Making Good of Surplus (and excess)

Making Good of Surplus (and excess)

It’s no secret, the basis of Wild Tribute is to leverage capitalism and in turn, supply good. In order to do such, we as a company have committed to our social mission to the extent our 4 the Parks partners are the recipients of our proceeds before we consider any surplus, profit. That’s right, 4% of our proceeds are donated to organizations that support America’s most wild and historic places. In our case, and frankly in any for-profit business, surplus – speaking strictly from a financial sense – is critical to continue reinvesting in mission and extending reach.

Saying that, surplus in other forms isn’t necessarily as welcome news. Wild Tribute in particular, as a producer of soft and hard goods (not withstanding the many other facets of our brand), despite our best efforts, is not 100% efficient with our output of product. We make mistakes, our suppliers are subject to mishaps, and our production or fulfillment allies aren’t always perfect either. Like everyone, we live, we learn, but all of which leads to inevitable excess. 

For instance, an incorrect or imperfect order may lead to a perfectly fine, high quality box of apparel with no home. Just because a print on a T-shirt was printed incorrectly, doesn’t mean that product is destined for waste. Further, imperfect product isn’t the only merchandise that potentially could sit idle into oblivion. Despite our best marketing efforts, inventory can undesirably build. Certain styles become stale, or regardless of our best intentions, we simply may produce more than we can sell – simple laws of supply and demand.

We don’t admit such truths to reveal our vulnerable side, but rather demonstrate how we turn surplus into good. The Utah Chapter of Volunteers of America have been gracious beneficiaries of Wild Tribute’s surplus. On a quarterly to biannual basis, we donate product that is put on clothing racks within Volunteers of America’s walls where adolescents to young adults in need have the liberty to shop for brand new, confidence-building, quality apparel free of charge. Not only are we helping address a physical need, but in the process our product inherently educates and opens unsuspecting eyes to our National Parks and public lands. The latter is a bonus, the former proves to be equally as fulfilling as our 4 the Parks donations to America’s most wild and historic places.  

We strive for perfection but realistically recognize mistakes happen or inventory unintentionally builds. Rather dwell on the downside of excess, we opt to find the upside. There’s always good to be had if you exude extra effort and try – comparatively, the easy road for us is simply disposing product in the trash. It’s all part of an all-encompassing mission. Sure, our priority is to give back to our National Parks and public lands, while educating and inspiring. But we’re capable of much more. Sometimes the biggest differences boil down to the little things and what you can control. In this case, taking unwanted excess and making good of it.

Volunteers of America ("VOA"), Utah's Youth Resource Center serves homeless and at-risk youth, ages 15-22 along the Wasatch Front of Salt Lake City. VOA provides essential basic need items, 3 hot meals a day, pantry food, showers, laundry, life-skills groups, housing and employment case management, and dental and medical assistance, with access to mental health services on-site. Read more about VOA here.


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Wild Tribute was founded to honor our parks, forests, and oceans. We donate 4% of our proceeds to support America's historic and wild places. Our designs pay tribute to where legacy roams.