*A note from Phoebe and Peter, June 9, 2020
Like many of you, we put our work on hold recently (even that is a privilege) to focus on and support Black voices. There’s so much to learn, and unlearn. We’ve been awed by the speed and breadth of the changes set in motion already. What will be achieved in a season / year / decade?
Over the years Cold Picnic has become an increasingly political brand, possibly due to the fact that the lines between personal and professional inevitably blur when a brand consists solely of a married couple working out of their home (although we now have a wonderful Sales Manager who works remotely on the other side of the country). In a capitalist society, where we spend our money is a political act. On a personal level, we’ve been taking care to spend our money on companies whose ideals we respect. As a brand selling decidedly non-essential goods, we want the same for you. In the past we’ve worked towards this primarily through raising money with our customers, whether by a percentage of web sales or designating profits from specific items. We felt connected to you through this gesture of mutual activism, and it felt good.
But there’s been a shift; although the fight is not new, it is different. We realize our previous efforts did not take into account our roles in sustaining the racist systems our country was built on. We move forward with a growing awareness of our personal culpability, and the realization that we give not because we are good but because we are not good enough, and we want to be better.
We still want to be connected with you in this way, but donations are only a start. Lasting change will take time, stamina and constant readjustment.
We commit ourselves to continue signing petitions, emailing/calling lawmakers, VOTING, working towards defunding the police and fighting against the current administration. We commit ourselves to continuing to raise money and awareness towards racial inequality and against white supremacy. But above all we commit ourselves to consciously supporting Black lives and all of the education, introspection and conversations this will entail on a daily basis, both personally and professionally.
Phoebe and Peter
Some of the organizations we have been proud to support either through direct donations or through raffles and giveaways:
- Swing Left: Created following the 2016 election, Swing Left was created to flip the Senate, the White House and key state legislatures by empowering volunteers to help win critical elections.
- WIRES NSW WILDLIFE RESCUE: Australia’s largest rescue and wildlife organization, WIRES is a non-profit providing rescue and rehabilitation for all native Australian wildlife, a mission which increased dramatically following the catastrophic fires in 2019-2020.
- Zoos Victoria: An Australian zoo-based conservation organization, dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction. Following the 2019-2020 fires, Zoos launched the Bushfire Emergency Wildlife fund, a fund dedicated to the rescue and recovery of bushfire-affected wildlife and enhancing preparedness for future wildlife responses.
- City Meals on Wheels: Providing food and assistance to New York City’s homebound elderly
- Brooklyn Community Foundation: A public foundation dedicated to Brooklyn’s charitable community, their Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund provides emergency groceries and other assistance to Brooklyn’s most vulnerable populations, including low-wage workers and the homebound.
- Black Visions Collective: an organization that develops Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership
- Black Lives Matter: an international human rights movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards Black people
- ACLU: non-profit legal and advocacy group defending civil rights
- Made in Brownsville: a nonprofit that seeks to increase access to creative and innovative fields for at-risk youth in Brownsville, Brooklyn through employment and mentorship around design projects that challenge the local narrative of violence and chronic disease.
- Autistic People of Color Fund: Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment
- HEARD: All volunteer organization that provides advocacy services for deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind inmates across the nation
- Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund: dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more humane reentry system.
- Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation
- Yellowhammer: a 501(c)3 abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving Alabama and the Deep South
- National Network of Abortion: a national social justice organization that aims to increase access to abortion for low-income people across the U.S
- Black Power Blueprint: A black led self-determination and economic development project in St. Louis, MO
- Ocean Conservancy: promotes healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems and opposes practices that threaten ocean life and human life. Through research, education, and science-based advocacy, Ocean Conservancy informs, inspires, and empowers people to speak and act on behalf of the oceans
- Everytown for Gun Safety: an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun control and against gun violence
- Direct Relief: dedicated to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies
- Planned Parenthood: a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care in the United States and globally
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: a lawsuit and grassroots movement that began in early 2016 in reaction to the approved construction of Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access Pipeline in the northern United States
- International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC): ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and other situations of violence
- American Red Cross: a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the United States
- Bushwick Ayuda Mutua: a grassroots community group that connects neighbors in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to organizations and volunteers in the area that are able to relieve them where the government has not yet been able to
Some of the Initiatives we’ve instituted:
Student Blanket Competition to Highlight Black Design Talent
- We recently held an open call for Black art and design students to partner on a capsule collection of knitted blankets. We selected three designs by three extraordinarily talented young women which were available through our website and available with select stockists. Each designer received all profits from the sale of their blanket. Read more about the project and the winning designers here
Tonal Boob Knitted Blanket - Brown
- All profits from the sale of this blanket will be donated to causes in support of BLM
- Shop Tonal Boob Blanket in Brown
Koala Knit blankets:
- We’ve been heartbroken by the images and news we’re seeing of not only koalas, but of all lives affected by the bushfires in Australia. In an effort to help in some small way we designed this baby koala in a cast blanket. All profits will be split and donated to WIRES and Zoos Victoria.
- Shop koala knit baby blanket
Ballotpedia: non-profit digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections
National Conference of State Legislatures: bipartisan research on public policy issues facing state governments