As you've probably seen, Australia is battling widespread wildfires across the country in the region's worst fire season in decades. At least 24 people have lost their lives. In the hardest-hit state, New South Wales, over 1,300 houses have been destroyed. An expert at The University of Sydney estimated that 480 million animals in New South Wales have been or are at risk of being lost.
One golf company has found a way to raise funds to support local wildlife at risk. Birds of Condor, an urban golf apparel brand, is based out of Byron Bay, the most eastern point of Australia. The fires got within six miles of them in November before wreaking havoc on the southern part of the country.
To aid in the relief, Birds of Condor is donating $15 from every hat from their Legionnaire Collection sold this month to Australia's largest wildlife rescue organization, WIRES. For those who would rather donate directly, the brand has set up a fundraiser page, here.
"For us it’s so heartbreaking to see and know of the innocent animals that have no warning or way to escape when that fire comes marching over the top of a ridge. And if they’re lucky enough to dodge it, they’re then faced with no food or water in the aftermath. Totally helpless," Birds of Condor owner, Frankie Kimpton, told Golf Digest.
"Our little iconic Aussie mates are already battling issues surrounding their habitat being invaded by more and more human development. Knowing that over 500 million animals have perished is beyond believable. So many will need rehabilitation or unfortunately euthanized. Obviously we’re devastated for people and communities who have lost their houses and lives but feel there are lots of channels helping those effected out there."
The caps in the Legionnaire Collection came from a collaboration with Aussie artist Lee McConnell and each feature a unique Australian-themed design and the phrase "Playa Straya" —a play on the phrase "Play Australia." In Legionnaire-hat style, each has a flap on the backside of the cap to protect the ears and back of neck from the sun. These stylish five-panel caps ($27.74 ) come in navy with a kangaroo illustration, mustard with a koala image or traditional tan with a map of Australia.
Click one of the above links to fund Birds of Condor's efforts to supporting the relief efforts in the company's homeland.