For 37 years the Surfrider Foundation has been working to protect the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches for the enjoyment of all. The organization is comprised of a robust activist network that works locally through grassroots initiatives — like beach cleanups — and nationally to advocate for ocean & environmentally friendly legislation.
We have been honored to partner with them to further their mission through the apparel that they sell to both support the organization and bring awareness to the importance of their work.
We recently sat down with Kyle Lishok, the Brand Manager for Surfrider, to ask him a few questions about their mission & their work…
How far & wide does the work of Surfrider reach around the world?
In the U.S, the Surfrider Foundation currently consists of over 80 volunteer-run Chapters, and 100 student-led clubs—all working on campaigns and initiatives to protect our ocean, waves and beaches. We also have a number of international Surfrider affiliates, including locations in: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and Senegal.
Can you share about the importance of the advocacy work the organization does, and an example of a recent legislative win?
Surfrider was founded on grassroots advocacy. We currently have over 164 active campaigns in the United states. Whether it’s keeping our water clean, maintaining access to the beach, or reducing plastic pollution, our advocacy work stretches from coast to coast. In 2022 alone, we have achieved 32 victories, and since 2006 (when we began counting victories), we have achieved over 812. The work our organization has done and continues to do, benefits communities across the nation, each and every day.
Our biggest recent win also happened to be in our own backyard. We successfully stopped the implementation of a harmful Desalination Plant in Huntington Beach, CA. This plant would have irreparably undermined the state’s environmental justice commitments, climate change goals and sea level rise adaptation policies, all while setting a terrible precedent for future coastal development.
What are the simple & immediate ways people can get involved with the organization?
The two most impactful actions I tell people they can take are 1) donating their time or 2) donating their money. As a volunteer-driven network, we need people and we need resources to carry out our amazing work. Without our volunteers and without our members/donors/partners, our work would not be possible.
Tell us about the role merchandise plays in your overall strategy & why you chose to work with KNOWN SUPPLY.
We’re a non-profit, first and foremost and merchandise is not our specialty. We know that. However, we have used our sustainable apparel and accessories to successfully build a strong brand image around the world. Working with thoughtful and eco-minded production partners, like Known Supply, we have been able to produce a number of quality merchandise pieces which accurately represent our brand and our vision for a more sustainable planet. The best part about our merchandise sales, is that 100% of the profit directly funds our campaigns, programs, and initiatives across the country.
Anything else you’d like to add? Where can people go to learn more?
Get involved! Our website is surfrider.org and our shop can be found at shop.surfrider.org. No matter where you are in the country, there is a good chance that one of our local, regional, or national initiatives needs your support. And if you’d like to buy a shirt to wear your support, you can do that too!