Every 5th of the month, SeventyOne Percent is happy to introduce you to an association, an initiative, a person who is committed and working for a better world. In March, zoom on Paddle-paddle and its creator, Mathieu Maugret.
Paddle-paddle, what is it?
A broken board, a leash worn down to the rope, a boardshort that you no longer use... If instead of throwing these objects away, you entrust them to Paddle-paddle? This association collects and repairs boards but also surfing equipment in France in order to give them to those who need them, all around the world. The concept is simple and makes things happen:
- First of all on a social level, by allowing these girls and boys to enjoy the benefits of the sport both physically and mentally. Through surfing and thanks to local actors, Paddle-paddle also promotes the importance of education and culture (painting, music, photography...).
- On the environmental level then by recycling materials that are not always easy to reuse and which all too often become additional waste. Young surfers are also directly sensitized by the association to environmental protection.
Since 2018, Paddle-paddle has already visited Indonesia, Morocco and Colombia.
Why does SeventyOne Percent support Paddle-paddle?
The path of SeventyOne Percent and Paddle-paddle crossed for the first time on... a freelance recruitment platform! Raphaël Vannier, one of the co-founders of the brand, was looking for an editor to create content for 71. Mathieu Maugret fell in love with the brand and his association, which combines his passion for surfing and environmental protection. These values are common to those that SeventyOne Percent strives to respect every day in the creation of its sun creams and cosmetic products.
Meeting with Mathieu Maugret, the founder of Paddle-paddle :
What is the fight that makes you get up every morning?
Mathieu Maugret: With Paddle-paddle we collect, repair and give surfboards to people who need them. Beyond the fight of the association, which is to use surfing to think about the future, this project is a concentrate of everything that can make me get up in the morning. My passion for surfing already, but also my will to have a real social and environmental impact beneficial to the greatest number. My work as a freelance writer too, which I like very much, serves me every day for Paddle-paddle. When I dedicate myself to this project, I just feel like I'm living my life in the best possible way since Paddle-paddle brings together everything I love in life. Plus it's for a good cause.
What's the action you're most proud of?
Mathieu Maugret: Our mission in Colombia. It was epic in terms of organization, but also a total success. We brought ten boards to a project called Costeño Social, which offers school-type classes, but not only, to children in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. English, maths, theatre, cooking, chess, yoga, these are young people in their thirties who are improvising themselves as teachers and they are doing an incredible job. Among their students are about ten surfers, the first generation in this area. In addition to bringing them boards, we organized several activities, oriented surfing and art, over three days. Painting on boards, beach cleaning, talk about plastic pollution in the world, mural painting on the theme of water, rescue games... It was great, but it's the fallout after our visit that I liked the best.
With Costeño Social we took the time to explain to the young people that surf culture is a fantastic reservoir of opportunities. A lot of cool jobs revolve around surfing, which are not only reserved for the best surfers. As a result, Costeño Social is now building its own surf school, and is training those who want to learn about these professions in English. In this relatively touristy area, they have already set up a surf instructor training program. They can count on us to continue to bring them equipment and develop their school.
What can anyone do?
Mathieu Maugret: So far we finance the vast majority of the missions out of our own pocket, but, even if we accept them with immense joy, I don't feel like saying here "financial donations are the best gesture to make". Rather, I would like to talk about material donations and commitment on social networks. Without our Instagram account or our Facebook page, Paddle-Paddle wouldn't collect much. We depend entirely on our small community to collect and we assume that the bigger it gets, the more we can grow. Beyond donations, accumulating followers and generating commitment are points that count enormously for an association in 2020. A committed community can change everything. So it's not directly about money, but rather about simply following our adventures and showing us your support. It's so simple and effective at the same time! The proof is that it has allowed us to collect more than fifty boards and to carry out four missions in one year. So we don't need much.