OluKai is a luxury lifestyle footwear brand that manufactures a line of shoes and sandals that evoke the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha. OluKai builds every pair of footwear with signature anatomically contoured footbeds to deliver what it says is the optimum balance of comfort and lasting support. Its products are known for handcrafted details inspired by island culture and are sold through an assortment of retailers as well as direct to consumers through the company’s website. The company is privately owned.
OluKai conducts its philanthropy through the Ama OluKai Foundation, which was founded in 2014 with the goal of preserving Hawaiian culture, and honoring those who cultivate cultural heritage and the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii.
The foundation works to preserve land and ocean, enhance local communities and maintain the Hawaiian culture and traditions. Organizations supported by the foundation to date include:
- The Hawaiian Lifeguard Association. The HLA seeks to establish and maintain the highest standards of professional surf and open-water lifesaving. Their vision is to maximize the safety of the public in ocean and coastal waters throughout the state of Hawaii and provide public, professional and governmental education in the field of ocean safety. Every summer, the group conducts rigorous training competitions for over 200 Junior Lifeguards between the ages of 12 and 17. The focus is on ocean awareness, education, open-surf rescues, water rescues, first aid, CPR and critical problem-solving.
- Huli. The foundation supports this nonprofit collective of ocean-based individuals who promote cultural awareness and environmental stewardship to next-generation students through innovative outdoor education programs and hands-on conservation work.
- ‘Imiloa. Opened in 2006, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is a world-class museum and planetarium complex on the University of Hawaii Hilo campus. The center showcases scientific discoveries from the astronomical observatories on Mauna Kea, within the framework of native Hawaiian traditions of navigation and exploration.
- Maui Cultural Lands. This Maui-based nonprofit land trust organization works to stabilize, protect and restore Hawaiian cultural resources. The vision of the MCL is to restore what is known as the Honokowai Valley to a state of balance, so that it can serve as a place to learn, to find peace and to honor ancestors.
- Nā Kalai Wa‘a. Nā Kalai Wa‘a is an education-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the maintenance of cultural values and customs through the teaching and application of noninstrument navigation and open-ocean voyaging.
- Nā Kama Kai. This organization works to empower youth by conducting ocean safety and conservation awareness clinics that service the Hawaiian community statewide via interactions with professional surfers, watermen, lifeguards, firefighters, marine scientists, cultural practitioners and ocean rescue instructors. These clinics provide a positive, nurturing and controlled environment enabling youth aged 2 to 17 to become confident in the ocean.
- Papahana Kualoa. The foundation supports this nonprofit’s work to create quality education programs focused on Hawaii’s cultural and natural history, environmental restoration and economic sustainability practices on the island of Molokai.
- The Polynesian Voyaging Society. Founded in 1973, the Polynesian Voyaging Society seeks to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging. The organization supports the spirit of exploration through educational experiences that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another, and their natural and cultural environments.
In addition, OluKai is a member of the Conservation Alliance, which brings together a wide range of corporate partners to support nonprofits working to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.
Additional information is available on the company’s website.