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October update

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Checking in

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since you heard from ‘BIPOC in Fiber’. 2020 has turned out to be an extraordinarily difficult year for so many, I hope you’re keeping safe. This year has also seen the world reckoning with racism; with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining mainstream prominence in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the international protests that have followed. We’re also still in the midst of a global pandemic and given how disproportionately BIPOC are affected by Covid-19, I know that many of you will have lost loved ones. Please know that all of us here are thinking of you.

What’s been happening

I wanted to give you a little update on what’s been happening here at ‘BIPOC in Fiber’ because although things appear to have been quiet, behind the scenes we’ve been busy, albeit with a small day-to-day team of just Alyson and myself.

There’s been a bit of a backlog which has meant there are a number of profiles and many applications to review which can’t yet be pushed to the live website. I know this isn’t ideal, but with that list numbering over 200 people and, as a relatively new project, we are still settling into our processes. Be assured we are working hard to clear this backlog of submissions within the next few weeks.

A bit about the backlog and how you can help

Delays in publishing profiles are purely down to the logistics of being a tiny team at the start of a large and long process. Our criteria is simple: if you’re a BIPOC professional or business working in or with fibre you’re welcome to join us, regardless of your discipline. That said, it helps us enormously if you’re able to provide high-quality images of your work and comprehensive information about your professional practice as this avoids a lot of back and forth in emails, which inevitably slows things down. If you need any further clarification, please check out our evolving FAQ page: https://bipocinfiber.com/faq/

Monthly Profiles

Our monthly profiles aim to give you greater insight into a designer, maker or business than we’re able to provide with the short bios that accompany each entry on the directory. We try to find out what makes them tick, why they started their business and what it is about what they’re offering that makes them different. And of course, because the industry is as diverse in discipline as it is in heritage, these profiles won’t be knit-centred or focused purely on makers from the UK and USA. We’re looking across the whole of the BIPOC fibre community from knitwear designers in South Africa and indie dyers in Australia to crochet designers in Chile to yarn stores in Japan. There’s a huge wealth of talent and lots of exciting work to explore: we can’t wait to share it all with you.

You may however have noticed that we’ve yet to publish the first of these Monthly Profiles. That’s because we had someone very special in mind and it’s taken us a bit longer than we’d hoped to track them down. But, the good news is that we have, and the profile will be live very very soon. We feel it’s been worth the wait and hope that you will too.

BIPOC MAL 2020

On another really positive note we’re really happy to be one of the official sponsors of the

BIPOC MAL (Make Along) over on Instagram. Organised by Elisabeth Desamour of Desamourdesigns it’s designed to help create exposure for BIPOC designers with less than 10,000 social media followers while also gaining financial support for them in the form of pattern sales. The MAL – which this year focuses specifically on black designers – runs from 1st October to 30 December 2020 and coincides with the start of the UK’s Black History Month. There are some great prizes on offer for those taking part, just be sure to share your makes and progress on either Instagram or Facebook. You can find out much more by reading Elisabeth’s blogpost about the #BIPOCMAL2020 here

At ‘BIPOC in Fiber’ it’s always been our approach to prioritise care and thoughtfulness over speed, and while this can sometimes impact on our reaction times, we believe this is part of creating lasting change. Thank you for your continued patience and support. Jeanette


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