From the Ark Imports website:
It started as a backpacking trip and became a lifestyle brand.
It all started in 1984 when Arks founder, Noah, decided to take a break from university studies in Canada and go backpacking, see the world and figure out what to do with his life. While trekking in Nepal, he got a feeling he should bring some of the cool stuff he saw in Kathmandu back home to sell. After spending a few months on the beaches in Thailand thinking things over, he was ready to go for it. Ark Imports was born in 1985 and since then, Noah has been going back to Nepal twice a year for the last 34 years. I guess he figured out what he wanted to do with his life…
Ark Fair Trade is inspired by those who dare to dream and be different – the free spirits who choose self-expression over conformity.
Whether you’re into the outdoors, yoga, art, music festivals, hockey or whatever — we’re confident that at Ark you’ll find the right pieces that help you stand out from the crowd and express yourself. More importantly, you’re also helping spread positivity by supporting workers and craftspeople in a developing country. We are a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and adhere to ethical fair trade practices that promote better quality of life in Nepal by addressing issues such as wage, the environment and respecting the existing culture.
Our goal is to ensure that everyone we deal with — from the knitter to the person that will ultimately wear our products, has a positive and enjoyable experience. Nepal has given so much to us, we feel it is our duty to continue to give back.
Ark Fair Trade regularly sponsors children at the Srongtsen Bhrikuti Boarding High School in Tinchuli, Boudha Kathmandu and at the Swostishree Gurukul school in Sanobharyang Kathmandu. We also donate to the Pranmaya-Ganesh Bahadur Chitrakar Memorial Foundation, an organization that plays a key role in priving social benefits to community members and heritage preservation.
We also raised almost $50,000 dollars for victims of the catastrophic Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake in 2015.