Even though we grew up on opposite coasts, Gary in San Diego and myself in Rhode Island, our passion for surfing drew us together.
We met one morning while checking the waves in La Jolla, a place I was staying briefly before returning to Nicaragua. We spent the next few days connecting over surf sessions and coffee. When it came time for me to leave on one-way ticket, I asked Gary if he wanted to join me. He took a leap of faith, left his job and got on the plane.
As we traveled through Central America chasing waves, we kept seeing the same dire issues facing each place we visited: extreme poverty, starving stray dogs, and environmental pollution. At first we observed quietly from a distance. We thought “we’re only here a few days, what can we do?” But then we came across the story of the girl and the starfish:
A man was walking down the beach one morning when he saw a young girl throwing starfish back into the ocean. Hundreds and hundreds of them had been washed ashore.
“Silly girl,” he scoffed “you can’t save all those starfish!”
“I can save this one,” she replied, tossing one back into the sea. “And this one, and this one, and this one…”
That story inspired us and reminded us that we can always do something to help. We started sharing our meals with local kids, we’d take in stray dogs and try to nurse them back to health, we’d pick up trash on the beach – even just our small actions had impact: kids started caring for the stray dogs instead of throwing rocks at them and locals helped with beach cleanups. It felt good, but we wanted to find a way to have a bigger impact. We wanted to bring lasting change and make it easy for anyone to be a part of.
We love trekking to far off destinations, experiencing different cultures, surfing in the ocean, swimming in rivers and lakes, climbing mountains, and hiking in the forest. The surf travel lifestyle leads us to incredible places and unforgettable experiences that enrich our lives. But few surf lifestyle brands honor those truths, especially when they create things using harmful materials and oppressive slave labor. Most people wouldn’t dump a barrel of toxic waste into the waters of their local beach, but the pollution resulting from non-organic cotton and other man-made fibers do just that worldwide. We buy surf clothes because we love the ocean, but doing so is destroying the thing we supposedly love.
We created The Acoustic Collective to honor the experiences we’ve had and the things that we love. We are donating 100% of profits from our eco ethical apparel because we want changing the world to be easy – every time you pull on one of our comfy tees or zip up on of our hoodies you help protect the environment, end poverty, rescue animals, bring equality, and enrich humanity. We hope to build a worldwide community of people who love to travel, adventure, surf, create and live from the heart.
We just launched The Acoustic Collective on Indiegogo to create the first collections – you can pre-order an organic tee or opt in for other awesome perks. We don’t need to reach the goal to ship the goods, but the closer we get, the more we can help the charity programs right away.
One of our greatest challenges so far has been trying to demonstrate the impact the profits will have, before we have profits. We weren’t sure if complete strangers would be able trust our intentions and truly see the scope of what The Acoustic Collective will be able to do once it has enough support. We hope that the work we’re doing with the charity programs now, without yet having profits, will be enough to inspire people to join us.
We don’t have a handy 1 to 1 ratio for the impact of each piece, like “we’ll give one person a meal for each tee,” because we want to do more than that. We plan to bring clean water and sustainable food to entire communities of people in need. We can have impact as individuals, but it increases exponentially and becomes sustainable when we come together to create change.
Here are a few different ways 1,000 tees can have impact (you choose):
A. Provide 600 people with clean water and sustainable food: organic gardens, fruit trees, and filters.
B. Rescue & spay 160 dogs while building more mindful communities.
C. Bring recycling and environmental programs to 5 surf tourism areas.
Right now we’re in Costa Rica, putting in the first recycling and eco-program. In June we plan to be in Nicaragua planting the first organic community garden with fruit trees and giving water filters to families in need. In July we are helping put on another spay/neuter clinic in Costa Rica with a local volunteer group that we work with to rescue stray animals.
We hope more people will join The Acoustic Collective and help us have impact every step of the way.
Join us for our next blog post: 7 easy free ways to help save the ocean!
If you are interested in helping out in the charity programs hands on please email us at: email@example.com
To donate directly to one of the charity programs: happyhealthyearthproject.org
About the Author
Danielle and Gary are the founders of the Acoustic Collective, an eco-ethical surf brand that donates 100% of profits to help earth, people and animals. They’re passion for surfing drew them together and continues to fuel the work they are doing. Prior to creating Acoustic Collective, Gary painted wall murals, created short surf films, and worked as the creative director for a wetsuit company. Danielle surfed professionally and wrote passages for her first novel. They recently launched the Acoustic Collective Indiegogo, where you can pre-order the comfy eco ethical apparel and help have immediate impact in the charity programs: https://www.indiegogo.com/campaigns/the-acoustic-collective/