Ark Collective is a socially conscious backpack company that is based in Santa Ana, CA, and is rooted in giving back to the local community. Ark Collective likes to call it their Get to Give program, and for every backpack purchased, another backpack is given to an underserved student on behalf of the consumer.
History & Background
Founder Kevin Moshayedi attended the University of Southern California and did his undergrad work in Business Entrepreneurship. While in school, Moshayedi wanted to make sure that whatever business he was going to be involved with, was focused on improving the community that fostered his growth. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 2009, he established Ark Collective after learning about the vast number of students attending school in Los Angeles without adequate school supplies and backpacks.
With a fashion-forward approach to design and product quality, their signature Vinchee Day Pack draws inspiration from action sports culture, different art styles, and high-end fashion. When asked about the Vinchee, Kevin Moshayedi, Founder and Captain of Ark Collective said,
"The simple and straightforward design of our Vinchee Day Pack was developed with the belief that a bag should be an extension of what you are wearing. We hope people who purchase our packs are well aware of the positive impact they will be making in some else's life."
Response from the local community has been extremely supportive of Ark's mission of promoting social responsibility, and as a result. In September 2010, Ark partnered with Hollywood-based volunteer organization Operation School Bell for their first Pack Give Back at 112th Street Elementary school in Watts. At the end of the first give back Moshayedi was quoted saying,
"The most rewarding part is knowing we're making a firsthand difference in the lives of students all across the board. Not only are we helping students that wouldn't normally have goods... We're also encouraging people to look for other companies that are socially conscious".
On January 13, 2011, Ark Collective will be partnering with Operation School Bell for their second give back. This time the give back will take place at Hughes Elementary located in Cudahy, California, a suburb south of East Los Angeles. More than 160 backpacks are anticipated to be given out at this event.
Every week, members and friends of The Ark Crew gather and find ways to give back to their local community, which they like to call Treasure Tuesdays. From July to September of 2010, Ark organized a weekly beach cleanup that took place in Newport Beach, CA. During this time, Ark Collective successfully covered the entire coastline of Newport Beach. Members of the Ark Crew have also been found volunteering at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen & After School Tutoring Program, performing various acts of service. Whether it be preparing food in the kitchen to be served the next day, or lending a helping hand to children in the form of after school tutoring: their efforts have made a positive impact within the local community.
In an effort to promote social responsibility across the United States. Ark Collective will be traveling to various college campuses located throughout California, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada in 2011.