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Toronto high school student designs 'anti-pipeline' themed jacket

A Toronto high school student has taken her passion for activism and turned it into a real statement piece; an anti-pipeline-themed jacket. Joey Donovan did it with the help of 6IX Academy — a national award-winning program at Central Toronto Academy.

Fashion project a collaboration with the creator of Moose Knuckles and Woodpecker

High school student designs 'anti-pipeline' themed jacket

CBC News Toronto

2 months ago
2:19
A Toronto high school student took her passion for activism and turned into a statement piece: an anti-pipeline themed jacket. The “Down the Pipe” puffer was created by students from 6IX Academy — a national award-winning program at Central Toronto Academy — with the help of Moose Knuckles and Woodpecker founder Will Poho. Talia Ricci spoke with 16-year-old designer Joey Donovan about the project. 2:19

The jacket's blue reflection represents an oil spill, the inside textile depicts a blueprint for a pipeline and messages like, "Warning, harmful to wildlife" are woven into the fabric.

A Toronto high school student took her passion for activism and turned into a real statement piece; an anti-pipeline- themed jacket.

"We had to pick an activism message, something we believed in personally," said 16-year-old Joey Donovan.

The puffer, called Down the Pipe, was brought to life through 6IX Academy — a national award-winning program at Central Toronto Academy. The business and design students enrolled in the program partner with Canadian fashion industry professionals and launch an annual prototype-to-production venture. 

This year, students designed jackets while working with Will Poho, the creator of Moose Knuckles and Woodpecker. The students were required to pitch to a panel, and Donovan's design was selected as the winner.

"The first time seeing it was weird, feeling it and trying it on, because in my mind it was still just the little picture I drew," the student said.

In 2019, the students designed a shoe collection called Winter Kicks which was incorporated into the permanent collection at the Bata Shoe Museum. Rebecca DiLeo, the creative director of 6IX Academy and an arts teacher at the school, says some of her students have even discovered new career paths through the program.

"It's like we have this army of support behind us now and we're continuing to grow every year," DiLeo said. "We see our students grow, we see our mentorship base grow. We are creating really exciting projects."

The unisex jacket is now available on Woodpecker's website, and the proceeds go back into the program so that students can continue creating.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Talia Ricci is a CBC reporter based in Toronto. She has travelled around the globe with her camera documenting people and places as well as volunteering. Talia enjoys covering offbeat human interest stories and exposing social justice issues. When she's not reporting, you can find her reading or strolling the city with a film camera.

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