A Conversation With: Away x Peace Direct
Inspired by the belief that every trip has a starting point and that we’re all locals of the world, one of our favorite luggage brands Away Travel is partnering with Peace Direct, an organization devoted to building peace in areas of conflict.
As part of this impactful partnership, Away + Peace Direct are raising awareness and humanitarian support for people who live on the front lines of conflict zones in places such as Nigeria and the Congo. We were lucky enough recently to host Away’s social impact team and their peace ambassadors at The James New York – NoMad where we had a chance to chat with them about this inspiring mission as part of our A Conversation With series.
Tell us a little about how this partnership got started.
From the beginning, we knew we wanted Away to be a company that did more than just sell luggage, so one of the first hires we made was a social impact strategist who helped us choose a cause to focus on, as well as find the right partner to work with. We established our partnership with Peace Direct before a single suitcase was sold. Away has a much broader mission of inspiring people to travel. We share perspectives from people around the world so that we can all have a better understanding of experiences that are different from our own. With that in mind, it felt natural to join forces with an organization that’s working globally to build peace in areas of conflict.
What are some of the ways Away + Peace Direct’s mission is helping those on the ground in these conflict zones?
Peace Direct’s mission is to work with local people to stop violent conflict and build sustainable peace around the world. They do this by working directly with grassroots organizations and local leaders in areas of conflict, and the work they support ranges from helping rescue and rehabilitate child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to helping people access justice in communities emerging from violence. From the start, we’ve approached this partnership as a way to raise Peace Direct’s profile through storytelling and branding and ultimately make “peacebuilding” a common term that everyone understands.
Why are partnerships like this important to Away?
Our work with Peace Direct isn’t just a part-time project – it’s part of what we do and who we are, and it’s been incredibly rewarding for our team to be a part of. For our employees who may have never considered working for or with a non-profit, they’re able to see that their skills and creative energy have a direct impact on bettering the world. We think it’s important to support Peace Direct holistically and totally, meaning we don’t pick and choose certain initiatives or projects to fund—we support whatever they’re doing and help with all their projects however we can. Beyond financially supporting the organization, every employee at Away donates their time and skills to work directly for Peace Direct.
In other words, we provide them with our expertise so they can focus on what they do best, which is building peace on the ground. For example, our social team has worked with PD staff to create a content calendar and social media strategy, our design team helps with branding and copy for presentations, and our web team created and maintains a site that highlights PD’s impact.
You can’t just buy peace—you have to build it, it takes time, dedication, and constant support, and those are three things we’re proud to give to Peace Direct, and will continue to give as long as we’re here.
What can people do to get involved?
It’s really important to stay informed. It can be easy to forget about what’s happening in the world beyond our own personal realities, but when we make an effort to pay attention to the bigger picture and to take action on the things we feel passionately about, that’s when we can really make a difference.
We share stories about the work Peace Direct is doing at impact.awaytravel.com, so I’d encourage anyone to visit and learn more about the issues facing two billion people living in countries affected by conflict around the world today.
Image location credit: The James New York – Soho