Modern Warfare Week

Arc’teryx and Vancouver Police Distribute Waterproof Capes

Each year Arc’teryx employees donate their time to assemble waterproof capes manufactured from excess materials to be distributed to the homeless in their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. But these aren’t some hodgepodge garments. They are manufactured from the same performance fabrics that go into the Arc’teryx line. Here is the Arc’teryx report.

Arc’teryx Birds Nest Project 2012 from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.

“Anything that makes use of raw materials we can no longer use for commercial production is a valid and worthy project; this is just one example of how we are trying to keep waste out of the landfill.”

Joanne Mayzes is the Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx LEAF (Vancouver BC) is pleased to announce that it will be teaming up with the Vancouver Police Department this winter to distribute waterproof capes to the city’s downtown homeless population. Designed by Arc’teryx and built from technical waterproof and insulated fabrics, the aim of the partnership is to provide shelter to some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.

Arc’teryx, a commercial manufacturer of high performance outdoor equipment, is in the unique position of owning and operating its own manufacturing facility in Greater Vancouver. Used for the production of in line garments as well as for samples that can be used for research and field testing, the factory does experience an accumulation of excess or discontinued raw materials over time. The Birds Nest Project is a grassroots initiative that takes these materials and puts it into the hands of volunteer company employees who donate their time to turn the fabric into capes.

Currently in its fourth year, Birds Nest Project has distributed the finished capes via shelters like the Harvest Project and Harbour Lights. This year, the group wished to widen distribution and hopefully add a personal touch by teaming up with the VPD’s Homeless Outreach Program, that will enable the capes to be distributed into the heart of the community in need.

“The VPD connects with many men and women who unfortunately find themselves sleeping on Vancouver’s streets. Our goal is to offer our support to connect the homeless with the necessary resources to stay safe, healthy and then ultimately, to find housing. To place these capes directly into the hands of those who need them most is significant. To receive a cape at their “home” is exactly where it is needed the most.” Constable Jodyne Keller – VPD Homeless Outreach and SRO Coordinator

The VPD and Arc’teryx LEAF have a longstanding relationship, with an equipment program that supplies the force with wet, west coast protection. It is a relationship based on reliability and trust and the value of extending the Birds Nest capes via the VPD is rewarding for both parties

This year the hope is to place over 700 of the windproof, waterproof capes into the hands of the VPD and local shelters. Arc’teryx encourages other local companies to create and promote their own unique social responsibility initiatives. As with any collective effort, the true benefit of the Birds Nest project comes from the time volunteers share together and the gift of giving.


16 Responses to “Arc’teryx and Vancouver Police Distribute Waterproof Capes”

  1. Gerry says:

    These look great, but I’m left wondering how long til one shows up on eBay

  2. Kango says:

    Kind of hard for homeless people to create a ebay account.

    • Ed says:

      Not necessarily it is the 21st century even homeless have smart phones and laptops not all homeless are of the cardboard box variety. It is the West coast I think I’ve see a homeless like person in Eastside of Vancouver with a smartphone once.

      Also with free WiFi at most fastfood places these days…

  3. Swanson says:

    These are pretty nice. Are they available for purchase or do they make them strictly for this program alone?

  4. Allen says:

    Can one buy a cape? I like that design and would come in handy here in the PNW where I live.

    • SSD says:

      This question came up last year and Arc’teryx said that they are not for sale. The work is actually accomplished by folks who don’t normally sit behind a machine so these aren’t going to have the same fit and finish of a production Arc’teryx piece. Although, I wish they’d do a production version with proceeds going to manufacture more for the homeless.

      • Mike LaForge says:

        Ditto – “I wish they’d do a production version with proceeds going to manufacture more for the homeless.” A portion anyway. It is a great project.

      • Big Red One - Ramadi says:

        Thst sounds like a great idea; like a Buy one / give one. 1:1 purchase a cape and the purchase price covers the cost of one for donation. That’s like a triple win; you get a nice product and donate, Arc’Teryx allocates funds for tax write offs while supplying homeless with capes, and those less fortunate who are in need of outdoor garments get something nice. Maybe they would consider doing this in the future.

        • Reverend says:

          “Although, I wish they’d do a production version with proceeds going to manufacture more for the homeless.” I second that comment!

          That’s a GREAT idea, and would fund MORE of these for the project.

          • mArc' says:

            Hey Mike, we were discussing that option on our way out of the office yesterday. It seems like some people want them as a production piece. What we are making currently and handing out is assembled by staff with mostly limited experience behind a sewing machine. They really aren’t good enough to be a commercial item.

  5. Big Red One - Ramadi says:

    That’s pretty nice of Arc’teryx to manufacture these capes for the homeless, God bless those volunteers.

    ***Allen, I don’t think these capes are available for purchase, but if you dig the cut, check out a good old rip-stop pancho.

    Kifaru makes a cool product you may like but it’s no cape.

    Also; here is another product you may like that is offered in solid colors like the OD cape pictured above, although not sure if its water resistant at all.

  6. Luke says:

    saw these a year or so ago, I dig ’em, looks like the insulation out of the atom jackets with goretex. I’d buy one.

  7. TM says:

    Lucky homeless.

  8. Lasse says:

    Good and innovative companies do things like this. The rest doesn’t.

  9. Andy says:

    Everytime I see this mentioned, I get frustrated. I’ve had everyone I knows in Vancouver keep their eyes out for one of these, and none of them have EVER seen one.

    I just wanted to try and buy one off a homeless guy, but apparently they’re pretty uncommon.

    they really SHOULD make them availible for sale. I’d get behind the 1:1 for the homeless Idea.