I use this term quite a bit, and have had people ask me what I mean. SO, I thought I’d make myself define it!
To me, Craftivism means Activism, as expressed by Crafting. It isn’t just activism in a political sense… a big part of it is showing people how their lives can be different by doing things themselves, or at least by learning how. It’s also improving lives by changing habits to ones that are not only more sustainable, but prettier, more personalized, and just more fun!
Craftivism is a way to combat the mass-marketing media, and to really express yourself and your beliefs. I also think a big chunk of it revolves around supporting a different type of economy, a smaller, more local one with more transparency, accountability, and a better ability to weather storms.
Recently I was interviewed for a potential article about the resurgence of crafting, and while I know there are as many factors as there are crafters, some common themes just keep coming up. One of the biggies is this concept of craftivism, or the role of craft in changing the world we live in. In addition to what I wrote above about the empowering nature of craft, I think from the non-crafter’s standpoint, it’s also about wanting to know the real cost of an item- not just the cash you plunk down, but the political, human and environmental costs that are so often hidden when you buy from the shelves of a chain store. I think more and more people want to look a real person in the eye and have that connection, that realness of knowing who made the item they are about to buy. NoImpact Man calls it transparency, other craftivists call it independence or rebellion, but whatever you call it, the fact that people are looking for it fills me with hope and happiness.