• April 20, 2018

    Kōkua Kaua‘i

    There is a long road to recovery for Kaua‘i after last weekend’s historic rainfall and flooding. Between Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15, 28 inches of rain drenched the Garden Isle in a 24 hour span causing massive floods, landslides and sinkholes that ravaged the roads. The kalo (taro) fields, town’s iconic pier, beach park and river are so heavily altered that they are barely recognizable. Five landslides decimated Kūhio Highway on Saturday night, cutting off the only road into the north side of Kaua‘i, forcing the firefighters and lifeguards to evacuate residents via jet ski and boat. There are several lifeguards and fire fighters that have lost their homes in the floods, but continue to serve the community diligently, assisting with evacuations and getting supplies to those unable to leave their neighborhoods. Damage is widespread on the island with flooding also displacing many ‘ohana on the south side as well. Governor David Ige and Mayor Bernard Carvalho declared a state of emergency by Sunday afternoon.

    The National Guard was sent in to aid local rescue officials and so far there are over 350 people were evacuated by helicopters and many by sea. With so much mud and debris on the roads it’s extremely difficult to drive and many residents are cutoff with no running water or electricity. At this point there are many families displaced in shelters. Houses and possessions are lost or beyond repair. Vehicles are overturned and roads and bridges are in shambles.

    Yet, the people of Kaua‘i are rallying with all of the State responding, and so are we.

    OluKai is extending support with helping hands on the ground, donating work boots and redirecting race registration fees from our annual Ho’Olaule’a paddle race to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association. We invite you to give back by donating to the Kaua’i guards or to Kaua’i at large through the Hawaii Community Fund.

    There is an ‘ōlelo no‘eau (Hawaiian proverb) that is a source of inspiration for the arduous task of rebuilding the Garden Isle: Pa‘akiki kānaka o Kaua‘I (Tough are the people of Kaua‘i). This saying comes from an ‘ōlelo (story) about a group of Kaua‘i warriors that defeated a supernatural man eater on O‘ahu. Will you join us in helping Kaua‘i rebuild so that this ‘ōlelo no‘eau will also refer to the modern efforts of the Garden Isle’s residents  after this historic flood?

  • November 26, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Nurture Sustainable Communities

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 6

    Waipā ʻĀina. Culture. Community.

    It’s all too easy in today’s world of modern agriculture and door-delivered groceries to lose the connection to the land that feeds us. The Waipa Foundation of north shore Kaua’i understands this and works hard to foster a strong sense of interdependence with the natural world, using the 1600 acre ahupua’a (traditional land division) of Waipa to bring communities back to the source.

    The foundation encourages an “eat local, live local” mentality, and is a primary grower of kalo, a native island plant of exceptional nutritional value that is central to Hawaiian heritage. The local community can get hands-on with the harvest through the foundation’s weekly poi-making sessions (poi being the end product made when the root of the plant are ground down), and have even built a community kitchen to support local farmers and food vendors. And in an effort to battle the reality that Hawai’i imports nearly all its food, the ahupua’a enables a true farm-to-table vision by providing ingredients directly to the local restaurants in the area.

    You’ll often hear Hawaiians talk about “kuleana” -- or responsibility -- when it comes to taking care of their land and ocean. The Waipa Foundation is no exception, and promotes the idea that all of us share the kuleana and ability to be more sustainable. It utilizes the ahupua’a of Waipa to share, teach, and re-learn how to live in balance with our aina.)

    We, too, believe in restoring the health of the natural environment of Hawai’i and the native ecosystems of the ahupua’a, and support the Waipa Foundation through our Ama OluKai Foundation.



  • November 26, 2017

    Q&A: Waipā Director Stacy Sproat-Beck

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 5


    Tell us a little bit about yourself and how life has lead you to become the executive director at Waipā. How long have you been with Waipā? I grew up in Kaua'i as part of a family that practiced subsistence and commercial fishing and farming. Graduating from Kamehameha Schools I moved to Southern California where I attended University Southern California's Marshall School of Business. After receiving my Bachelors of Science I returned home to work with my 'ohana and community where I helped found the Waipā Foundation. I have been at Waipa in either a board, volunteer, or staff position for 23 years now.

    How would you definie ‘āina? ʻĀina literally means, "that which feeds us" and it is also the word for "land and natural resources".

    Can you explain to our readers what Waipā is and does? Waipā is a 1,600 acre ahupua'a owned by the Kamehameha Schools and is managed by the Waipā Foundation, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit founded in 1994. It evolved from the community's first efforts in the early 1980's to save a space for the Hawaiian people, practices, and values on Kua'i's north shore. Waipā is a place where folks can connect with `āina, and share in our Hawaiian and local values and lifestyle through experiential learning opportunities and programs– including, reforestation efforts; stream restoration; working in the lo'i, garden or nursery; making poi and other foods; and other crafting/cooking classes.

    How many volunteers does Waipā currently have? Are they all located in Kaua’i? We have an average of 25 regular volunteers per week, with a total of over 100 per year, counting weekly and periodic or one time volunteers coming from all over.

    Are there clinics in the next coming months that volunteers can join? Check out our website for information on upcoming events.  The public is welcome to our "community workday" on the 4th saturday of every month.  It is this saturday, and there is more about it on the website.

    We know that Waipā is about educating people to eat local and live local, what are some of the places that resource their food directly from Waipā? Most of our produce is consumed on site by program participants and volunteers, and we sell and distribute additional produce directly to families and individuals within the community.  We also sell our produce at our Tuesday farmers market (onsite) and to a few commercial accounts including Akamai Juice Co., Fresh Bite Food Truck, the Westin Princeville...and a few others.

    How has Waipā influenced your way of life?  It has allowed me to live, raise my children, and work in my home community at an extremely rewarding job, where I can give back to my community while doing what I love (farming and mālama `āina), perpetuating our cultural values and practices while inspiring the next generation and taking care of the kūpuna.


    Thank you for taking this time to speak more on Waipā for us, Stacy!


  • November 24, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Cultivate Cultural Abundance in Hawai’i

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 4


    Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona

    Take an aerial tour of Hawai’i, and as your gaze travels inland from the ocean you can’t help but notice the endless verdant hills and vibrant landscape. Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona is a non-profit organization we support through the Ama OluKai Foundation, and is committed to helping preserve this rich land and its agricultural traditions. Through a variety of educational and cultural activities, Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona works tirelessly to ensure that the principles of sustainability and cultural perpetuation are continued and that aina (land) momona (abundance) is restored to the land.

    No conversation about the cultural and culinary heritage of Hawai’i is complete, however, without a mention of the kalo plant. Part of the very fabric of Hawaiian culture and history, kalo is seen as the plant from which Hawaiians were born and offers nutritional benefits from its root to its leaf. There used to be hundreds of different varieties of kalo grown in Hawai’i, but now that number is down to just a handful, and Hawaiians have fought hard against efforts to genetically modify what is still available and bring the plant back to the relevance it once had in their lives. The Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona educates Hawaiians and visitors alike on the benefits of kalo as well as passing down the traditional methods of how the kalo plant is harvested and processed. From the cleaning, cooking and preparation of this incredible plant to the grinding of the root into poi, there is an entire wealth of knowledge to be passed down to the next generation.

    With organizations like the Hui Aloha Aina Momona keeping the connection between the Hawaiian people and their natural resources alive,  we are humbled to help support the preservation of abundant and sustainable land for generations to come.


    For more on the kalo plant, check out: Kalo: The Pacific "Superfood"

  • November 24, 2017

    Kalo: The Pacific “Superfood”

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 3


    You will often hear the word “superfood” thrown around, but rarely does it apply to a food source as nutritionally perfect as the kalo plant. The plant is a root with a stalk and heart-shaped leaves, and the root of the kalo are often made into poi -- a nutrient dense soft food derived from the kalo corn consumed in many forms across all of Hawai’i. Although it may be famous for its poi, there is actually no part of the kalo plant that goes to waste, as every bit of it can be eaten.

    Kalo is gluten free, has a low-glycemic index (meaning it leaves you fuller, longer), and is hypoallergenic, making it the ideal food for everyone from babies to the elderly. It provides a bacteriocin-producing bacteria that is a source of healthy probiotics, working its magic to aid digestion, reduce cholesterol, and lower the chance of heart disease, while its high concentration of potassium, manganese, and vitamin C, E, and B-6 support the immune system.

    As if all of that were not enough, even the kalo leaves have hidden delights. With significant levels of vitamin A and antioxidants such as beta carotene ( the thing carrots are famous for) they complete kalo’s nutritional punch. We challenge you to “out-super” this superfood!


    Look how much work goes into pounding Kalo plants into Poi!

  • November 23, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Protect the Children

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 2


    Na Kama Kai “Children of the Sea”

    Few people understand the ocean the way a surfer does, so it’s only natural that Hawaiian pro-surfer Duane DeSoto founded a non-profit organization called Nā Kama Kai, or “Children of the Sea.” By bringing ocean-based safety and conservation programs to Hawai’i’s youth, Nā Kama Kai empowers children to become stewards of the ocean.

    The organization has a motto -- “Keiki Aloha Kai Aloha” --  meaning Beloved Child, Beloved Sea. More than just an ode to its youth and ocean, this motto is core to the work the non-profit does throughout Hawai’i, educating children on the cycle of life and how everything they do on land affects the ocean, while helping them understand the ocean’s hazards. What’s more, and as many of us have already experienced, learning about the ocean gives us a sense of self that stays with us for life. Nā Kama Kai understands this and gives the children in their programs the opportunity to recognize their special place in the world and their own personal relationship to the ocean. Through their statewide clinics “keiki”, or children, learn to become confident in the ocean through a personally guided experience, surfing, paddle boarding, sailing, and even helping shape traditional wooden boards. The goal is for each of them to leave with a sense of love and responsibility for the ocean, so they can go on to make life choices that will positively impact it.  OluKai, through Ama OluKai, is proud to support this incredible organization through our give-back program.

    At OluKai we are thrilled to be able to support this incredible organization through our give-back program. For more information and ways to get involved, please visit:

    Images by Jake Marote (@jake_of_all_trades)
  • November 21, 2017

    Ama OluKai Foundation

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 1


    Since delivering our first pair of sandals in 2006, giving back to the community has been an important part of the OluKai tradition. Now, more than a decade later, we are proud to support a more formal giveback program by way of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in the state of Hawai’i. It is a story about wayfaring people with a proud heritage, a rich island culture that is centered around community and the Aloha spirit.

    Part of the proceeds of every OluKai purchase goes to the Ama OluKai Foundation honoring those who preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage and aloha spirit of Hawai‘i. By parterning with local organizations, the Foundation helps preserve land, ocean, and Hawaiian tradition.


    Check out more in Ama OluKai's video below or visit

  • May 19, 2014

    A Journey From Mauka To Makai

    Every May, OluKai and the local Maui ‘Ohana take time to work the ‘aina (land) after completing our two day ocean festival called Ho’olaule’a. This year our Giveback Partner, Maui Cultural Lands, arranged for our group to spend time in an upper native forest area called Wao Akua (Realm of Gods) where it is purported man is not meant to live. [...]

  • April 8, 2014

    OluKai X HLA

    450 Hawaiian Lifeguards to be Issued Footwear on Multi Island Tour

    As a long-standing partner and official footwear of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association (HLA), OluKai is pleased to announce the unveiling of its 2014 performance footwear collaboration. This month, OluKai will outfit over 450 Hawaiian lifeguards with shoes and sandals at several locations on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu ending with a special proclamation by Billy Kenoi, mayor of the Big Island. A portion of proceeds of the thoughtfully constructed HLA footwear goes to support the Junior Lifeguards, an ongoing component to OluKai’s devoted Giveback Program. [...]

  • December 2, 2013

    4th Annual 'Ohana Giveback Day

    On Friday, November 15th, 2013, as part of a long-standing commitment to giving back in a hands-on approach, OluKai closed down their offices in Orange County to participate in their 4th annual Giveback Day. This year, OluKai partnered with ZeroTrash Laguna Clean-Up and Pacific Marine Mammal Center, in Laguna Beach, California. Over 35 members of the company arrived at the Marine Mammal Center to learn about the disastrous effects of trash and recyclables in our watersheds and oceans, and how much it effects our marine life, specifically the local sea lions. After the presentation, OluKai staff participated in  a 2 hour trash clean-up along Laguna Canyon highway and removed over 240 lbs of recyclables and 60 pounds of cigarette butts that were on their way directly to the ocean. [...]

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