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Clothing with a social conscience: Meet two folks fighting homelessness with fabric messages

Cass Elliot of Make Waves Collective sporting their holiday sweatshirt. Some of the proceeds will benefit the people in need at the tent encampment in Bannerman Park.  (Submitted by Cass Elliot - image credit)
Cass Elliot of Make Waves Collective sporting their holiday sweatshirt. Some of the proceeds will benefit the people in need at the tent encampment in Bannerman Park. (Submitted by Cass Elliot - image credit)

Make Waves Collective has spent the better half of 2023 designing apparel and promotional gear, but their clothing isn't just eye-catching with cute prints and brightly coloured tie-dyes.

Each of their products comes with a message based on human rights and social justice.

Chris Elliot and Cass Elliot launched the clothing line in May, and since then they've been donating some of their proceeds to community groups and causes around St. John's.

For the holidays, they've come up with a T-shirt with "All I Want for Christmas is Housing for Everyone" embossed across the front of a festive design.

Cass Elliot and Chris Elliot are the duo behind Make Waves Collective. The couple launched the brand in May, 2023.
Cass Elliot and Chris Elliot are the duo behind Make Waves Collective. The couple launched the brand in May, 2023.

Cass Elliot and Chris Elliot are the duo behind Make Waves Collective. The couple launched the brand in May. (Lindsay J Ralph)

Proceeds from the sales of that shirt are going to the people living at the tent encampment in Bannerman Park.

"The whole point of what we're doing here is trying to start conversations, and find like-minded people, and find people that connect over these topics," Cass Elliot said.

Another T-shirt reads "Less pity, more ramps."

It's meant to raise awareness for accessibility.

"The message behind it is basically for disability rights, and the fact that disabled people don't want your pity," Cass Elliot said.

"They want accessibility, they need ramps, they need to be able to get into the spaces to be part of the conversation."

Disability advocate Lisa Walters collaborated with Make Waves Collective for the 'Less pity, more ramps' shirt that brings awareness to accessibility.
Disability advocate Lisa Walters collaborated with Make Waves Collective for the 'Less pity, more ramps' shirt that brings awareness to accessibility.

Disability advocate Lisa Walters collaborated with Make Waves Collective for the 'Less pity, more ramps' shirt that brings awareness to accessibility. (Lindsay J Ralph)

A lot of work goes into thoughts behind the designs, and also into their construction.

Chris Elliot does the tie-dying by hand.

"Our goal isn't just to stamp something with a brand name on it," he said.

"It's [an] artisan garment that we elevate to another level."

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