A local clothing company kicked off summer recently with an all-you-can-eat Louisiana-style dinner, a preview of their newest clothing line and a partnership with a local nonprofit—all for the sake of preservation.
URT Clothing, known for printing the local tide schedule on the inside of their shirts, hosted its First Annual URT BOIL at the Coronado Boathouse 1887 over Memorial weekend. Founded by Ian Urtnowski, a Coronado lifeguard, URT Clothing started in 2008 and is named after its founder’s nickname.
“Everyone just called me Urt,” Urtnowski said in an email. “Then I heard a sea lion bark my name at me and I knew I had to pursue it.”
URT Clothing decided to start an annual fundraiser this year, with the help of the nonprofit organization WiLDCOAST. The environmental group is dedicated to working with “local communities to clean up, restore and conserve the amazing coastal and marine resources,” according to its website.
“This was our very first time working alongside [WiLDCOAST],” Urtnowski said. “We have always admired how much work they actually do. A productive environmentalist is hard to come by.”
Urtnowski also said that WiLDCOAST’s efforts coincide with URT’s mission and branding. The company’s catchphrase is “We take you to the water’s edge; it’s up to you to jump in.”
Urtnowski noted that WiLDCOAST works hard to keep the water URT tells you to jump in clean.
Serge Dedina, founder of WiLDCOAST, spoke at the BOIL and highlighted some the organization’s accomplishments, including successfully conserving more than 1.8 million acres of coastal wildlands and protecting wildlife habitats at six different locations, including the Tijuana Estuary and Coronado Islands, according to URT Clothing.
The fundraiser was called a “BOIL,” due to the boiled crawfish that were served. Nearly 200 guests showed up to support wildlife preservation, check out some new surf and children’s wear, and eat lots of Louisiana-style food, which came complete with “how-to” instructions.
“We chose crawfish because it has never been done before around here to my knowledge,” Urtnowski said. “I would say the vast majority of our guests had never tried crawfish. It became an experience and event, instead of a meal.”
URT Clothing showed off its newest line for kids, called sqURT, and ended the night with a raffle, whose proceeds were given to WiLDCOAST “for the continuance and recognition of all the extraordinary work they do,” according to URT.
The surf wear company does their own part for the environment, including making most of their women’s clothing out of 100 percent recycled materials. They also work closely with the Navy, as they are a big part of the Coronado community.
“We made a ‘Thank You Navy SEAL Team 6’ shirt, which has Osama’s compound on the inside,” Urtnowski said. “[We] handed it out to all the Navy SEALs on the Coronado Amphibious base, where we have one of our retail stores (T3) that carries us.”
Look out for more of URT Clothing and wildlife preservation activities in the coming months. Urtnowski said a Fourth of July shirt will be available for sale soon and the Second Annual URT WOMP (a body surfing competition) will take place in late August at Coronado’s North Beach.