Local hat company helps provide drinking water to 4,400 people 

sixhats donates portion of sales to the thirst project

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - giving back with snapbacks SixHats Supply Co., a boutique hat company founded by two Whistlerites earlier this year, donates a portion of every sale to The Thirst Project, which builds water infrastructure in the developing world.
  • photo submitted
  • giving back with snapbacks SixHats Supply Co., a boutique hat company founded by two Whistlerites earlier this year, donates a portion of every sale to The Thirst Project, which builds water infrastructure in the developing world.

while spending the last year travelling the globe on the Enduro World Series, Brendon Edgar realized just how lucky he is.

"I've been fairly fortunate in my life," said the 34-year-old. "I spent last year racing world-cup mountain biking, so I travel the world and it almost seemed like this selfish endeavour. Now it's time to give back."

Edgar and fellow Whistler native Kyle Cuthiell have been giving back in a big way since founding the boutique hat company SixHats Supply Co. earlier this year. What initially started as a passion project revolving around the pair's love of custom snapbacks has evolved into much more; every hat sold provides clean drinking water to six people for an entire year.

"We both have full-time jobs and we're not in this to make money, so if we can use this project to carry our passion of making custom hats and help some people along the way, we thought, 'Let's just see what happens,'" Edgar explained. "It was kind of an experiment. Then we launched and started going, and it literally has not stopped. I can't keep the product in stock."

Since launching in March, SixHats has donated a portion of every hat sale to provide clean drinking water for more than 4,400 people in the developing world. The company's donations are in conjunction with non-profit The Thirst Project, which builds water infrastructure in India, Uganda, Kenya, El Salvador and Eswatini.

Edgar said the issue "just resonated with us" having grown up in a community with ready access to high-quality drinking water.

"Travelling the world, you see that not everybody has a resource that is so easily available to us. You kind of take it for granted, especially living in Whistler; you turn the tap on and have some of the best drinking water in the world," he noted.

Currently, SixHats works with a third-party app called Pledgeling that connects companies with non-profits to partner with. Edgar's hope is to eventually work directly with either The Thirst Project or development aid organization, Water.org, co-founded by Hollywood star Matt Damon.

"We could be donating more if we were going direct," Edgar said. "But it is going to take some investment on our end to set up the infrastructure in order to go direct.

"If we can spend a bit of money to donate more and help more people, then that's what we'll do."

Edgar envisions a future where the company supports "hundreds of thousands" of people around the world.

"The more places we can go with it, the more good we can do and the more impact we can have," he said. "I don't see it slowing down, to be honest. I see it growing for the foreseeable future."

SixHats has 16 different hat styles available, with toques, beanies and several other looks to be added to the product line in the coming weeks. To learn more, visit sixhats.ca.

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