Flyfishing businesses occupy a tempestuous microcosm tied to the sea-sawing health of rivers and oceans. Example. If there are no fish (participation catalyst), there is no you (potential consumer). And for brands that appreciate a prosperous tomorrow, backing nonprofits working to keep trout, tarpon, salmon, steelhead swimming makes sense.
Colorado-based apparel brand RepYourWater (RYW) concurs. “We believe that as a business it’s our responsibility to support nonprofits that help make fishing and hunting opportunities possible,” says company co-founder Corinne Doctor. “By donating financially and spreading their message we hope to safeguard our wild places and natural resources.”
RYW is working to ensure those outcomes by aiding groups with boots in the trenches at home, and elsewhere. And it all started with Colorado TU, for obvious reasons: Same state. Familiar fish. But as the “represent your water” theme found traction beyond the Front Strange—with gear geared toward anglers in Alaska, Wyoming, Kentucky, Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania… you get the picture—“it was important that our donations moved in the same directions,” Doctor says.
In addition to TU, the brand has been collaborating with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Native Fish Society, Wild Steelhead Coalition, and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. It’s also expanded its giving with a 10% for Conservation collection featuring products—everything from koozies to truckers and tees—that don’t necessarily reflect a single state, but are based on designs with broader reach. That take is split amongst the company’s conservation partners. And this winter the initiative surpassed $60,000 in donations.
Says Doctor, “For only five years in the biz, and a few of those being tiny as far as sales go, it feels like a lot to us.”