Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meet Flip & Peggy

Peggy (in pink) & Flip (in formal attire) are the new faces of our charitable jumper drive.
Today has been very exciting as the first international jumpers arrived at Skeinz. Five parcels from the US & two from the UK.  It was like Christmas opening them up & seeing the stunning jumpers inside, all made in yarns that are quite exotic to this part of the world!

Some of the recent arrivals.
I have been busy over the past few days gathering information & research about the "where to from here" with the surplus jumpers we have.

First port of call was Lyn from The Penguin Foundation at Phillip Island in Australia.  She was involved with the co-ordination for the jumpers used in the Tasmanian spill in 2002, after which they received 14,000 jumpers!  Her insights were inspiring & so valuable.

We are wanting to make sure that here at Skeinz we are able to take the surplus jumpers and have them utilized within the spirit & generosity to which they are intended.  Lyn had the same challenge in 2002 & the model she used is one we have chosen to adopt.

As no more penguin jumpers are required for the Rena effected penguins in Tauranga our focus has shifted to how we can use the jumpers to generate cash, to then donate back to the people working at the grass roots of the disaster.

Using the Penguin Foundation model - Skeinz is setting up a special charitable trust.  Then using the power of our webstore & all of you, we have sourced from a local supplier scale sized little blue penguin toys to place in the jumpers & we will be selling these at with all the proceeds of the jumper being funneled back into the charitable trust.  This has been so successful in Australia that The Penguin Foundation has recently donated $35,000 AUD back to a new penguin research centre, plus other research for penguins through Victoria University (Australia) for penguin clean up.

So the next challenge has been finding the best way to get donations directly back to the penguins & effected shorebirds of this disaster.  As the local & national government bodies are pursuing costs against Rena's insurers, I have been researching other angles to make sure we can filter the funds directly & effectively.

NZ Forest & Bird is a NGO that has been protecting the bird life of NZ from generations.  They are one of the most well respected environmental groups here in NZ & have fabric of paid & volunteer workers across the country.  They have a special Bay Of Plenty Shorebird fund, which has been helping nesting shorebirds that fall in the effected area.  So all monies donated to this fund go back the the birds, especially the penguins harmed by the Rena.
We have also been looking for a Little Blue Penguin specific cause - and we have approached another charitable trust who have been working with a nesting programme for the little blues.  Details there are still to be confirmed & I will update when the come to hand.

Your comments have also helped us in feeling we are on the right track with this - so thank you for all your feedback.  If haven't yet started a jumper, but feel happy about knitting one for it to be sold towards this cause, please by all means send them to us.  For the crocheters out there a pattern has been published on Ravelry - I just need to contact the author for permission to publish. 

Once we have all the details in place, the birds in stock, we will place them on for sale.  All jumpers which have come with personal notes & cards, these will be passed onto as well.  Many of you have also popped your email details - I will do my very best to email you all back in way of thanks.
Take care & I will be in touch again very soon - oh & Flip (the bird we have ordered initially) has his very own authentic little blue penguin sound - it's sooooo adorable!


  1. Just ordered 2 Flips for X-mas gifts, so glad that they are able to migrate all the way to the USA!

  2. Hello! I'm writing an article for Twist Collective about knitting activism; Skeinz and its role in mobilizing knitters worldwide to make penguin sweaters is featured prominently in the article. I would love to include your photo of Flip and Peggy to help illustrate the story! Please let me know if that would be possible—you can reach me at Thank you!