If you’ve been to the Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski store at the Warringah Mall this week you may have noticed an enticing window display. March 1st ’12 marked the launch of the second year of Give Jeans a Chance. Like Volcom, its not all that complicated, and feels all around good.
The deal? ‘In a quest to raise awareness around homelessness in Australia and New Zealand, Volcom are partnering up with YOU to help make a difference.’ So grab your old jeans and get down to the Northern Beaches’ drop off at Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski. Make a difference for those in need this winter.
Bonus? In order to make sure to get you off your bum and at the donation spot, Volcom is giving the motorcycle in the window to some lucky donator.
While GJAC does not attempt to resolve the problem of homelessness, it does create conversation and also offers the opportunity for the general public to get involved. This is the kind of community we are seeing more and more of in evolving philanthropic generations. Little Hobo Project met with Volcom marketing team’s Joel Spillane, who may not know it, but is an example of that cross generational “give back” movement.
Tats | Where did the idea for Give Jeans a Chance come from?
Spillsy | The idea came from Volcom USA. In the USA homelessness is out of control. When you dive into the figures of homelessness in Australia, it just made sense for us to role this amazing program through Australia and New Zealand.
Tats | This is the second year running for Give Jeans a Chance, what was the most memorable moment from behind the scenes of the campaign last year?
Spillsy | I think when you work on something that supports and benefits others, there are so many memorable moments. Though the give back process is very powerful and defiantly touches you within, to meet the homeless men and women, hear there stories and to see their appreciation makes it all worth while. This is what drives us to make it bigger and strive to collect more and more.
Tats | How do you feel this influences the general public to become more involved in their community?
Spillsy | The response we got from the first year running year was amazing. When you roll out a program that supports less fortunate people than ourselves it feels great to be a part of it, this has shown in the involvement we’ve received already this year round.
The best thing about GJAC is that, who ever wants to get involved can drive it. Every little bit goes directly to help cloth some of the people living on the streets. It’s fantastic to see retailers, board riding clubs, business corporations, schools and sporting clubs all getting behind GJAC program this year.
Tats | Last year, what location in Australia or abroad contributed the most jeans?
Spillsy | It really is up to the individual or someone to spread the word and highlight the program. Last year our industry retailers did an amazing job on doing this, we had over 250 store windows and bins across the country and all the retailers got behind the program. This year we have opened it up to schools and board rider clubs which is great to have been able to incorporate these areas.
Tats | How would you like to see this evolve?
Spillsy | Volcom is very passionate about this program making a difference those less fortunate. With so many different story’s of why people are on the streets we are dedicated to continue to grow the collection numbers each year. We are also open to see future of other products that will bring additional comfort. If we can make a small impact it makes that slight difference.
Tats | Volcom has managed to maintain that grassroots and underground edge…is running your own ‘Give Back’ campaign part of the luxury of community involvement?
Spillsy | I think when any company is in a position to be able to utilize its supplies, staff and contacts to run these types of give back programs then it just makes sense to do your part. I think it just brings with it great company moral and connection. To give back just feels right, right!
Tats | What else has Volcom got on the hotplate that goes under the ‘Give Back’ umbrella?
Spillsy | The marketing and design teams have been working together with many foundations to create products that support different initiatives and we give back the profits made of the sale. We have some great initiatives in the works now that we are excited about such as the Krochet Kids initiative and a line that supports the orangutans in Indonesia.
Interview by Tatianna K Alpert
Local Focus is lovingly produced in collaboration with Little Hobo Project