15 Below for the least of these

"Then the King will say to the advertising agency on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For...I needed clothes and you clothed me..." (Minor paraphrase of Matthew 25:34, 36).

OK, so I don't know how many advertising agencies would be ushered in with the sheep at this point, but hope abounds in me, and for those of you Kingdom-minded, Jesus-serving agents in this industry, opportunities abound, too!

For starters, check out this very cool coat project from Taxi, Toronto. The poster itself won a Design Silver at Cannes Lions 2008:

"EMERGENCY BLANKET: An oversized (40" x 60") poster, printed on newsprint, is sent out to homeless shelters with each 15 Below coat. As the poster unfolds, one side shows how the coat works with simple illustrations and instructions printed in multiple languages. The other side of the poster features a large image of a blanket. The idea is to tear the poster into strips and stuff it into the multiple pockets of the 15 Below jacket to act as insulation. Stuffed with newspaper, this jacket will insulate the body, helping to ensure survival through the night. In this sense, the medium is more than the message. For someone living on the street, it could be a lifeline."

See a great close-up version of the poster here.

More importantly, visit the official 15 Below Project site here, and click on The Test to see what this coat can do.

As a wilderness guy who understands the value of insulation in cold temperatures and protection from driving rain, I'm excited about this caring, simple, creative project for the homeless. And I believe there are plenty more projects like it, just waiting for someone like you to think them up.


spaghettipie June 26, 2008 at 11:25 PM  

That is really cool. Have you seen anywhere that you can actually purchase them? I'd love to have them on hand to give away.

Sam Van Eman June 27, 2008 at 10:50 AM  

I e-mailed them (Taxi)this morning and will post the reply when it comes. In the meantime, here's the response that someone else received.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.

Sam Van Eman July 1, 2008 at 2:41 PM  

From the Director of Corporate Communications at Taxi:

"Hi Sam:
Thank you for your inquiry. We do not plan to sell the 15 Below jackets at this time. The roughly 3000 jackets we designed and had manufactured have been donated to the Salvation Army and are in the process of being distributed within Canada. A number of coats will also be distributed by a partner charitable organization in the U.S. We will continue to update our website, http://15belowproject.org/, on any new developments. Certainly, should the coats be available for purchase, we will communicate that on our website.

spaghettipie July 1, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

Thanks so much for taking the time to email them, and I appreciate you sharing the response. I can hardly believe they'll let the pattern and potential in this product be limited to a measly 3000 jackets (not to belittle their personal efforts, just in the grand scheme of things), when they could be helpful to so many people around the world. I'll be interested to see what they do.

Sam Van Eman July 2, 2008 at 4:13 PM  

I agree that this would be bad, spaghettipie. In fact, in my e-mail to Taxi I wrote that I hope the response is so high that they are arm-twisted into making more!

~~~ Do I hear the sounds of a lay-movement in the works? It's just one little e-mail to Taxi at 15belowproject "at" taxi "dot" ca

There may also be a contact to find at Salvation Army (Canada) or the organization passing them out in the U.S. (not sure who this is).

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