Pacific Marine Mammal Center was selected as one of the 80 beneficiaries of Vans’ Foot the Bill Initiative, which will produce a limited run of shoes designed by local artist Robert Wyland.
The Costa Mesa-based clothing brand will manufacture and sell 500 pairs of shoes emblazoned with a dolphin, harbor seal, and giant kelp. The proceeds will help fill the loss of revenue PMMC has experienced since closing its doors to the public due to the coronavirus. The custom PMMC shoe’s design is based on Wyland’s first Whaling Wall mural in Laguna Beach.
“I am proud to have the Pacific Marine Mammal Center participating through our Customs platform,” said Steve Van Doren, son of Vans’ founder and Vans’ vice president of events and promotions, said in a statement released Wednesday. “With a shared passion for our oceans and commitment to look after it, we are excited to offer fans of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center the ability to design their own custom pair of Vans featuring the artwork of world-renounced WYLAND with net proceeds of each pair sold going directly to the organization.”
Since the stay at home orders came down in mid-March, PMMC has canceled or postponed in-person education programs and the facility has been closed to the public, causing a decrease in funds and donations. Meanwhile, a number of injured and sick marine mammals rescued from Orange County’s coastline continue to trickle into its headquarters on Laguna Canyon Road, demanding significant resources from the cash-strapped nonprofit.
“The opportunity to not only be part of, but also the beneficiary, of this collaboration with two worldwide brands is more than we could have ever hoped for,” PMMC CEO Peter Chang said in a prepared statement. “The funds from this program are critical right now, and will go towards our efforts to maintain a positive cash flow for our day-to-day operations. We are thankful for Vans and Wyland and their continued leadership in social responsibility initiatives that have such a broad impact.”
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