What does it mean to grow, process, and craft our everyday textiles and garments by hand, in collectivity? The members of the Shared Stewardship community intimately experience the material, agricultural, and social processes involved in collectively cultivating textiles, objects and garments from seed. With commoning as a guiding principle, together they enact a new economic, social and cultural paradigm.
Over the course of a year, as a group, the Linen Stewards grow and harvest the flax and process the fibre – spinning linen yarns, knitting and or weaving linen textiles, and forming other objects – ultimately creating individual pieces for personal use. All of these processes are intentionally done by hand. The community operates under an understanding of shared stewardship; members share decision space with everyone and everything affected by their activities.
As a community, the Linen Stewards are in the process of shaping a group agreement and jointly set priorities that incorporate the diverse values, knowledge, skills and competencies of each member. This includes and values the needs of the earth and of beings and systems that they encounter. Sharing responsibility for all aspects of this process as stewards. The costs of leasing the land, of the seeds and cultivation expertise, for example, are equitably shared by the group.
The Shared Stewardship community was initiated by The Linen Project via an open call in early 2020. Participation in the 2021 season was upon the invitation of existing stewards, on the condition of a commitment to stewardship for this year-long process. Cultivation activities in both years took place at Ekoboerderij De Lingehof, Hemmen.
In the short film below, members of the Shared Stewardship community, Linen Stewards of 2020, share insight into their experiences and motivation.