Zeal Optics, in partnership with Weston, Smartwool, Pret, and MountainFLOW Eco-Wax, have joined forces with Tlingit artist Crystal Worl of Trickster Company to form the Haa Aani Alliance and launch a collection of goggles, skis, snowboards, socks and accessories featuring Worl’s artwork, with proceeds benefiting three non-profit organizations: Yukon Salmon, Wild Salmon Center and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund. Zeal will donate $5 from every pair of Haa Ani goggles sold.
“I’m thrilled to create art on outdoor gear that will bring attention to Indigenous values and knowledge around Xâat Kusteeyí, the Salmon Way of Life,” said Crystal Worl, whose art is featured across the collection. “I grew up fishing and learning how to care for and respect salmon. I also grew up skiing and spending time outdoors in Alaska. It’s been an incredible journey to live and love this land as my ancestors and family have for generations. There is much to learn from the salmon, and time is running short. I have big hopes and dreams for what my art and storytelling can do to make change.”
The central aim of this project is to protect the uninterrupted flow of rivers and vital salmon spawning grounds that are essential for the preservation of both human communities and the ecosystem, in alignment with the principles of Haa Aani and the Salmon Way of Life, Xáat Kusteeyí. For the Tlingit of Southeast Alaska, culture revolves around the land and its resources. The Tlingit believe that when they take care of the land and its inhabitants, the land, in turn, takes care of them. The Tlingit phrase “Haa Aaní” often summarizes this concept, which means “Our Land.” Animals are viewed as members of the same social universe as those beside them. Art, dance, stories, and crests reflect these relationships with nature. Xáat Kusteeyí, as an extension of Haa Aaní, focuses on utilizing salmon respectfully and sustainably. By protecting the salmon and its habitat, the salmon provide people with sustenance in return.
ABOUT ZEAL OPTICS
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Zeal Optics is a boutique brand focusing on handcrafted quality eyewear built for life outdoors. Dedicated to reducing its footprint, Zeal’s full sunglass line is designed and crafted using plant-based & recycled materials. Zeal Optics is also known for revolutionizing the goggle market with its patented polarized/photochromic “Automatic+” lens. For more info visit zealoptics.com and follow @zealoptics on Instagram and Facebook.