We’ve all fantasized about it: swinging in a hammock on a desert island under a palm tree, listening to the sound of the waves crashing upon the shore. For us city dwellers, hammocks have become synonymous with relaxation, vacation, and simplicity. Some of us are lucky enough to have a hammock set up in our homes. Wouldn’t a hammock sound even more enticing if it were sustainably sourced and benefited struggling communities? Meet WholeStory, the philanthropic designers of the world’s comfiest hammocks and lounge chairs.
WholeStory focuses on creating snug and stylish hammocks, swing chairs, and loungers that directly benefit the underprivileged people who manufacture them. In Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, 46 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. In an effort to help alleviate some of the rural Nicaraguans’ hardships, WholeStory has hired 22 artisans to hand-weave their hammocks in exchange for fair wages. Each hammock is produced using a hundred-year-old Nicaraguan technique that has been passed down to the craftsman from their ancestors. This method requires so much skill and focus it can take three people up to eight hours to finish one hammock! WholeStory products are double woven from soft-spun polyester for extra comfort, support, and durability.
The company has partnered with several organizations in hopes of fulfilling a promise they call the “full circle of giving.” One partner has committed to planting 100 trees in the depleted Nicaraguan forests—42,000 hectares of which are burned down every year—for each WholeStory lounger sold. To further combat the problem of deforestation, the company makes all of their hammocks’ wooden components from sustainably harvested teak. WholeStory donates 10 percent of its total profits to the 4 Walls Project, an NGO that will use the money to build new houses in the same communities where the hammocks are produced. So far, the 4 Walls team has completed four homes for Nicaraguan families in need and is in the process of constructing a fifth.
Last month, WholeStory launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of their hammocks. So far, the company has raised over $15,000, easily surpassing their initial goal of $10,000. Currently, the Kickstarter page offers donors a selection of four products to choose from. Wholestory’s least expensive option is their Hanging Hammock Chair, which is available in three styles and allows for extra reclination. A bigger contribution earns you a Traditional Hammock, which is made in the classic “cocoon style” and is perfect for use at home or at the beach. The company’s Family Hammocks are wide and have a wooden bar at each end to support the weight of multiple people. Finally, a pledge of $175 will score you the Hammock Lounger, a hammock-style deck chair available in three different colors.
WholeStory also offers a few bundle deals, in which you can purchase multiple kinds of hammocks for a single charge. Alternatively, you can pay an additional fee to customize your WholeStory product. Click here to learn more about the company, their noble cause, and how you can become a part of it.