PRI posted an article about Steve Mykolyn’s innovative creation of a coat, that when packed with newspaper, will fair as well as a down jacket in sub-zero weather. The coat is called “The 15-Below Jacket” and was made specifically for the homeless population trying to manage in Toronto’s winter. The design is by Lida Baday, who designs high end women’s wear.
The coats also help maintain the discreetness of the homeless. Although one would think that a newspaper stuffed coat would bulky and overtly obvious, these coats have been designed in a discrete black windbreaker style. Additionally, Baday and Myskolyn made the coats waterproof, with two has two liners. To top it off the coat converts into a backback for the summer
“It could have been anything, like a party, or a book,” Mykolyn explains. “Then I was walking home from a ball game one night with my 17-year-old son and there were a lot of homeless people on the street. He always gives them money and I never do. He asked me why I don’t and I didn’t have an answer. It was not something I had ever thought much about. That woke me up to their plight.”
If these coats really do hold up, it would be worth figuring out a way to make these available to homeless shelters – and organizations that work with the homeless -around North America. Ideally our society wouldn’t need this innovation, but I don’t see any issue in utilizing it. Unfortunately, the coats are still victims of our branded culture. The jacket has “15-Below” written in white letters.
Regardless, the coats seem as if they would be a good option for the homeless. If anyone knows anyone who could utilize these coats it would be worth attempting to contact Myskolyn or PRI.