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blackspot sneakers | salmon nation


website: www.salmonnation.com


salmon nation
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what: in 2003 Ecotrust launched their Salmon Nation campaign, sponsored by ShoreBank and Patagonia. It is a brand idea, inviting people who have common beliefs about the relationship between the environment, society and commerce to become part of the “Salmon Nation". ShoreBank plans on creating a Salmon Nation Visa card and participating businesses will offer benefits to members. This is a new form of environmental activism that is inviting and participatory, allowing people to identify their beliefs as mainstream consumers, business people and citizens.

why: No Logo is the title of a very important book by Naomi Klein. In it she describes the way in which well-known consumer brands have invaded our lives and culture. Global brands such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Tommy Hilfinger are so pervasive, she argues, that it is not just a case of reflecting our lifestyles, but of transforming them. The brand is the culture. These firms are marketing leaders: they don’t so much sell a product as an idea… Starting from this kind of consideration, what Ecotrust (and more and more others) is trying to do is apply the same mechanism (selling an idea) to a better cause: in this case the preservation of the natural environment in a specific region: “When you declare your citizenship in Salmon Nation, you are joining a community of people across the region who feel that our natural boundaries define our identity as much as our political boundaries. So, we are not just citizens of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia or Alaska - we are citizens of Salmon Nation.”

the story: in 2002, using a guerrilla marketing approach, Ecotrust passed out T-shirts, stickers and lapel pins. They attended strategic fish-related events and launched the website, SalmonNation.com. The seeds of a powerful movement were planted. Finally, they developed and released SectionZ - a newspaper insert dropped into 340,000 households in Portland and San Francisco - which publicised the hazards of farmed salmon and called for shoppers to ask "Is it wild?" before buying salmon.

Salmon Nation was launched publicly in 2003, initiating the process of building an unusual alliance of core constituents to rise up and embrace new ideas that have the power to change everything. "I am a proud Citizen of Salmon Nation," declared former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber at the Salmon Nation fireside chat on October 4, 2003. The next day, Ecotrust threw the Salmon Nation Block Party at the Natural Capital Center, which drew over 4,000 Portland residents and ignited 2,100 to declare themselves Citizens of Salmon Nation. With leaders and citizens alike embracing the concept, Salmon Nation is rapidly becoming a full-finned part of Pacific Northwest reality.

Ecotrust declares that they must now sustain this energy. In 2004 they seek to expand, deepen, and test the Salmon Nation citizenship experience in Portland, continue to develop the tools and language of Salmon Nation, raise money for their effort, and plan their 2005 rollout up and down the West Coast.

what you can do: Ecotrust suggests many ways to participate and enlarge the movement...
  • Declare your citizenship: to date there are almost 3,500 declared citizens committed to developing a common understanding of how to take care of our home. If you haven't already, join by pledging to live as though you mean it. They'll send you a Citizen's Kit full of fun and informative stuff.

  • Tell a friend: know someone who would really dig all this? Tell them about it! Email a link to this site, and be sure to include a personal note.

  • Show your reds! If you've got it, you can flaunt it! Salmon Nation T-shirts are hip and comfortable, and made from 100% organic cotton. Not the T-shirt type? You can also buy a hat, lapel pin, umbrella, or Patagonia/Salmon Nation tote bag.

  • Get the Salmon Nation Visa Card: ShoreBank Pacific, a Washington State chartered, FDIC insured bank, is the first commercial bank in the United States with a commitment to environmentally sustainable community development. It is offering the Salmon Nation VISA card, its first consumer credit card. ShoreBank has joined Ecotrust to help build Salmon Nation.

  • Volunteer! Ecotrust is always looking for helpful folks to pitch in with events, mailings… Currently most convenient for Portland area residents, but expanding up and down the Coast next year.


Ecotrust - Building Salmon
Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center
721 NW Ninth Avenue, Suite 200,
Portland, OR 97209
ph.: 503.227.6225
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