Knitstanbul is a registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in the UK. We pay our knitters well, and we try and keep a slush fund so that we can help them out if they are in sudden financial difficulty. Our fixed costs are low – the only person who is paid a salary is our Syrian coordinator in Istanbul Souhair, and we depend a great deal on the help of volunteers, who donate their time, their suitcase space and their skills. With donations and any profit, we keep up this website, we protect ourselves from the volatility of the Turkish lira, we buy wool for samples and in advance of orders, and we develop and buy packaging, rent stalls at fairs etc. Every donation, however small, really helps! Paypal is the easiest, but we can also take cash in Istanbul.
Spread The Word
Knitstanbul has expanded thanks to word-of-mouth. Our priority is providing a steady stream of work and income for our knitters, and our project is very hand-to-mouth. If you know of a business that might like to stock our work (online stores, bricks-and-mortar shops including museum gift shops) or if we can take on a knitting commission of another sort please let us know. We recently made thousands of multicoloured doilies for British artist Zak Ove, whose work (made up of the doilies) now hangs in the new Facebook HQ in London….
Equally, we are always looking to contact public or private grant-givers who might like to support us.
Finally, we always need mentoring or advice from people more experienced than us in the world of marketing, start-up enterprises, fund-raising and knitwear design. If that’s you, please get in touch
Could you design us a Knitstanbul app?
Charity Begins At Home
Are you involved with, or do you know any Syrian refugees in your home town? Could you help us spread the word, and get them knitting and selling her work? Perhaps you belong to a knitting group that could welcome her in? We find that knitting is a real ice-breaker! We can help with marketing, finding customers, packaging and with design.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Ask your new Syrian friend if she can knit. If there is a language barrier, we can send you info in Arabic that you can show her
2. Can you show your friend where to buy wool locally, or do you have access to a source of free wool (for example, friends who have drawers full of wool since that day they decided to become knitters and then never did anything about it?)
3. Show her our website and pick a design to start with. We suggest something simple, in a small size. We can provide design guidance and support via Whatsapp.