Arc’teryx Birds Nest Project
Will Ross, February 17, 2012
As Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver has a problem that often goes unreported – homelessness. At the end of January, I made a pilgrimage to the headquarters of Arc’teryx in the city while I was in town waiting for the bus to Whistler. Though my visit saw me head straight to the factory store and mega discounts, I was able to learn more about what the brand is doing to alleviate the harsh conditions of the streets in Vancouver for the cities most disadvantaged.
Arc’teryx employees have been volunteering to produce capes for homeless citizens of the city. Referred to as the ‘Birds Nest Project’, Arc’teryx have converted their commitment to performance outwear with a grassroots initiative to protect homeless people from bitter winter weather.
The project has been running for three years at the Burnaby factory where Arc’teryx employees donate their time to sew the capes. A team of over 60 volunteers gathered on three Sundays to produce the Gore-Tex capes this year. Each of the 700 Birds Nest made this year were windproof and wateproof, mirroring the high performance credentials of Arc’teryx’s for-sale creations.
Similar to tent-manufacturer Vango’s involvement in ShelterBox, this interaction by Arc’teryx instructs a direct link between a performance product and socio-environmental problem. Arc’teryx hopes that other local businesses can develop their own projects to help limit the problem of homelessness in Vancouver.