It all started when Victoria Takahashi, also known as Experimetal, was concerned about the harp seal cull season approaching. Her concern was so great that she proposed the Etsy Metals street team make seals their theme for the month of April. Those who cared deeply about animals and wildlife were also encouraged to get involved in spreading awareness and generating donations. Wendy of Alphabettispaghetti told us, “It was a kind of joint effort between Etsy for Animals and the Metal street team, and we chose our own charity to donate to. I decided to donate to IFAW. [International Fund for Animal Welfare]”
Shortly thereafter, we spoke with IFAW and received the following letter from Sheryl, Senior Research and Projects Specialist for IFAW, in response to this Craftivism project on Etsy.
Letter from IFAW:
I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Etsy is supporting craftivism. It’s such a great way for artisans to show support for organizations and causes they believe in, and to raise awareness of issues that are close to them.
I had heard of Etsy previously, but never purchased anything from the site. Oddly enough, I work for IFAW on their campaign to end Canada’s commercial seal hunt; the same organization and cause that funds were being raised for in this case!
A colleague at IFAW (who is also an Etsy member) had sent around an email about one of our supporters, who was donating the proceeds from the sale of a pendant to IFAW. This was passed on to me by another colleague who knows I’m crazy about seals and always on the lookout for seal-related jewelry. When I saw the pendant – a silver mother harp seal and her pup nose to nose – I absolutely fell in love with it!
I had just returned from observing Canada’s seal hunt with the IFAW team a few days earlier, and I was incredibly moved by Wendy’s description of the pendant – it was clear that she had put a lot of time and effort into creating this, and that it was very special to her. It was immediately obvious that here was someone who cares as much as I do about seals and ending Canada’s cruel seal hunt!
It’s always so heartening to be reminded that there are people out there who care. It just makes it that much more special to me, knowing this pendant was created by someone who supports IFAW’s work and knowing that the money raised is going to support such a great cause. Thanks to the craftivism aspect of Etsy, I feel like I have a personal connection with Wendy, even though we’ve never met and she lives across the Atlantic Ocean!
I am going to wear this pendant every time I do a presentation, speech, or interview about Canada’s seal hunt. I am hoping people will ask me about it, so that I can tell them about Etsy, and Wendy, and how she made this pendant to help support IFAW and our work to help the seals.
Senior Research and Projects Specialist International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Visit IFAW for more information on helping wildlife thrive.