Fishpond, maker of fly fishing and outdoor adventure gear and known for its authentic, upcycled-material products, recently partnered with footwear brand Chaco to raise money for Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC).

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of two styles of limited-edition Fishpond-Chaco sandals was donated to WRC to protect river ecosystems.

Sandhill-Cranes“Rivers are the birthplace of Chaco and have been part of the brand’s DNA from the beginning…”

“Rivers are the birthplace of Chaco and have been part of the brand’s DNA from the beginning,” Colin Butts, director of marketing for Chaco, told SGB. “We’re proud of our partnership with Fishpond and the lasting work the WRC has been able to accomplish.”

With a focus on design, aesthetics, craftsmanship and function, Fishpond has assumed a leadership role in the fly fishing industry and is making headway in other markets as well. “Partnerships are exactly what make a difference to us as a brand and to our consumers,” said Fishpond Co-owner, Ben Kurtz. “WRC epitomizes how Fishpond likes to express our brand promise.”

WRC protects river ecosystems on more than 50 western rivers and streams by acquiring critical habitats and providing public access for long-term conservation management.

Fishpond Chaco Flips

Fishpond Chaco Flips

Fishpond Chaco Z2

Fishpond Chaco Z2

WRC’s most recent accomplishments include; Conserving a reach of the upper Yampa River in Colorado and opening public access at the edge of the Sarvis Creek Wilderness; working with the Yurok Tribe in California to create a 72-square-mile sanctuary on the lower Klamath River to protect Blue Creek – an important cold water tributary for salmon recovery; and purchasing a 16,000-acre ranch in Oregon to create Oregon’s largest state park and opening up 16 miles on the John Day River.

“We feel very lucky to work with a generous, river-loving company like Fishpond,” said Danny Palmerlee, WRC communications director. “This contribution will help us continue our efforts to conserve the great rivers of the West and ensure they’re healthy and accessible for anglers and river-enthusiasts everywhere.”

fishingKurtz added, “Being a small company we have to be creative with the mechanisms that we can use to raise funds, and this Chaco collaboration is a great example of what that can look like. Other partners that we have been able to implement similar programs which include Save the Colorado, First Descents, SheJumps and Trout Unlimited.”

“At Fishpond we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our footprint on the environment. Recently we have transitioned many of our existing products, and designed our new products to be made from recycled nylon derived from commercial fishing nets, which is an industry first,” said Kurtz. “In August we became a certified B Corp, which tells our industry and our consumers that they are aiding a company that deeply cares about the environment and social responsibility on a large scale.”

As a small fly fishing focused brand, Fishpond has made it a point to communicate to employees, consumers and the industry that its business is dedicated to making sustainable decisions affecting everyone involved.

“None of us can do everything, but each of us can do something…”

Kurtz believes, like many in the industry, that conservation of the natural world is a shared responsibility. “With each step forward, each new ripple we create, we move closer to becoming a brand that embodies a vision for a healthy and sustainable environment.  As in every facet of life, none of us can do everything, but each of us can do something.”