A new social enterprise, Totes Making A Diff, has partnered with our Artful Dodgers Studios program in Collingwood. The initiative launched in Melbourne recently with a huge opening night party at Collarts in Fitzroy.
Totes Making A Diff engages local artists to illustrate limited edition screen-printed tote bags. Artful Dodgers Studios receives 50% of profits from each bag sold, which they reinvest to ensure the Studios can continue to grow into the future. The first design, limited to a print run of 150 tote bags, is illustrated by local artist Ellen Porteous.
Founder of Totes Making a Diff and former Victorian Young Achiever, Alastair Pryor, sees the initiative as key to ensuring reliable, ongoing funding for the Studios.
“We’re excited at the opportunity to give more than just a monetary donation to the Artful Dodgers – we’ll also be helping develop a new sustainable income model.”
Pryor feels the Studios’ creative arts approach to improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing is “a perfect fit” for Totes Making a Diff:
Artful Dodgers Studios use art and music as the hook to engage young people. It’s a creative and safe space where young people get to further develop their artistic skills, employability skills, social connections and self-esteem.
The Studios’ community focus is also a good match for the social enterprise. The bags are produced using local manufacturers and screen printers, and Pryor says this local focus is important.
“We believe that keeping things local is key in building awareness for these types of small businesses in not only Melbourne, but also Australia”
Marianna Codognotto, Arts and Culture Coordinator at Artful Dodgers Studios, says she’s extremely happy to have Totes Making A Diff come onboard.
“We’re lucky to have such a great local enterprise support our activities. It mirrors the efforts of other local groups who regularly raise funds for us. They really understand what we’re trying to do at the Studios – providing a soft landing place through arts and music engagement, with wrap-around support that helps young people get their lives back on track.
“Alastair is a very passionate young guy just bursting with great ideas, and it is wonderful to have all his energy directed towards assisting us.”
To purchase your limited edition tote bag, please visit the Totes Making A Diff website.