Arc’teryx becomes caped crusader once a year

One company’s trash can indeed become another person’s treasure -- that is if you are homeless in Vancouver, and are lucky enough to have been given a Gore-Tex cape manufactured by Arc’teryx.
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One company’s trash can indeed become another person’s treasure – that is if you are homeless in Vancouver, and are lucky enough to have been given a Gore-Tex cape manufactured by Arc’teryx.

“What started as an effort to find other uses for fabrics destined for the trash has turned into a product to clothe those in need and provides an opportunity to create social awareness of homelessness in the midst of one of Canada’s most affluent cities,” said Steve Threndyle, communications specialist for Arc’teryx.

Working on three separate autumn Saturdays in 2010 at the Arc’teryx manufacturing facility in Burnaby, B.C., employee volunteers cut and sewed 560 capes constructed with re-purposed, end-of-roll and discontinued fabrics that the company utilizes in its premium Gore-Tex and Primaloft garments.

“These specially designed capes for Vancouver’s homeless help to repel wind and rain during the city’s often dreary winter weather,” Threndyle said.

Employees distributed the capes during the holiday season to the Harvest House shelter in North Vancouver on Dec. 21 and at the Harbour Lights Salvation Army shelter in Vancouver’s downtown east side on Dec. 24.

This marked the second year in a row that employees have volunteered their time for what Arc’teryx terms its Bird’s Nest initiative*. In 2009, 300 capes were distributed to the Harbour Lights shelter. Threndyle told us the effort will be an annual one.

While employees are eager to donate their time Threndyle told SNEWS®, the company does reward their efforts with paid time off. For each Saturday an employee donated to working to sew capes, they received a half day off with pay, and if an employee worked all three Saturdays in 2010, they received two full days off with pay.

--Michael Hodgson

*To find out why the company calls this a Bird's Nest initiative, go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/snewsfan.

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