Meet Ravi and Yun Qin

Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we’re super proud of our Ice Academy – but we’re even more proud of our graduates and the awesome things they’re doing.

Ravi and Yun Qin are two graduates of the programme who are now setting up their businesses. Both of their businesses have a social mission at their heart - they focus on giving back to the community and being kind to our planet. Pretty sweet, hey! 


Meet Ravi

Payanam (the Tamil word for journey), is an online platform selling artworks & clothing designs that are created by refugee artists, enabling refugees to share their journey and support themselves financially through their art. Payanam allows you to look good, feel good and do good.

Ravi graduated Ice Academy in 2019 and we recently caught up over a scoop:


Ravi, what inspired you to start your business? 

Mental health issues are very complex and hard to understand by others and I’m inspired to work towards fixing this global mental health problem. An art and photography group in London helps me overcome my own trauma so I thought about starting a platform for refugees to create art and overcome their trauma and support themselves. 


Tell us more about the social impact of Payanam!

We showcase refugee art and share refugee journeys. Art therapy helps refugees to overcome their trauma, but there are also meaningful pieces created at the end of it which describes a part of the refugee artist’s journey. We saw an opportunity for refugees to be able to sell their products so that they can heal while sharing their stories, and provide people with a way to support themselves financially. It is very important to look after our environment too, so all our fashion and clothing is ethical and made from organic cotton.


What’s next for your business and how can people get involved?

I’m launching my business in April and the next step is to start a crowdfunding campaign in May.

If you want to support Payanam, you can:


Meet Yun Qin

Yun Qin Fan's Sustainable Fashion is a gender neutral, luxury brand that is focused on slow and sustainable fashion. It does this through a NEW LIFE 新生命 circular upcycling model, which means your clothes will last you for a lifetime. This NEW LIFE 新生命 circular product cycle allows customers to live in harmony with themselves and the planet - without sacrificing style.

Yun Qin graduated Ice Academy in 2020 and we recently caught up over a scoop:


Yun Qin, what inspired you to start your business? 

I grew up with my grandfather in the countryside in China surrounded by nature. I helped him take care of animals, and through this I developed a love for them. My journey into upcycling started when I was 18 and I studied fashion and textiles at college, in London. During that time, I designed new outfits from my existing wardrobe giving them new life. This inspired me to continue creating sustainable designs, and to contribute to a world with less fashion waste and to help stop climate change.


Tell us more about the upcycling model of your business

YUN QIN FAN offers a NEW LIFE 新生命 innovative circular upcycling model, through which pieces can be redesigned and returned to the wearer, to give garments a new lease on life, help to reduce fashion waste, and offer customers the opportunity to wear reimagined YUN QIN FAN designs forever. Wearing YUN QIN FAN designs improves peoples’ sense of self and spectrum of expression, but also gives them the opportunity to be part of a planet - and people-friendly fashion brand. 


Why is this so important to you?

Waste will always pollute the environment if it’s not handled with care. I strongly believe in the need for a circular economy and that we can all must make an effort to improve the world we are living in. As a changemaker it’s important to look at every opportunity to take responsibility, in order to reduce waste and to protect nature from the very alarming situation that we are facing regarding climate change.


What’s next for your business and how can people get involved?

Social media is a very important platform when doing business today. I am working to increase my presence on social media, to promote my brand, my brand philosophy and to generate more potential customers. 

An important next step is to collect second hand and deadstock fabrics, which will be used in my new collection. I’ll then be able to take pre-orders from next month and onwards.

To support my business, please follow me on my social media platforms (Instagram and Facebook), engage with sustainable fashion, and think what difference you can make for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.