Spend a little time learning about the people in our Bay Area Made community, and the products they make, and it becomes clear they’re driven by values including craft, community, innovation, social justice and sustainability. Jewelry designer Marja Germans Gard of MGG Studio and clothing designer Jenny Fong of Modern Shibori are committed to the principles of sustainability and making business decisions guided by concern for both people and the planet. With all of the challenges that 2020 has wrought upon small businesses and local economies, they felt the need to expand their local networks and collectively raise awareness and support communities in need. That’s how Craft Gives Back: Auction for Justice came to be.
Their first fundraising initiative, Craft Gives Back: Auction for Justice, will take place on September 18-20, 2020. The goal is to amplify Bay Area BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) designers, makers, and artists, and to raise funds that can be allocated directly back to our local community.
Work by Bay Area makers and artists (including several Bay Area Made members) will feature in the auction, including handmade jewelry, clothing, home decor, artful greeting cards, bags and bath/body products. Many participating brands focus on sustainability by incorporating recycled, up-cycled, or organic materials in their products.
The auction will run on the Craft Gives Back Instagram feed (https://www.instagram.com/craftgivesback/). Participating makers will be featured during the warm up dates from September 11 -17th on the @craftgivesback feed and stories. The auction opens for bidding on September 18th at 8 am and closes September 20th at midnight PST.
Above: Bay Area Made members donating their products to the auction. Clockwise from top left: Fashion designer Kristina Lacson McConnico of Lacson Ravello, jewelry designer Marja Germans Gard of MGG Studio, fiber artist Windy Chien, organic cotton home & kitchen product designers Shujan Bertrand (with her children) of Aplat and Geana Sieburger of GDS Cloth Goods.
The first beneficiary for Craft Gives Back is Planting Justice, an Oakland-based permaculture garden. Their Mission:
Grow Food. Grow Jobs. Grow Community.
Since 2009, Planting Justice has built over 450 edible permaculture gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area, worked with five high schools to develop a food justice curriculum, and created 40 green jobs in the food justice movement for folks transitioning from incarceration.
Planting Justice works to increase food sovereignty and address the structural inequalities embedded in the industrialized food system including: the systemic exploitation of food system workers (especially undocumented farm and kitchen workers), lack of access to fresh, nutritious food in low-income communities of color, and our culture’s over-reliance on packaged, processed food that is killing our bodies and our environment.
Transforming the food system one garden at a time, they are cultivating urban farms and training centers that will dramatically increase the scope and scale of this work.
By building a local, sustainable food system, thousands of green jobs can be created that provide fair wages with comprehensive benefits for a dignified livelihood in the food system. Our communities have been starved for safe, healthy, and empowering jobs for far too long. Investing in food workers can reinvigorate our local economy, increasing access to nutritious food AND meaningful employment.
Planting Justice supports healing justice in collaboration with marginalized communities who have been severed from their most optimal wellness due to structural oppression. They are committed to securing access to the resources that support holistic health through providing communities with equal access to nutritious affordable food, dignified jobs, education, green space, safety and mobility.