‘Cauzz We’re Nice: A clothing company with a conscience.

For Samuel Chi, part-owner of Cauzz, a growing clothing company based in Orange, California, giving isn’t just a seasonal event — it’s a way of life.

“Giving is not limited to any time or status,” says Chi. “The spirit of giving should be exercised everyday.” That’s why Chi started Cauzz just over a year ago — he felt companies weren’t giving enough back to the community.

The idea was to create a for-profit company that would donate its proceeds to charity. At first Chi wanted to give 100-percent of the profits to charity, but he realized doing so wasn’t realistic. So Chi and his partners Frank Chi (brother) and part-owner Mary Box settled on donating 51 percent of its profits to charity.

In less than one year, Cauzz has donated more than 10,000 dollars to various charities ranging from AIDS research to animal rights to homeless shelters even though it is still in the red. Cauzz donates to major organizations like Red Cross, but Chi says the aim is to donate to charities within the community. “When you’re donating to such large organizations, the money can get lost,” he says. “We want to stay within the community because we can make more of an impact.”

Cauzz has been working one on one with shops like Spyder II, in Hermosa Beach, California, to raise money for charities. Last summer Cauzz and Spyder teamed up for a benefit to help Sandpipers, a South Bay philanthropy that helps out those in need. “The ultimate goal is to open up our own shops in the community so we can put on our own events like food drives,” says Chi.

In addition, Chi says he’s planning concerts with headliners such as Digital Underground in order to raise money and awareness. “Those kind of events help people learn what our mission is,” he says.

Cauzz does not spend any money on advertising because Chi says it would take away from donations. For the same reason there are no Cauzz team riders. Instead, Cauzz relies on word of mouth and media coverage. So far it’s been working.

Cauzz launched its premiere line last fall in a handful of specialty surf, skate, and snow shops, and now Chi has product in more than twenty shops throughout Southern California. With the addition of a Midwest sales rep (which brings Cauzz’s total number of employees to seven — including the three volunteers), Chi expects distribution to expand considerably.

“Cauzz is a good idea because there’s a purpose behind it,” says Manager Jason Bucolo of ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica, California, which has carried Cauzz since the start. “There’s been a pretty good response to it.”

Currently Cauzz’ line includes men’s and women’s T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hats, and accessories, and Chi says the lines for this summer and fall will be even broader.

For more information about Cauzz, call (562) 694-8346, or visit Cauzz online at www.cauzz.com