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A coat stuffed with newspaper to keep the cold away may be a trick as old as Methuselah, but Taxi has just improved the formula by creating 15 Below, a coat that will be distributed to the homeless.

The agency called upon Toronto fashion designer Lida Baday to design a lightweight, windproof, waterproof coat with plenty of pockets. Steve Mykolyn, Creative Director of Taxi Toronto, helmed the initiative. He also collaborated on the concept, look and design.

Once its pockets are packed with newspapers, the coat provides an efficient barrier against the cold. (Mykolyn even tested it inside a meat freezer.) The coats will be given to the homeless in cities where Taxi has an office, including Montréal, Toronto, New York, Calgary and Vancouver.

The agency assumed a large portion of the costs by putting the funds that would have otherwise gone to gifts and holiday parties towards the coat's production. Baday donated her time, as did garment manufacturer Sgwicus.

The 15 Below coats are made out of black Aquamax, a breathable waterproof material laminated with a non-porous hydrophile membrane. Good protection against wind and rain, Aquamax is solid, light and durable. The coat includes waterproof zippers, underarm eyelets for ventilation, taped seams, many pockets, a stuffable hood, adjustable cuffs and drawcords. Stuffed with newspaper, it's a winter coat; empty, it's a raincoat. When not in use, it can be folded up and stowed away.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards

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