Sloths may not be swinging (or sleeping) in the trees of Columbus, but one local company is out to support the arboreal animals.
Anne Deis and Devin Dingey met through mutual friends at a party. And as many others do, the duo began sharing cute sloth videos and photos with each other on social media.
Then they started reading more about the creatures.
“We didn’t really know anything about sloths besides they are really darn cute,” Dingey recalls.
They quickly discovered that out of the six species of sloth, two were in danger due to deforestation. The Maned Sloth is listed as vulnerable while the Pygmy Sloth is endangered with fewer than 500 left in the wild.
Dingey and Deis decided it was time to do something to raise awareness about the animals inhabiting jungles throughout Central and South America. Happy Sloth Co. was born.
Calling on her background in graphic design and photography, Deis creates the designs that adorn Happy Sloth Co.’s apparel of which 10 percent of the net profits go to groups protecting and conserving sloths.
Deis wanted to create a stylish brand that people would want to wear even aside from the added benefit of supporting sloths with sales. Local Grandview print shop Six3 handles the production on t-shirts made in the U.S.
So far, the focus has been on the shirts, with forays into other product categories like joggers. A kids line is also in the works based on feedback from customers.
A strong following on Instagram has skewed Happy Sloth Co.’s customer to a younger demographic, especially females in their late teens and early 20s. They aren’t the only ones supporting sloths, though.
“We see a lot of different people buying our shirts and coming back and buying more shirts,” Deis says.
Their organic growth has Happy Sloth Co. already shipping to places like Italy and England since their March 2017 launch. It’s helped them hit a critical mass of sales to start making donations.
Happy Sloth Co. is primarily working with the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica. They’re looking for other organizations to donate to as well, but are thoroughly vetting potential partners.
Donating dollars is just a part of what Happy Sloth Co. aims to achieve. It’s not just about the money, but creating awareness and starting a larger conversation about the practices that are putting sloths in harm’s way. They aren’t the only animals suffering from deforestation.
Happy Slotho Co.’s apparel is available on their website at happysloth.co.