Preserve and protect tropical dry forests.
From the 2018 Feminine & Fierce collection came the vibrant yet elegant Wiliwili floral print. Every purchase in our Wiliwili print returns a donation to help preserve the dryland forests of Hawai'i.
WHAT is the Wiliwili?
Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) is a flowering tree in the Fabaceae family. It is endemic to Hawai'i and grows in some of the harshest and driest environments. The wiliwili tree is considered chief among dryland forest species and is known to ancient Hawaiians for its bold red seeds used in hula ceremonies, and for its buoyant wood used traditionally for constructing surfboards and outrigger canoes. The flower of the wiliwlil tree is a brilliant fiery orange and one of the showiest of the dryland forest species.
Wiliwili trees are one of the few native deciduous trees found in Hawai'i. This means that the trees enter into hibernation, losing their foliage during the hottest summer months and returning to life during the winter. Based on an old Hawaiian proverb, we decided to pair our Wiliwili print with our Shark Bite print in the 2018 collection.
As it’s known, Hawaiian people once observed that during the flowering season of wiliwili, tiger shark activity would increase near shore. The proverb states, “Pua ka wiliwili nanahu ka manō”, meaning, “when the wiliwili bloom, the sharks will bite.”
WHY do we care?
In 2005 the wiliwili tree faced almost certain extinction when an invasive gall wasp hitchhiked its way to the islands and began laying eggs in the trees’ live tissue. Scientists were able to release a biocontrol agent and save the species from extinction, but the tropical dry forests in which they live continue to disappear. Development, forest fires and expansion of agriculture are destroying dryland forests and the home to nearly 25% of all native plant species found in the islands.
WHO are we donating to?
Every purchase in our Wiliwili print returns a donation on your behalf to the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative (WDFI), a nonprofit organization managing 275-acres of dry forest preserve on Hawai'i Island. Since forming in 2011, WDFI works to protect, promote and restore wiliwili habitat in the Waikoloa region of Hawai'i Island.
HOW are your donations used?
Forest restoration, keiki (children) education, and community outreach are all programs within the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative that donations from your purchases help to support. Donating just $50 to WDFI allows you to adopt and sponsor the planting of your own wiliwili tree in the preserve. So, if you're not looking to buy any bikinis today, perhaps we can interest you in a beautiful native Hawaiian tree instead?