusioned with the clothes and image being sold on the high street. I realised that the fashion industry isolated people from their own creative expression while also exploiting people the world over. From then on I wanted to work to create an alternative which combined my two passions: sewing and social change. When I met Stitched Up’s other co-founders in 2011 it all began to fall into place, and we set the wheels in motion to make it happen.
What do you find the most inspiring aspect of Stitched Up’s work?
I love the work we do with young people. It’s great inspiring them to be creative and learn practical sewing skills, which are becoming rarer by the day. And encouraging them to ask questions about where their clothes, and their definition of style or fashion, come from.
I also have a big love of mending, so I can’t wait for our new community project, the Manchester Repair Cafe, to start in a couple of weeks.
What does working in a cooperative mean to you?
I’ve been working in coops for ten years now. For me it’s the only way. The idea that workers in an organisation might not get a say in how it’s run is simply bonkers to me!
At Stitched Up we share out the work equally, meaning that all of us do our share of the dull admin, as much as the fun, creative work. But steering the Stitched Up ship, together, is a real privilege. I love working within a team where everyone’s views are heard and balanced against the organisation’s core values and goals, in order to define the best way forward for all of us. It’s often far from easy, but it’s a great way to work.