Lesson 4 – PrincipleS

Conscious Crafting aims to adhere to five core principles that guide all workshop decisions. As facilitators, it’s important for you to understand and incorporate these principles into every aspect of the delivery of the workshops.

The 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

We believe in minimizing waste and maximizing the lifecycle of materials.
Here’s how each of the 5 R’s are incorporated:
  • Refuse
    Avoid buying materials that can’t be found in nature, collected as recycling or re-used from previous workshops. For instance, we stop using wet wipes and opt for sustainable alternatives; re-usable cloths or biodegradable paper towels.
  • Reduce
    Minimize waste by planning projects that use materials efficiently. For example we re-use prints from some workshops as collage material for others.
  • Reuse
    We encourage participants to use items they already have.
    For example many crafters have buttons or broken costume jewellery we love to upcycle, for instance in Message in a bottle.
  • Repurpose
    Transform items into something new and useful.
    For instance in Weaving Safety; we use broken and torn jeans to create baskets.
  • Recycle
    Ensure that any materials and abandonded art are properly sorted and recycled.
    After Rock Art we take any used stones and paint them black for future use and in Hello Sunshine not everybody takes their wreath home, which means we dismantle it and reuse the material.

Natural & Eco-Friendly

We prioritize the use of natural and eco-friendly materials to promote environmental sustainability. Here’s how to incorporate this principle:
  • Choose materials that are biodegradable or natural.
    Example: leaves, biodegradable glitter, driftwood, shells
  • Educate participants about recycling and encourage them to make sustainable choices.

Inclusion

Creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome is essential. Here’s how we can foster inclusion in Conscious Crafting workshops:
  • Ensure your language is respectful and inclusive.
    Example: using gender-neutral language and be mindful of cultural sensitivities when this is relevant. 
  • Celebrate diversity by incorporating projects and themes that reflect different cultures and perspectives.
    Example: picking suitable workshops when the audience might be more conservative and religious
  • Encourage collaboration and mutual respect among participants.
    Example: instead of touching the projects of the participants, we encourage them to ask help of those close to them

Accessibility

We strive to make our workshops accessible to everyone, regardless of physical abilities, financial means, or time constraints. Here’s how to enhance accessibility:

Time Slots

  • We aim to offer workshops at various times to accommodate different schedules, such as evenings for those who work during the day.

Financial Accessibility

  • We partner with organizations that can provide workshops to their communities at reduced or no cost.
  • We craft with minimal spending, such as using recycled or household materials, sparking ideas on how to continue at home.

Disability Access

  • We try to choose venues with wheelchair access and convenient drop-off points.
  • On request, we can adapt workshops for hearing-impaired participants by providing written instructions and using plenty visual aids.
  • We adapt activities if needed to suit neurodiverse individuals (noise, scented candles) and those with mental health conditions (focus on positive).

Our workshops are not suited for individuals with visual impairments or significant physical and mental limitations. Participants should be able to function at the level of an average 9-year-old child, with the ability to focus, use their hands, read and write, and engage in conceptual thinking.

If a group has one or more people not able to fulfill these criteria (alzheimers’, parkinsons, language and literacy limitations for example) it is paramount a volunteer is available to support the individual to ensure suitable support.

Transparency

Being open and honest in all our practices builds trust and integrity. Here’s how to maintain transparency:

Communication with Conscious Crafting Management

  • Clearly communicate your availability, responsibilities and any changes in your schedule.
  • Provide feedback after workshops, including what worked well and what could be improved. Share any challenges you faced and suggestions for better workshop experiences.
  • If you are not able to work due to health, family or mental situation, no explanation or doctors’ note is needed as we trust your judgement. Simply inform the planning when you expect to be available again.

Workshop Operations

  • Follow the program as close as possible and adhere to the agreed time and place.
  • Be aware of the additional & hidden costs involved in running the business, such as creating, sourcing and delivering materials, marketing and sales, insurance and accounting expenses. 

By integrating these five principles into your workshops, you help create a positive, sustainable, and inclusive crafting community. Remember, these principles are not just guidelines – they are the foundation of Conscious Crafting and should be reflected in every aspect of your facilitation.