Arc’teryx, known for its high performance outdoor equipment, is in the unique position of owning and operating its own manufacturing facility in Burnaby for the production of in-line garments as well as for samples that can be used for research and field testing. As in any commercial manufacturing endeavor, there is an accumulation of excess or discontinued raw materials. Currently in its fourth year, the Birds Nest Project is a grassroots initiative that takes these materials and puts it into the hands of volunteer company employees who all donate their time to turn the fabric into capes.
The Arc’teryx Birds Nest Project has been in existence for the last four years via shelters like the Harvest Project and Harbour Lights. This year we are hoping to widen our distribution by teaming up with the VPD’s Homeless Outreach Program that will enable the capes to be distributed into the heart of the community most in need.
Says Joanne Mayzes, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Arc’teryx: “Anything that makes use of raw materials we can no longer use for commercial production is a valid and worthy project; this is just one example of how we are trying to keep waste out of the landfill. The project was originally inspired by a few members of the company’s research and design team and we’re excited to see it grow this year and to have the opportunity to work with the Vancouver Police Department to get the capes out to those who need them most.Providing the capes to police officers to distribute directly is a unique opportunity we wanted to take advantage of when we heard about the VPD’s Outreach Program and Constable Jodyne Kellers work from colleagues in our office.”
“The VPD connects with many men and women who unfortunately find themselves sleeping on Vancouver’s streets. Our goal is to offer our support to connect the homeless with the necessary resources to stay safe, healthy and then ultimately, to find housing. To place these capes directly into the hands of those who need them most is significant. To receive a cape at their “home” is exactly where it is needed the most,” explains Constable Jodyne Keller - VPD Homeless Outreach and SRO Coordinator.
As with any collective effort, the true benefit of the Birds Nest project comes from the time volunteers share together and the gift of giving. This year Arc’teryx hopes to distribute 700 windproof, waterproof capes at local shelters and through the VPD.