Deadline: 1 September 2023, 5pm
Heritage Crafts and the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) have teamed up to create a new QEST/Heritage Crafts Sustainability Award, with a £2,000 prize, open to any craftsperson or micro-business, working with traditional craft skills or materials, who has improved their environmental sustainability within the last 12 months.
Crafts are often thought to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to mass-production. This can be true, with items produced using locally-sourced materials and hand-production methods that may have less impact on the environment. Campaigns like ‘Buy Less, Buy Better, Buy Handmade’ have promoted handmade objects which are built to last, in comparison with throwaway items. However, there are still areas that can be improved, such as with energy-intensive crafts that require kilns or furnaces, or those that use imported or rare materials.
QEST and Heritage Crafts believe we can (and must) all play a role in building a sustainable future – small changes by many can amount to big changes for all. We therefore want to celebrate and reward those who have innovated in their craft, adapting a material or process to become measurably more sustainable. It’s important that changes be financially viable for their business too. We hope that, by sharing their stories, we can inspire other makers to make sustainable changes where possible.
This award will recognise a craftsperson or micro-business working with traditional craft skills or materials who has taken clear and effective steps to improve their environmental sustainability as well as the long-term viability of their business. Judges will include renowned environmental craft advocate Katie Treggiden, author of Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020) and podcast Circular with Katie Treggiden.
Anyone (including the craftsperson or business themselves), can nominate a craftsperson or microbusiness working with traditional craft skills or materials, for the Heritage Crafts/QEST Sustainability Award. The winner will be invited to attend the high-profile Winners’ Reception at the Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, on 15 November 2023, where the result will be announced and £2,000 prize awarded.
Deborah Pocock LVO, CEO of QEST said:
“QEST believes in the potential of craft to contribute to a better, more sustainable environmental future, and we know that there are many talented and pioneering makers leading the way. Through this new award, we are looking forward to seeing how their ideas and approaches might impact their craft sector, and inspire others to make a change.”
Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director of Heritage Crafts said:
“In the 259 crafts (and counting) that Heritage Crafts represents, we know that there is a huge body of knowledge that will be vital in helping both current and future generations tackle the environmental challenges ahead. We are delighted to be partnering with QEST to celebrate our shared sustainability pioneers and role models.”
Applications are now open and close on Friday 1 September 2023 at 5pm. For details on how to apply, visit awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk.