Ways to be Wild: Brands & Organizations That Move Us

A new kind of sustainable operation is upon us, and we’re here to support the movement all the way home. We’ve collected the companies, non-profits, and coalitions that make us want to stay out past dark.



“As we started to broaden the look and feel, there was a sense of wanting the palate to be sun washed and muted – inspired by the coast and coastal lands.” – Manager of Production & Sustainability at Coyuchi, Margot Lyons

Coyuchi was founded in 1991 by Christine Nielson, becoming the first company to produce and sell high quality organic cotton bedding to the masses, starting in their flagship store off Highway 1 in Point Reyes Station. Coyuchi’s mission is rooted in sustainability, environmentalism, and integrity. The company works with various organizations and co-ops at the intersection of sustainability and textiles. They also work to reduce waste within the linen space through their “Coyuchi for Life” initiative, which provides customers with a means of up-cycling their used product and investing in newer wares. All that aside, you’ll want their blankets and comforters wrapped around you on your next beach day, picnic outing, or general outdoor exploration.

// Clean sheets and cleaner consciouses at coyuchi.com

Belong Wine Co. 

“With one ton of fruit and a whole lot of gumption, we started Belong Wine Co. in 2017 to celebrate everything we hold dear: love, adventure, and a sense of exploration.” – All van Zyl, Founder

Belong Wine Co. was founded in 2017 to celebrate everything founders Alli and Bertus van Zyl are passionate about. Pulling from their field journals, the Belong Wine Co. label represents their fascination of the outdoors and drinking wine in the wilderness. The company also serves as members of  1% for the planet, meaning at least one percent of their yearly profits is funneled to environmental causes. A simple and endearing mission, the van Zyls hope their wine inspires people to go out and do what they love, always with a bottle of wine in tow.

// More escapism and healthy pours at belongwines.com


“Whether you’re driving through a long barrel or teaching a friend to ski, when we venture into the trail in the name of fun and joy, we become more present — connected to nature, and each other — and that’s a world worth living in.” – Awayco Mission

Awayco has been disrupting the sports gear rental market with their top-quality skis, snowboards, and surfboards. The mission is simple: travel lighter, travel often, and never compensate on the best gear in the game. Through their website and app, Awayco enables users to search for and rent reasonably-priced products of the best quality all over the world. Locally speaking, the brand has outposts in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz, Tahoe, and Truckee. Those of us that operate on that “get up and go” mindset hate being weighed down by an excess of gear. Worse than that is overspending on poor-performing equipment when you hit the slopes or want to brave Stinson’s swell on a sunny day. Awayco throws that mindset out the window and instead ushers in a fresh crop of gear that outdoor lovers can depend on. Any excuse to not hit the [slopes, waves, lake] is now officially irrelevant. 

// Book your board, secure your skis. Visit awayco.com 

Sea Hugger

“We aim to start them young; children tend to be much better naturalists than adults most of the time.” – Founder, Shell Cleave 

As a young girl, Shell Cleave loved the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, and its environmentally grounded narrative. She put her own spin on the Lorax’s mantra, however, running around her native Southern California beaches proclaiming that she “speaks for the seas.” That is exactly what she does today, with her non profit organization Sea Hugger working to clean up beaches and educate children on the importance of environmentalism. 

“On a surf trip to Mexico in 2015, we met some locals who restored their beaches that were heavily polluted by plastic and improved the livelihood of their community by creating a recycling plant and reselling the plastic,” Cleave said. “I was inspired. I eventually closed the doors of my business and started Sea Hugger with the intention of replicating this model in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, when China stopped buying plastic and because of some corruption in the area, this group in Mexico had to close their recycling plant, but they are still cleaning their beaches and educating of the dangers of single-use plastic.”

Since then, the mission has gained momentum, with Sea Hugger growing from that original vision. 

// Join the growing group of Sea Huggers. More information available at seahugger.org

City Surf Project

“Surfing has allowed me to connect with mother nature in a way that has a deep sense of gratitude and respect. Surfers get so much from Mother Mature, and we must find a way to give back and protect her,” – Founder, Johnny Irwin

San Francisco native Johnny Irwin founded City Surf Project in 2015, with the goal of building a connection between underserved SF youth with the ocean. In all honesty, the nonprofit does considerably more than that. The number of youth served by CSP now exceeds 4,860 and counting. With over 150 surf outings a year, the organization operates within schools from five districts of the city, those being Bayview, Mission, Excelsior, Sunset, and Fillmore. 

What started as a simple and noble enough mission, get kids to surf and respect the ocean, has turned into something of a force. The surfing community at large has taken note, with the likes of Kai Lenny volunteering their time, and grants coming in to support the growth of the nonprofit. This spring, City Surf opened up a new office in the Mission District, where they plan to start the next phase of their operation and cultivate an even larger community of do-gooders and waveriders. 

// Donate, volunteer, or attend a CSP event. Learn more at citysurfproject.com

// Photography courtesy of the affiliated brands. Keep reading the Big Outdoor Guide here.

Ways to be Wild: Brands & Organizations That Move Us
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