An Open Letter to Pattern Companies and Sewing Retailers: Are You Building a Diverse and Inclusive Community?

Dear Pattern Companies and Sewing Retailers,

Are you building a diverse and inclusive sewing community? Do you make sure that many sewists see themselves reflected in your products, websites, and social media? Do you have any steps in the works to become more inclusive and welcoming to all sewists?

These are big questions, but in 2018, I think surely many of you have already considered the topic. After all, if people feel welcome and represented, they are more likely to buy your products and recommend you to other makers! We here at the Sewcialists love rich discussions about identity, representation, and community, and we hope you’ll enjoy sharing how you approach those topics, too. None of us are perfect, but we’re learning together.

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We hope you will reach out to us by email (sewcialists@gmail.com) and let us know how you are working towards a diverse and inclusive sewing community. We’d like to celebrate you in upcoming posts highlighting positive steps and proactive leaders in our community!

For example, maybe you are working on:

  • models and pattern testers that reflect a range of ages, sizes, ethnicities, orientations and abilities
  • highlighting and re-sharing projects from a diverse range of sewists in your social media and newsletters
  • larger size ranges
  • using gender-inclusive language
  • sharing a clear mission statement that everyone is welcome
  • collaborating with creators and businesses that share progressive ideals
  • hiring diverse staff and consultants
  • contributing to community projects or charities

We are excited to help you highlight what you are doing well, and what steps you hope to take next! 

— The Sewcialists

p.s. Dear readers, please let us know in the comments which pattern designers and sewing retailers you would like us to contact in hopes of finding out more about their policies and goals … and tell us who you think is doing a great job at inclusion. Or perhaps you’ll ask your local sewing store/online retailer/favourite pattern maker yourself!