It all began in sixth grade, when Caine Fair started a skimboarding competition to save the sea.
That skimboarding competition lasted until he was a junior in high school and went on to raise $6,000 for the Surfrider Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting oceans, the business administration junior said. Growing up in Laguna Beach, Calif., the ocean has been a huge part of Fair’s life, he said.
Last year, Fair founded CMNTY (pronounced “community”), a brand whose purpose is to fight ocean pollution and promote the education of marine conversation, he said. CMNTY does this by selling shirts: 15 percent of all proceeds from clothing sales go to organizations that aid in the fight as well as fund ocean pollution research.
“I wanted to help in a unique kind of way,” Fair said.
He called his idea a “TOMS Shoes scheme.”
Two skimboarders, professional Tim Fulton and amateur-about-to-turn-professional John Salta, are a part of a sponsored team for CMNTY. They promote and are a face for the brand, Fair’s partner, public relations junior at Chapman University Dylan Roley said.
“Basically, when you see them rip, you see CMNTY rip,” Roley said. “They are two good people we like to hang out with and have on our team.”
Roley also worked at Hurley in the customization department. For CMNTY, he does the marketing and street-team work.
Both Fair and Roley grew up in Southern California where the ocean was a huge part in their lives, Roley said. This led to their decision to help save both beaches and the ocean.
“We both plan to live in Laguna (Beach) when we are older,” Roley said. “So we want the beach and ocean to still be there.”
CMNTY doesn’t run on a pyramid structure, Fair said. While Fair, his brother Ryan (who also works with CMNTY) and Roley all have their own specialties. No one is on top, Fair said.
“That’s how we want it now and in the future,” Fair said. “In a creative environment, its better to bounce ideas off each other rather than it be one guy, because then it doesn’t go any farther than his vision.”
As for the future, Roley hopes the company grows and expands to become a household name, he said. He also hopes their profits reach a point where they can easily donate to multiple organizations or create their own conversation effort.
“What we donate now, it helps but it’s not a big deal because we’re a little company,” Roley said. “The ultimate goal is for our profits to be at a point where what we donate can actually make a dent.”
CMNTY promotes events such as beach clean-ups, where people go and pick up trash along the beaches. Fair said they make a day out of it by bringing food and barbecuing.
Fair said it’s important to get the younger generation involved so they are more open-minded about the ocean conservation.
Fair said he’s been talking to the Surfrider Club on campus about teaming up with them. The club hosts many Coastal Clean-Up Days, club president Greg Salas said. He said the club brings information about Surfrider, which is actually an international organization, as well as a sign in sheet and bags for the trash. Currently, the club is focused on the Rise Above Plastics campaign— which aims to lower the use of plastics— as well as a cigarette butt campaign, since they’ve been noticing lots of those on the beach.
“Normally, our club will let everyone know what beach we’ll be at and go early and surf together,” Salas said.
If students wish to get involved, they should contact Fair through the CMNTY website. Fair said the company is trying to get a larger group of people involved on campus, as well as representatives along the coastline.
“We’re always open to help and advise whether it be about the business, creativity or social aspect,” Fair said.