Since 2014, local charity The Kindness Collective has worked tirelessly to connect children and families with the things they need, from everyday essentials to moments of joy. To help them reach their goals, three celebrated wahine Maori artists have designed a range of limited-edition T-shirts to support the charity during the crucial Christmas period.
The Wear Kindness campaign features the work of artist Lissy Cole, fashion designer Kiri Nathan and artist, poet, and writer Jessica Hinerangi Thompson- Carr aka Māori Mermaid, and are available for purchase from today through to November 20 directly from The Print Room and online at Kindness.co.nz for $50 each.
“For families living in poverty or who are rebuilding their lives from illness or family violence, Christmas isn’t always a time of joy" explains Sarah Page, founder and chief executive of the Kindness Collective.
The t-shirts will be delivered in time for Christmas with proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts going towards The Christmas Joy Store, Aotearoa’s first social toy and treat store, run by the Kindness Collective. Board member and television personality Kanoa Lloyd has shown her support for the new collection by wearing the three designs in a series of supporting images taken by Paul Menezes.
"Every child deserves a magical Christmas, and everyone deserves the dignity of choice, so we are pleased to be bringing the Christmas Joy Store back for another year" says Sarah.
“Last year's Joy Store saw over 24,000 presents provided for kids in need and this year we need to double our impact. We’re excited to have collaborated with these incredible artists and designers who believe in our mission, to help us reach this goal."
For the artist's involved, it was a project that allowed them to share their aroha and support for the charity ahead of a busy and stressful time of the year for many families.
“The foundation of kindness to me is how one person shows manaaki (support, care for, respect) to another person,” explains Kiri of her contribution. “When one wraps their korowai of love, kindness and protection around another, it is the greatest gift.”
“The heart which is centred and lifted up by angel wings represents the connection to our Tūpuna and the path of aroha they’ve laid down for us to follow" says Lissy.
"Joy is what lifts our hearts to live with purpose and peace.”
For Maori Mermaid, the simple concept of what kindness means to her informed her artwork.
"The inspiration behind this piece was to depict kindness in the form that I see it,” says Jessica.
“I see our mothers and what they selflessly give, and the natural world in which humans have the ability to choose kindness over anything else."
"I wanted to draw something gentle and simple for this piece, hoping to evoke some warmth through the illustration".
The T-shirts are available to purchase now at Kindness.co.nz. Kanoa’s hair and makeup by Shari Ferrari.