Have you ever traveled to a place where your memories there live in your mind rent free? In 2019, we had the chance to fly out to Brazil, one of the biggest cultural hubs of the beautiful game. We sunbathed at the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro and soaked in the significant history of Salvador.
We came to experience the many different facets of Brazil’s beauty and charm over the course of a month. Of course, it’s easy to find beauty within the major cities but the most beautiful thing we found was in an unexpected place. During our journey we ended up traveling west of Salvador to a city called Ibotirama.
Here is where we witnessed how far the passion for the sport reached.
Once we got to Ibotirama, a small city in the arid parts of Brazil, we met up with a guide who would take us on a trip to meet some of the kindest people we ever met. It was here where we met the Quilombolas. Quilombos are communities of people who are descendents from the African people who escaped enslavement during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. There are plenty of such communities across Brazil, and they have existed for several hundred years.
The Quilombos welcomed us with open arms and shared their stories. They gave us food and shelter, taught us their culture, and of course treated us to a football match. One of the Quilombos gathered together one night, just so I could play with them, and how could I pass up the opportunity? Shoes off, we played the beautiful game well into the night. We ended, sweaty with bruised feet (well I did anyway), with a hearty cooked meal and long conversations of cultural exchange.
Currently, the Quilombos are in a fight for rights to the land they occupied since their ancestors were brought to the Americas against their will. Not having a land title means wealthy land poachers can come as they wish and kick them off their lands to implant commercial farms. It means they cannot hire contractors to modernize their buildings and develop their communities.
Even so, despite these challenges, they are a people who fight and aren’t afraid of getting things done, which is why we decided to call this collection The Faz (which means do or does in Portuguese) Kit. The Faz kit blends two cultures into one. It combines the down to business urban metropolitan culture of Washington DC with the proud historic and authentic culture of the Quilombolas.
We want to help the people who opened their world to us and made us feel welcomed during our trip. With every purchase of a piece from the Faz Kit, we will donate 10% of our profits to helping them get the land they rightfully deserve in their possession.
The Faz Kit was first imagined in 2020. Instead of changing the kit, we decided to release it as is and release two other capsules this year. The first Faz Kit capsule will be available March 25th.