Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beanies with lots of Peace and Love

Armed with a phenomenal talent, a mother-and-daughter duo has been spreading peace, one beanie at a time. Julia and Pascale Geha are the brains behind Peace And Love Beanies, an initiative that we are proud to be partners with. Here is their story, in Julia Geha’s voice.

Peace and Love Beanies manifested as the direct result of a fondness for Zen Knitting. My daughter, Pascale, and I decided to utilize this age old art form to create a simple consumer good which could be used as a vehicle for positive change in the world.  Our desire is to spread the message of Peace and Love in much the same way as the I Declare World Peace project promotes the affirmation #IDWP – in order to raise global peace consciousness.  We also believe in altruism, and for every beanie purchased, we donate an identical vibe infused beanie to a homeless soul.

Peace activism is a natural progression for us, since this venture began with the desire to raise global peace consciousness. As our business evolved, we began to realize that social media facilitates wide public dialogues, and instantly connects the world’s citizens as easily as if they were next door neighbours.  We would like peace to go viral, and if activism is the term used to describe consistent focused energy to that end, then yes, we are activists. We arrived at this place, honestly, with pure intention.

Advocacy through fashion, in our opinion, is a viable opportunity to raise awareness to respective
Beanie Love and Lots of Peace!
causes/issues. We believe that now, more than ever, the cultural paradigm should be one of altruism and compassion. In terms of efficacy, existing companies such as Tom’s Shoes indicate that “products with a conscience” can be profitable, successful and fulfilling. We aim to follow in their footsteps.

From the very beginning, the idea was to keep the design of the beanie incredibly simple. The reason for this is that we have a vision to teach the Zen beanie crafting technique to impoverished women and girls in third world countries, so that they may learn the skills to support themselves and their families. We offer one simple iconic Peace and Love beanie, in 28 colours, infused with a colossal amount of positive energy. Later we have plans to include a children’s line, with also patterns stripes and textures. We also have prototypes for infinity scarves, wrist-warmers and boot-warmers.

The biggest challenges we have encountered in our activism are the financial hurdles which prevent product expansion and potential growth. Being 100% self funded, we are currently unable to increase our outreach to larger entities, due to an inability to provide a large enough inventory to meet potential orders. We are in the process of researching/applying for grants/contests any available financial resource in order to increase our ability to deliver larger quantities of goods, and hire interns to develop our marketing strategy.

The word of Peace that goes with every Beanie!
With every beanie sale we spread the word of peace! Each beanie has an artisanal wooden burnished Peace and Love tag, and is accompanied with a postcard describing the IDWP project and a link to their website. Recently, however, we were also incorporated into a student project at the University of Groningen Netherlands as part of an endeavour to promote peace and altruism.

We have been designated as “World Peace Beanie” by the peace group World Peace Pakistan, and have sent 3 beanies there this week.

Peace and Love sent a beanie to the Founder of Light School in Uriri Kenya, Jack Bambo, who works tirelessly for rural children in the belief that education is the answer to peace. We are now happily sponsoring a child at the school!