Because a lot is improved and contains been recently quit to be used devoid of adversity.
The whole thing looked very bleak until 25 year old biology student Mark Capelli showed us pictures he had taken along the river. We saw pictures of different species of birds that lived in the pastures, of muskrats, water snakes, of river eels that spawned in the estuary. He even showed a picture of a young rainbow trout. Around 50 rainbow trout still came to spawn in our river, which we believed to be dead.
The construction project was obsolete. We offered Mark a job in our office and our support in the fight to save this river. As more and more construction projects came up, the “Friends of the Ventura Rivers” opposed it, cleaned the river bed and thereby improved the flow. The fauna and flora recovered and more and more rainbow trout came back to spawn.
Mark taught us two important things: The fight at the lowest level can make a crucial difference and destroyed habitat can be restored with appropriate effort. We were very inspired by his commitment. We therefore began to donate regularly to environmental projects and mainly supported smaller environmental groups that campaigned for the rescue or renaturation of endangered habitats, instead of non-governmental organizations, which themselves have many employees, high fixed costs and relationships. In 1986 we committed to donating 10% of our profits to these environmental groups every year. We later increased our stakes to 1% of our sales or 10% of our profits, whichever was higher. We have kept this promise every year since then.
In 1988 we launched our first national environmental protection campaign to prevent urbanization of the Yosemite Valley with the help of an alternative overall concept. Since then we have carried out an environmental campaign on a specific topic every year. We also took a position early on against globalization of trade in connection with the threat to the environment and working conditions. Among other things, we advocated the removal of dams when they led to silting up and fish deaths and were of little use. We supported projects that focused on the conservation of forest areas in order to preserve the ecosystem and create habitats for wild animals. Every year and a half we hold a conference for environmental activists to impart knowledge about marketing and public relations to the associations we work with.
We took the first steps early on to reduce our own role as an environmentally polluting company: for example, we have been using recycled paper for our catalogs since the mid-1980s and, together with Malden Mills, developed recycled polyester to produce our Synchilla fleece.