That’s right. I started a clothing brand. The company is called COZ Apparel. What makes COZ unique is that we work with renowned artists to create limited edition designs to raise funds for wildlife causes around the world.
Here’s how it started.
Back in 2013, my wife and I travelled through South America for three months. During our last two weeks, we volunteered at an animal refuge called La Senda Verde. Nestled near the Bolivian Amazon, La Senda Verde started out as a simple stopover for mountain bikers, but after a baby capuchin monkey arrived in a shoebox, La Senda Verde’s fate changed and they became a sanctuary for animals involved in illegal trafficking.
Thirteen years later, they house over 500 animals including a variety of different monkeys, birds, turtles, bears, snakes, rescued street dogs and more. While the love and care at La Senda Verde is absolutely unlimited, the land is not. With new animals arriving weekly, they are running out of space.
While we were there, I had the opportunity to work with exotic birds for four days. I cleaned their cages, fed them, and tried to amuse them as best I could. I had never been much of a bird person (though I do respect all animals) but during those four days, I bonded with them. I cut down branches and fed them leaves, found new sticks for them to perch on, and talked to them as if they could understand me. Some of them were so excited to hear my voice that they would race to the door upon my arrival. Others looked forward to their new sticks and twigs, which they used to sharpen their beaks.
I loved getting to know them but I also felt so bad and angry that they had to be here. They should be in the wild, flying around in the jungle. Instead, thanks to illegal trafficking and the people who think wild animals should be pets, they’re here. La Senda Verde just happens to be the 2nd best place they could end up but the wild is where they truly belong. Unfortunately, none of the birds will be free again. Bolivian law won’t allow a captured animal to go free and most of the birds are so mentally or physically damaged that they wouldn’t make it on their own anyway. After all, many birds arrive at LSV with broken beaks and wings, no feathers due to stress, and loss of flying ability.
So LSV does their best to provide a loving sanctuary for all the animals who arrive. But due to space, most of the birds are now in cages. There just isn’t enough space and with all the new arrivals, territory conflicts have begun to erupt. Plus, many birds can’t fly and without the protection of a cage, they would be killed by other animals or birds.
However, there is a solution.
A bird aviary.
For years now, LSV has been trying to raise $30,000 USD to build a giant bird aviary on the property. This aviary would give the non-flying birds a safer and more open environment and a place to potentially practice their flying skills. Due to the sheer scale of it, it’s an expensive project and LSV has had a hard time raising so much money. Recently, they received a $10,000 donation so they now need $20,000 to complete the project.
This is where COZ Apparel comes in. We have teamed up with wildlife artist Chuck Black to create hand-drawn designs of Macaws and other parrots (the birds who will benefit from the bird aviary) and have printed them on a wide variety of products including t-shirts, tank tops, pillows, and tote bags.
As a profit-sharing company, we will be dividing the profits equally between COZ Apparel, Chuck Black, and La Senda Verde.
We need to sell 6,000 t-shirts to raise enough money to complete the bird aviary!
We’re going to need all the help we can get to make this happen! There are many ways to get involved, including;
1. Buying a shirt. The most important part of the project is to sell 6,000 t-shirts and complete the bird aviary. If you like the design, please take a look and consider making a purchase. You’ll get to look cool and make a difference at the same time! (The store has currently closed.)
2. Help spread the word. Share this blog post. Visit the website www.CozApparel.com (Store is currently closed) and share that with your friends. Share via social media. Anything you can do to spread the word would be much appreciated. The birds will forever be grateful.
3. Directly donate to La Senda Verde. If you don’t want the shirt or any of the products we’ve created but still want to support the bird aviary, you can also donate directly to the refuge by clicking here.
4. Introduce us to someone who can help! If you know of other influencers, bloggers, or media who may be interested in getting involved or sharing our story, please send me an email at matt (at) LiveLimitless (dot) net.
5. Find us on social media. By following us and liking our social media pages, you’ll not only stay in touch with what we’re doing but you’ll also be helping bring awareness to this cause and any future causes we support. Plus, we’d love to connect with you! You can find us here;
Thanks for reading this far. If you’re ever in Bolivia, make sure to volunteer at La Senda Verde. It’s an incredible place!
What do you think of the campaign? Let me know in the comments below!