Hang out in a hammock that helps reforest Nicaragua & build homes for families in need

WholeStory hammocks
© WholeStory Collective

Handmade by a family of artisans in Nicaragua, WholeStory hammocks serve a dual purpose - to suspend you comfortably while also helping to build homes for needy families in one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.

Who doesn't love a good hammock? There may be a few anti-hammockers out there, but by and large, lounging in a woven bed under a tree is generally considered one of the most relaxing ways to while away the hours during the summer. And you don't even need trees to hang a hammock, as hammock stands can support both small and large versions of these Central American sleeping staples, and they can even be slung inside a home with the right wall anchors in place (just don't go on your roof and tie one onto a chimney, please).

If you're considering buying a hammock for your home or yard, there's a couple of new options available from the company WholeStory Collective, and a purchase of one of their handmade hammocks and hammock chairs not only nets you a swingin' place to nap, but also helps reforestation efforts and contributes to the building of homes for families in need in rural Nicaragua. WholeStory's hammocks are handcrafted by a family of Nicaraguan artisans who have been making these double handwoven hammocks (which are said to be twice as strong as other hammocks) for more than a century, with each hammock taking many hours to complete.

WholeStory hammocks© WholeStory Collective

"Handcrafted in Nicaragua, Whole Story hammocks are made by fourth-generation artisan weavers who combine expert craftsmanship with the finest textiles. More than 12 hours of labor go into building each hammock, making them sublimely cozy and long-lasting, outside and in. We promise."

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, and nearly half of the population lives on less than 2 dollars a day, while at the same time the nation is experiencing a serious deforestation problem, with some 21% of the country’s forest cover being destroyed between 1990 and 2005, and although that rate has slowed somewhat, it's still losing 1% of its forests each year. With an economy built around agriculture and cattle, the country's livestock practices, a reliance on non-sustainable farming, and a booming population contribute to some 42,000 hectares (~104,000 acres) of forest being burned down every year.

To help mitigate this rapid rate of deforestation in a country that is home to the largest tropical forests in the western Hemisphere (outside of the Amazon), WholeStory uses sustainably harvested teak wood for its chair frames and hammock spreaders, resulting in 100 new trees being planted in Nicaragua for every chair sold by the company. In addition to helping to reforest the country, WholeStory also donates 10% of every purchase to the nonprofit 4 WALLS Project, which builds safe, sturdy, brick houses for needy Nicaraguan families.

"WholeStory Collecive was started on a simple belief that every family deserves a safe place to call home. This belief brought me to Nicaragua, the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere with 46% of the population living on less than 2 dollars a day. But during my first trip to Nicaragua I soon learned it was much more than a place plagued by poverty. It was a place of beauty, talent, and most importantly relaxation. Time was never seen as wasted, only enjoyed.

"I soon fell in love with the product that symbolized this beautiful way of life; hammocks! I visited family workshops that handcrafted each hammock one loop at a time creating the most beautiful hammocks I'd ever seen. Instantly I knew I needed to share these amazing hammocks with the world." - Colin Johnson, WholeStory founder

WholeStory hammocks© WholeStory Collective

WholeStory is currently running a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring its collection of sustainable hammocks and lounge chairs to a larger audience, and is offering several sizes and styles of each design to backers at a significant discount.

Pledges of $79 will receive a hanging hammock chair ($125 MSRP), $99 backers will receive a traditional hammock (single person, no spreader bars, $165 MSRP), those kicking in at the $159 level will get a family hammock (spreader bars, 400 lb weight limit, $230 MSRP), and a $175 pledge is good for a hammock lounge chair ($265 MSRP). All products will be available in 3 different designs, and are expected to ship to backers in September 2017. Learn more about the company and its mission of alleviating poverty, and see its other products, at the WholeStory website.