A new campaign for Toronto-based clothing brand Peace Collective has transformed a Make America Great Again (MAGA) cap, thread by thread, into a representation of acceptance.
The red MAGA hat has been promoted by Donald Trump and his supporters, but for many others it has become a representation of the divisive and combative political climate appearing worldwide, and often associated with anti-immigrant and anti-minority views.
A new awareness campaign, called '#UnravelHate,’ created for Peace Collective with Zulu Alpha Kilo, literally unthreads the negative symbolism of the MAGA hat and transforms it into something that gives people hope. A video shows how MAGA hats were unthreaded, letter-by-letter, stitch-by-stitch and given a new meaning. The thread of the MAGA hats helped create a new symbol, a red toque with white lettering that carries a warm and very Canadian message: ‘Welcome to Canada.’
“We have an opportunity to tell the world that acceptance is stronger than hate, so the idea was to take a symbol of division and completely transform it,” said Roman Hessary, co-founder at Peace Collective.
Aside from the new hat, the video features five different Canadians telling their unique stories about how they immigrated to the country and why they are proud to call it home. Among the participants are Aorwa, a Syrian refugee who fled the Syrian Civil War; Cori, an LGBTQ American who now resides in Canada; and Victor, an immigrant from Uganda. The compelling accounts about how they saw the original hat’s sentiment and how they found a welcome home up north are intercut with footage of the unthreaded MAGA hats before revealing the ‘Welcome to Canada’ toque.
“This is a campaign that’s grounded in Canadian values – diversity is our strength. Canada is a cultural mosaic and we believe that all people, no matter their identity, are welcome here,” said Hessary.
The 'Welcome to Canada' toques are available for purchase at and the original toque made with MAGA hat threads is being auctioned online. Profits from the sale of all toques are being donated to WoodGreen Community Services, a United Way partner charity that helps refugees and immigrants settle into their new lives in Canada.