© 2015 Taylor Taz Johnson
By Raye Mocioiu
Seasoned knitters will tell you that part of the joy of knitting is making something that is uniquely yours, formed by your hands. It’s a great way to get in touch with your inner creativity—and it can also be a great way to support the lives of artisans across the globe.
In 2008, Air Force veteran Nicole Snow wanted to learn to knit. Instead of taking a knitting class, she took two of her passions in life—art and helping others—and combined them, creating Darn Good Yarn. She used her experience from college and the Air Force and looked for yarn that could change lives.
In love with colour and interesting textures, Nicole discovered that shredded remnants of old saris could lead to fabulous interpretations of something as commoditized as yarn. Nicole took this opportunity, used this trash, and turned it into craft products and other apparel items.
From the start, Nicole wanted to use her business as a conduit to create a globally conscious lifestyle through art. In parts of India and Nepal, where Darn Good Yarn is focused, there are high levels of unemployment. Nicole’s mission was simple: provide phenomenal quality fibres to enthusiasts, while helping the women of Nepal and India become autonomous and self-reliant—the first step to tackling generational poverty.
To date, Darn Good Yarn has saved more than two million pounds of material waste from heading into landfills and has turned it back into exotic clothing and craft supplies. As well, Darn Good Yarn has employed over 600 artisans with steady work, effectively changing their lives by providing sustainable employment and support.
“All of the yarns are handmade in small batches and undergo extensive quality control,” Nicole shares. “This also means that all of our yarns are, essentially, mirrors of the amazing women who create them.”
For knitters and new crafters alike, Darn Good Yarn’s Yarn of the Month Club is an easy way to experience unique and beautiful yarn that directly supports artisans.
“Yarn of the Month is by far our most important product we carry, going back to our mission of creating safe and sustainable jobs alongside carrying world-class yarn. For every 100 subscriptions, it creates one full-time job! It’s about making beautiful things and doing good at the same time.”
When you invest in Darn Good Yarn for your projects, you help a family eat, access proper medical care, and send their children to school—you are crafting a globally conscious life that you can feel great about.
MORE MILITARY WOMEN AND THEIR CHARITIES:
Military veteran Victoria (Walsh) Lanthier wears many hats, representative of her multitude of interests.
Photo © Courtesy of True Patriot Love After a 14 year career in the Canadian Armed Forces as a medical technician, MCpl (Ret’d) Natalie Forcier discusses