The Learning Tea on Design Ignites Change


A class at Portfolio Center created packaging for The Learning Tea, a project that will help children in Darjeeling, India have prospects for a better future. Atlanta business-owner Katrell Christie will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from this tea to to help better the lives of the children she’d met while spending time at both a Darjeeling orphanage and a elementary school, one of the oldest schools in Darjeeling.For 2010, Christie has pledged to buy uniforms and put a working toilet in at elementary school. She also has committed to fully funding the education of three orphan girls a year at a nearby Darjeeling university.

Since Christie will bring 100 percent of the profits back to India, the packaging had to be low-cost and easily reproducible. All the student teams were deeply motivated by the chance to utilize design in a way that will have an impact on the lives of children a world away.

The winning team, consisting of Matheus Meneghel, Hunter Grove and Brian Marcus came up with inventive packaging that captures the story of the tea. The packaging helped Katrell sell out her first shipment of tea. The design also was a big factor in convincing Whole Foods to pick up the tea nationally in the fall.