Friday, October 31, 2008

The 15 Below Project from Taxi

By far, the most inspiring project discussed at the 'boards summit, for me, was Taxi's 15 Below Project. To celebrate the company's 15th anniversary they decided that instead of spending their budget on alcohol for a party, or swag that would probably end up in the garbage, they were going to give back to the community. The result the 15 Below Project.

Winters in Canada are harsh, and even more so to the homeless who call the streets their home, with temperatures often reaching far below freezing. With the help of designer Lida Baday, Taxi created a lightweight, waterproof, breathable, jacket lined with 15 pockets. When stuffed with newspaper (readily available on the streets) the jacket is insulated enough to withstand temperatures of 15 below c for 8 hours (see the test footage.) When not in use the jacket folds into itself in a backpack style and can be used as a pillow. The jackets are distributed through Salvation Army and Good Will Locations, where employees are taught to instruct those that receive the jacket how it works and of all of its functions. 3,000 jackets will be distributed to people living on the streets throughout Canada with plans to expand into New York City and other cold weather cities.

To top it all off, Starting November 15th, a number of jackets autographed by
involved celebrities including R.E.M, Kim Katrall, Isabella Rossellini and more will be auctioned off on ebay, with all proceeds directly funding the 15 below project. Please visit the website and if you can bid on the items.