On Saturday, during the Plus Sized Clothes Swap, I visited the Zine Distro stall selling lovely little zines-a medium I’m just discovering-and bought some lovely handmade envelopes.
I kind of love stationary, envelopes especially. One of my happiest childhood memories is stuffing envelopes and folding leaflets on a big wall paper table in the Labour party offices during multiple elections, content with a task in hand, listening to the adults put the world to rights, warm and safe knowing a stranger would be the next person to touch whatever it was went in my envelope.
Anyway, I went on Twitter to declare my love for envelopes and my wish to send stuff once again to strangers and it was quite positively received. I had a few people saying to me ‘couldn’t you share this with the world?’ and I’ve thought about it and think I’m going to.
Welcome to Envelope Club.
The premise-it’s nice to send stuff in the post and nice to get stuff sent to you.
The idea-every month, you send a random stranger something nice in the post. It can be something arty, creative, pretty, practical, funny or cute-whatever you like as long as its not rude, or offensive, illegal or expensive.
In return, you’ll be (hopefully!) sent something back.
How to join-email me bookelfleeds at gmail dot com with the Subject ‘Join Envelope Club’.
Copy and paste the following into the email, along with your postal address (doesn’t have to be your house-why not ask your local arts cafe or public house if they’d mind receiving stuff?)
“I promise I will not share any personal information with third parties. I promise I will email if I ever wish to leave Envelope Club or my details change. I promise I will not send anything illegal, any food items, anything triggering or inflammatory, sexual or religious. I understand if I break any of these rules I will no longer be a member of Envelope Club.”
Why the rules?- illegal-should be fairly obvious, don’t send strangers illegal stuff. Food-you don’t know when its going to be picked up, and you also don’t know what people can/can’t eat or what they are allergic to. Triggering or Inflammatory-this covers a wide arc that could be open to interpretation I know, but I understand this to mean anything that could offend someone or make someone upset or feel bad about themselves or others, remember this is a stranger you’re sending stuff to and I really don’t want to cause any offence doing this. Nothing sexist, sizist, agist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, belittling to any minority or religious group, or anything inciting. Sexual-nothing you wouldn’t show to kids, you don’t know who is going to see this. Religious-don’t want to offend. I’ve also said ‘nothing expensive’, but I understand ‘expensive’ means different things to different people so think its fair to say nothing YOU’D consider expensive, and def nothing over a fiver.
I’ve probably got the wording of that wrong, please call me out if needed.
If you receive anything that you feel breaks the rules then email me and we’ll talk about it and if it is felt that the person has done something against the ethos of Envelope Club then I’ll remove them from the mailing list.
If you live in Leeds and you’re looking for creative inspiration or a safe space to stuff your envelopes, why not join Leeds Letters? Its one of the many social events organised by @gazpachodragon and you can find more information either by tweeting her or through Yelp.
I hope that makes sense!
Envelope Club has no official political line, but you can probably tell I’m a trying-to-be intersectionalist, and would appreciate that people respected that and helped me learn about myself.