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Why a Co-op?

June 23, 2010

One of the things we ‘ve been asked is why a cop-op? In many ways it would seem to be  much easier and quicker for us to set up a ‘traditional’ business – there would be less consultation, we may have needed less specialist advice and guidance and we could just ‘get on with it’!

When we first started thinking about the project our vision was for a centre where anyone interested in fibre arts could come along, feel welcome and feel involved. It was a small step from those  ideas of particapation and inclusion to thinking about a co-operative structure. Historically, co-ops developed through meeting the needs of a community – for food, shelter, work – and there are a clear set of values associated with co-operatives which we were enthusiastic about. Through our sessions with Dave Hollins and Adrian Ashton we were able to explore those values and identify how they would be applied to our group.

In general terms these values are self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. These values provide a base for a set of principles and over the days running up to our meeting next Monday we wnat to explain how these are will be implemented in Glossop Fibre Arts.

First up –  ‘Voluntary and Open Membership’.

We want to have as wide and varied a membership as possible – we are excited by the cross-fertilisation of ideas that flows when crafters and artists come together. We want to encourage developing artists and crafters and share the experience of those who are more established. We want to encourage people to take up a new skill – to learn to knit, or embroider, to use mixed media.

So our membership statement is:

Membership of Glossop Fibre Arts is open to any person with an interest in arts and crafts, with a particular emphasis on textiles, whether they trade as a business or not.

What do you think? Please leave  a comment…

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