For the first time ever, students and parents across Canada have the power to make a difference with their back-to-school purchases and help thousands of children in Latin America, Africa andAsia receive access to education. Me to We, in partnership with Staples and ACCO Brands, launched its first line of eco-friendly school supplies with an impact.
Each product purchased gives a life-changing gift directly to a child or family in a Free The Children community overseas, so they are free to learn without battling against hunger, thirst, disease and financial restraints.
Together with hundreds of students; Free The Children co-founder Marc Kielburger; Me to We CEO, Roxanne Joyal; VP of Merchandising at Staples, Pete Gibel; eco-blogger Hannah Alper and a surprise celebrity appearance from JRDN; Me to We will officially launch its eco-friendly line of school supplies at Staples’ Front Street location in Toronto. The line is now available for purchase exclusively at Staples locations across Canada or online at www.staples.ca/metowe.
Me to We’s line of school supplies extends from backpacks and lunch bags, to tablet sleeves and notebooks, and are made from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer paper. As a part of Me to We’sTrack Your Impact initiative, all products come with a unique eight-digit code for buyers to track exactly where their purchase gives a life-changing gift. Each product provides a different gift – backpacks give a student overseas school supplies for one year; binders ensure a tree will be planted; lunch bags give a child healthy meals, and reusable water bottles provide one year of clean drinking water for one person, among other gifts. As Canadian students gear up for class they will also help send their peers in developing communities to school.
“Me to We truly believes that a sustainable future starts with our everyday choices as consumers. We’re so excited to partner with Staples and ACCO Brands who share this belief,” says Roxanne Joyal, CEO, Me to We. “Today more than 57 million children are still denied access to education. By engaging today’s generation of young people to make a difference with their purchases and through the impacts behind Me to We’s line of school supplies, children overseas will have the chance to go to school.”
“At Staples we’re committed to growing the product and brand variety in our stores,” says Pete Gibel, VP of Merchandising, Staples Canada. “Me to We’s new line of school supplies make it easy for our customers to access sustainable products, and drive a global mentality of sustainability, specifically in the areas we’re most passionate about, education and environmentalism.”
“Working with Me to We to manufacture its new product line meant a lot to us as a company,” says Bob Hodan, President and General Manager, ACCO Brands Canada. “We couldn’t be prouder of the eco-friendly line, and are thrilled Staples is onboard to amplify the mission of a sustainable brand that empowers consumers to make a lasting impact with every purchase.”
Me to We school supplies come in a variety of bright colours and patterns. Consumers can choose between vibrant colour streams, playful bursts of graphics and inspiring scripts. With today’s youth in mind, the line is designed to take students from the classroom, to cafeteria and through to afterschool activities. Prices range from $1.50 – $29.96 CAD. A total of 16 items have been created in various designs for the collection by Me to We.
Also announced at today’s event is Staples’ support of a new Free The Children campaign called We are Rafikis. Inspired by the Swahili word for “friend,” the We are Rafikis campaign gives Canadian students the opportunity to be a friend to Free The Children’s developing communities around the world through selling beaded Rafiki Friend Chains that will help families lift themselves out of poverty. Every Rafiki sold raises funds for Free The Children’s sustainable Adopt a Village development model and makes a lasting impact by giving a child or family a life-changing gift, from school supplies, to clean water, and even medical care. We are Rafikis kicks off September 2014 and educators and students will be able to pick up their Rafikis package to get started at a Staples location near them. More information on We are Rafikis can be found here: www.freethechildren.com/wearerafikis.