Travelling, Sustainability and Positive Impact: An Interview with Outpach
We interviewed Outpatch this week, an amazing company with a mission to help communities thrive by uniting designers, travelers and important causes. Check out the full interview below!
Can you tell us a bit about your mission and how Outpatch started?We founded Outpatch on the premise that the people most capable of addressing issues affecting communities are the people living in them. The reality is that not a whole lot of donor funding makes it to community-based, grassroots nonprofits. So, we wanted to create a business that would get more funds to these types of nonprofits while being financially self-sustaining. To do this we decided to leverage the tourism industry, where only about $5 out of every $100 dollar spent while traveling is making it directly to the communities hosting tourists.As an avid travelers, we had always wanted to give back to the places we visited but found there was never an easy way to do that. With a sort of two birds, one stone mentality we created a social enterprise model where we sell stick-on, souvenir patches (think girl scouts), designed by local artists, and donate 50% of the proceeds to local nonprofits in the places each patch represents.This allows tourists to purchase a souvenir that directly benefits the community that hosted them. We started in Vermont and have since expanded into six other states. Our dream is to have a presence in every destination around the world and it feels like we’re making our way towards that dream, slowly but surely .What is the most exciting part about running Outpatch? What is the most challenging one?Easily the best part of running Outpatch is seeing the impact we make on a month-to-month basis. We exist to fund grassroots nonprofits and every time we donate funds to local nonprofits--we're doing our job. The most challenging aspect can be getting folks to get what we're doing. We want to create a world of conscious travelers and consumers, and that's a tall task for a little patch company. But with the partnerships we're making (like this one with Circular Bodies!), we hope to be part of the movement.Can you tell us about the artists you work with and how you get the patches made?We work with local artists in the communities each patch represents. For example, our Virginia patches are designed by Richmond-based illustrator Paddy Hams and our Pride patches are designed by queer artists Ally and Bridget.How does Outpatch create a positive impact?We donate 50% of the proceeds to local nonprofits in the places each patch represents (roughly 30% of our revenue is donated).How can our community help create positive impact through Outpatch?Through our patches or direct donation to the nonprofits we're currently supporting! You can learn more about our impact here.Thank you for doing amazing work our there! We can't wait to get some patches ourselves :)Circular Bodies and Outpatch are releasing a Giveaway on the first week of October. Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram for updates on that!
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