Costa Rican bracelets help save oceans and beaches

A Seton Hall student is currently representing Pura Vida bracelets on-campus in order to benefit the world’s oceans and beaches.

Heather Sulewski is working with Pura Vida, and helps promote their sale on-campus by selling simple and colorful bracelets that are hand-made in Costa Rica.

“These bracelets represent the Pura Vida lifestyle,” Sulewski said. “Pura Vida means ‘pure life’ in Spanish, and the lifestyle implies enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune and not taking anything for granted.”

One percent of the annual revenue collected from selling the bracelets is donated to the Surfrider Foundation, which is a non-profit environment organization “dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education,” according to the foundation’s website.

“These bracelets cost $5 and currently can only be purchased by Seton Hall students through the Pura Vida website,” Sulewski said.

Pura Vida, according to its website, began only a few months ago after two college students marketed the products in California.

Pura Vida is a member of “One Percent for the Planet,” which is an alliance of businesses that donate at least one percent of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide.

According to the website, the college friends were celebrating their graduation in Costa Rica when they met Jorge, a Costa Rican peddler who makes the bracelets.

The graduates requested 400, and upon returning to California, placed the bracelets for sale in a boutique shop.

The demand for the bracelets grew and the friends contacted Jorge to make more, giving rise to the present Pura Vida Bracelets business, according to the website.

The popularity of the bracelets allowed Jorge to make enough money to buy a house and hire workers to assist him in making the bracelets, the website stated.

He started selling only 2 – 5 bracelets a week. Now he sells “upwards” of 5,000 per week.

While the bracelets can only be sold through the Pura Vida website currently, Sulewski is working with the Seton Hall Bookstore to try to get the bracelets to be sold there as well.

The bracelets are now sold in over 100 surf shops and boutiques across the United States, according to the website.

The website lists 76 colleges and universities that have Pura Vida campus representatives, such as Quinnipiac University, University of Washington, Penn State University and Arizona State University.

Seton Hall University is the only institution in New Jersey with a campus representative.

Angelo Montero can be reached at angelo.montero@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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