Meet the city knitter weaving her way to sustainability

Ruth Jenkins is using her craft to highlight her frustration with climate change 

Ruth Jenkins is using her craft to highlight her frustration with climate change - Credit: Extinction Rebellion/Hannah Brooks

A Norwich woman is trying to change the world one stitch at a time. 

Ruth Jenkins, aka the Slow Yarn Spinner, is a member of Extinction Rebellion who wants to promote sustainability through her work. 

The Mousehold-based business woman holds courses in yarn spinning as well as creating her own pieces. 

The 32-year-old said: “I wish we weren't in the position of having to take action - but we need change fast to mitigate the catastrophic impacts of temperature rises and the biodiversity loss we are already seeing.”

Ruth has began to weave fabrics to highlight her emotional response to the climate crisis. 

Ruth has began to weave fabrics to highlight her emotional response to the climate crisis. - Credit: Hannah Brooks

She went on: “I always put environmental concerns at the heart of my business by choosing the materials I use very carefully. 

"But it wasn't enough and seeing the future being thrown away for profit was eating me up. 

Stitches for survival. 

Stitches for survival. - Credit: Ruth Jenkins

"So I started using my loom and processed the emotions which came from seeing all the forest fires early this summer.  

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“What came off was a coastline going from frozen to thaw to burning - and back again."

Ruth’s starting points for pieces like this vary.

Sometimes it is the emotions she wants to work through sometimes the story she wants to tell.  

And now she is looking at humanity's relationship with clothing, she explained: “I’m currently using my craft to explore uncertainty about the future and questioning our relationship with the fibres we use to make our clothes."

Coastline weaving - inspired by the forest fires in the summer. 

Coastline weaving - inspired by the forest fires in the summer. - Credit: Ruth Jenkins

But, she highlights, she wants to open up more positive conversations around climate change.

She said: "We often talk about the negative impact we are having on the planet but we could talk about making a positive one in the future.  

“I want to start conversations and get people to question what they want the future to be like and feel like they have some power to make changes happen.  

“I’m not sure I will achieve that but I can try.  

“I'd like people to step outside their comfort zone, even just a little bit, to try and make change on a larger scale. That can be anything - from making noise to making art.” 

Coastline weaving - inspired by the forest fires in the summer. 

Coastline weaving - inspired by the forest fires in the summer. - Credit: Ruth Jenkins

Find out more at www.theslowyarnspinner.co.uk @theslowyarnspinner on Facebook and Instagram.  

She added: “Any craftspeople or artists out there want to collaborate on a project let me know.” 

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