Jamaica Carnival was Carnicycle's first collection.
We planned rigorously for 4 months to put the collection together (mostly virtually) and when it was time to execute, we had tons of fun! But we definitely learned a lot. In this blog post, I'm going to quickly recap our collection, partnerships and lessons learned.
The Collection: We wanted to give masqueraders the opportunity to donate the costumes a couple days after palancing on the road. Our team thought that hotels would be the best place to host collection boxes because a lot of masqueraders (mostly foreign) would stay there for the carnival season. Additionally we had collection sites at UWI Mona campus and at non-profit, Acts of Grace. so that we could target more locals.
For the donation bins, we thought it would be more Eco-friendly to make the bins up from recycled cardboard boxes. .
In total, we were able to collect: 26 costumes, 2 pairs of shoes and male shorts, and 8 costumes boxes.
We absolutely could not have pulled of this event without our partners. We partnered with Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica to promote our collection at fetes (I Love Soca) and costume distribution centers for Jamaican mas bands-- Xaymaca, Xodus and Bacchanal. Nuh Dutty Up already had a campaigned titled "Nuh Dutty Up Di Road" which brought awareness to keeping the streets clean during the carnival parade. It was really exciting to collaborate with an organization who's goal completely aligned with ours.
Our hotel partners (The Courtyard Marriott Jamaica, The Jamaica Pegasus, The Altamont Court Hotel) and Acts of Grace, hosted collection bins on their properties for 3 whole days!
T.A.J. Printers, our t-shirt printing partner. graciously printed our high quality t-shirts for us at a significant discount. Lastly we were able to partner with U.S. based non-profit-- Free the Girls and local Jamaican non-profit--Acts of Grace to donate the bras, shoes and clothes we collected from the carnival season.
We learned lessons that will help us improve how we collect costumes, also where we collect them and how much more we can obtain for carnivals moving forward. 1. Donation Bin- The material for the donations bins were a were harder to source than we anticipated. Our team had to make multiple trips to a variety of stores to receive boxes that were relatively the same size. Once we got all the boxes that we needed, we painted them in the hot sun lol, and taped them up. Constructing and deconstructing the boxes were easy... and recyclable.. but we have been in search of better alternatives since
2. Collection Day- Prior to landing in Jamaica our team was debating whether we should collect on the actual Parade route. After talking to some locals, we were under the impression that most masqueraders kept their costumes on for the entirety of the parade. That being said, we just limited costume collection to hotel
3. Donated Materials- We realized that costumes are not the only clothing material that people discard. In our collection bin, we received shoes and clothes from J'ouvert. We also received the shorts from male masqueraders which we completely overlooked before. We definitely will be sure to list these items during our next collection. Overall Jamaica was a blast and we can't wait to make carnivals green one by one.