Since the 2016 presidential election, the MAGA red hat has become one of the most polarizing symbols in American politics. Peace Collective have just put a massive twist on the hat’s message.
It’s one of these little things that has become a huge symbol. The MAGA red hats are now a polarizing symbol that divide people, symbolizing ambition for some, bigotry and intolerance for many other Americans.
For immigrants and refugees, however, the meaning is clear: they feel unwelcome. To them, the MAGA hat is a symbol of everything that could go wrong in their new life in the USA.
Peace Collective, the Canadian lifestyle brand, in partnership with agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, decided to give the hat’s message a massive twist, and turn it into a symbol of hope with the #UnravelHate initiative.
The campaign is a series of testimonies from people who have felt the negative impact of what the hat symbolizes. Throughout the video, a MAGA hat is being unravelled, thread by thread, until it becomes bare. The same thread is then used to stitch a new message into a red beanie: “Welcome to Canada.”
Yes, it is yet another take from Canada on the American immigration system. But even if we don’t take sides, we celebrate the creativity of the idea:
“We have an opportunity to tell the world that acceptance is stronger than hate, so the idea was to take a symbol of division and completely transform it,” says Roman Hessary, co-founder at Peace Collective.
The “Welcome to Canada” beanies are available for online purchase ($28.99 CAD), while the original toque made with MAGA hat threads is being auctioned. All profits will be donated to WoodGreen Community Services, a United Way partner charity that provides resources to refugees and immigrants while they settle into Canada.
“This is a campaign that’s grounded in Canadian values. Diversity is our strength,” Hessary says. “Canada is a cultural mosaic, and we believe that all people, no matter their identity, are welcome here.”
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