Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being". The word refers to having a direction or purpose in life, that which makes one's life worthwhile, and towards which an individual takes spontaneous and willing actions giving them satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.
We thought about what ikigai meant for us and created a product with the intentions of benefitting a cause we believe in. We will be donating 20% of profits from this item to the BIG CITY MOUNTAINEERS.
Big City Mountaineers is a nonprofit organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced youth through transformative wilderness mentoring experiences. Big City Mountaineers provide under-resourced youth the opportunity to experience the outdoors. Through their organization they help develop the self esteem, sense of responsibility and communication skills of nearly 1,000 kids and teenagers annually.
"People like to say that the outdoors is an apolitical space. You’ve probably heard things like “Nature doesn’t discriminate” in response to concerns from Black and brown people about racism and physical safety in the outdoors. And while that’s true about nature, we share those spaces with other people, too.
We could talk about Christian Cooper and the attempted assault-by-proxy that happened in Central Park, but…
…we’ve seen our students express concern at getting out of the van in rural communities, because they know being Black or brown in those spaces could be dangerous.
…we’ve seen law enforcement confront students who were fishing, and who they perceived as unlicensed troublemakers attempting to flaunt the law.
And while it might be well-meaning, we’ve seen group after group question what our students are doing in the wilderness in the first place. When it happens that often, you start to get the sense that you don’t belong there.
And that’s just what *we’ve* seen. What have our students picked up on that we haven’t?
Prejudice follows Black and brown people everywhere – sometimes to a life-threatening degree. EVERYONE deserves to feel safe, both in the backcountry and in the frontcountry. We’re committed to making sure our students not only are physically safe on our trips, but feel emotionally safe, too – and we’re committed to the task of self-work, examining programs, partnerships, trainings, and processes that will get us closer to that goal."
Color: Brown Tree Trunk/ Algae
Size: One size strap back
Hand altered coloring process
Machine embroidered IKIGAI graphic