By AHMED DIRIE
Toula Voikos is using her skill in design and love of sewing to raise money for Ukraine by creating Peace Doves and Flag Pins in the colour of the Ukrainian flag.
Voikos runs LazyBonesCozy, where she creates various products including cushions, phone stands, meditation eye pillows, bowl cozies, sachets, door stoppers, in addition to the Peace Doves and Flag Pins.
Voikos, who has lived in the Beach for the last 19 years and studied graphic design, started LazyBonesCozy during the COVID-19 pandemic following the success of masks she made for friends, family, and donated to Michael Garron Hospital and the Toronto Humane Society, where she also worked as a part time adoption agent.
“I just sort of really tapped into my love of sewing, which I’d always dabbled with before but never really taken it much further and then I started creating other products,” said Voikos.
One of the tenets of her business is to minimize waste of fabrics that are piling up in landfills. Conversely, Voikos makes many of her products out of recycled, or upcycled, material she can find.
“I know that fabric waste is one of the biggest environmental disasters of the time,” said Voikos. “My daughter, Maya, is studying environmental science, sustainability and society, and we talk about it a lot. The idea of trying to repurpose fabric and keeping it out of landfills was a good one so that’s what I started doing.”
The idea to create Peace Doves came partly from her desire to reuse and recycle fabric.
“One of my friends had given me blue and yellow fabric, almost the exact blue as the Ukrainian flag,” said Voikos. “I was making my birds and I was watching the news. It was the day that the invasion happened and so I just kind of thought I should do something.”
The Peace Doves and flag pins can be seen on LazyBonesCozy’s website and can currently be purchased at Ethical Local Markets, located on 1630 Queen St. E.; 6×8 Market, located on 184 Balwin St.; Good Intentions, located on 1434 Danforth Ave.; and Farmacia, located at 2096 Queen St. E. where you can also purchase other signature items from LazyBonesCozy.
Voikos herself can be contacted for special orders.
The Peace Doves can be purchased for $20 while the flag pins, made from leftover fabric from the birds, can be purchased for $5. Pledges of more than the listed prices will be happily accepted to further aid the people of Ukraine.
To date, Voikos cand LazyBonesCozy have raised $1,070 all of which has been sent to the Ukraine relief fund via the Canadian Red Cross. Voikos chose the Canadian Red Cross due to their pledge to match donations up to $30 million, which was quickly reached.
Voikos anticipates the amount of money she has raised will continue grow as more of the Peace Doves and Flag Pins are sold.