We’ve joined up with HalfCut, the widely known social movement that engages people of all cultures, ages, and sexes to raise awareness and raise funds for rainforest conservation and regeneration. We interviewed Jimmy HalfCut about this outrageous look, how it started, and exactly how long is he going to keep it going!
Co-founders - Jimmy HalfCut and Jessica Clarke
R4: What is HalfCut?
Jimmy: We’re a social movement with one aim - to save our planet from deforestation and the climate crisis. Rainforests are one of our best bets so we save rainforests and restore what’s been cut down.
Over half of the world's rainforests have been destroyed, we help protect what's left and get on with the regeneration. In August we go #HalfCut to raise awareness and funds to protect existing forests and replant trees.
The goal of HalfCut is to be the face of the environmental movement. By encouraging women, men, and children to wear their HalfCut look to help save the last remaining 50% forests globally and start the regeneration of what we have lost. HalfCut protects habitat for threatened and endangered species, supports Traditional Owners in Caring for Country, starts mass tree planting projects, and by being part of the solution to the growing climate emergency we are ensuring a safe future for all species on Earth.
R4: Cutting off half your beard is quite a statement!
Jimmy: Yeh! I can't go anywhere without people asking me questions. I wanted to start conversations about conservation and this is something that works. By going HalfCut you become a visual representation of the message - half of the world’s rainforests have been destroyed, let’s save what’s left!
How long do you reckon you'll be half bearded for?
I've been HalfCut since 2018 so it's coming up to two years! It was great to have other HalfCut people joining in. It was only going to be a year campaign but I’ve had too much fun with it! Also, at this stage, we aren't winning in this fight to protect our rainforests and our climate and I plan to be HalfCut until the time is right and or to continue to show the destruction by removing more than 50% of my beard if this is the path humanity chooses. My long term action plan is to be HalfCut for 11 years to mark the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, stating that we have less than 11 years to address irreversible runaway climate chaos. To me this is unacceptable. Humanity is better than this, I want to be proven wrong, that we can get it right with the solutions readily available and step up to what we believe is the greatest threat facing humanity and all species on Earth.
R4: How can other people get involved and do we all have to grow a beard!
Anyone can get involved in the HalfCut challenge! We support people in setting up a challenge and to get their family, friends, and workmates to sponsor them to shave, colour, braid, or wear your HalfCut look. Anything goes, the more creative the better. The Earth's rainforests are disappearing so there’s no time to lose. Set up your fundraising page right here and go #halfcut for the forests. Once people visit HalfCut.org and sign up for the 2020 HalfCut campaign we get in touch to provide support to them.
How with the funds raised in 2020 be used?
This year we're helping save the Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland by reversing the negative impacts of development. The first objective is to help the Rainforest 4 Foundation to purchase Lot 155 in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and add it to the Daintree National Park and together we're aiming to raise $220,875 for this purpose. Once that's achieved we'll help purchase other properties - there are over 150 properties threatened by development. We've been working to protect the Daintree Rainforest for four years now and as we have the same objectives as the Rainforest 4 Foundation its a smart move for us to work together.
You had breweries, salons, and barbers supporting the movement? Tell us about this? How can others get involved?
It was fantastic to see these business products and services come on board with a tangible outcome of $2.50 saving an acre of rainforests. We had over 15 independent breweries join with providing karma kegs - Save The Rainforests Save the Beers in the month of August. Anyone who was HalfCut received a free beer. We had our first salons and barbers come onboard donating $2.50 per haircut or beard trim that made the client's service carbon neutral/positive. These salons and barbers are doing this all year round now helping to save our rainforests, the beers, and climate for further generations. To have your salon, barbershop or brewery take part visit HalfCut Alliances.
How can people get involved now?
We invite people to visit HalfCut.org and sign up to the 2020 HalfCut campaign August 31st National HalfCut Day, we will be in touch.
How can businesses get involved now?
We also invite businesses to join other ethical businesses who are going carbon neutral or positive as a HalfCut Alliances member by donating a percentage of profits or services to your own page. We have breweries, salons, barbers, cafes, chocolate and coffee brands, restaurants, and many other businesses that are taking the lead as a HalfCut Alliances saving our rainforests and securing the protection of their products for future generations.
How did you put all this together? How long has it taken?
It sometimes feels like it’s all still coming together in its own weird way. We planted the seed to grow this movement of rainforest conservation supporters five years ago, hopefully, they'll be many years ahead, fruitful success stories, branching out to many like-minded people to be part of the solutions and then we can retire as a large old-growth tree.
Like most no-profit organisations we've been a volunteer grassroots organisation, digging in deep, holding stalls at markets and events and engaging people to sign up and take part. They've been many face-to-face conversations. It was not easy at all, but nothing really is. As the saying goes “If it was easy, everyone would do it”. We started off raising funds for tree planting, securing the planting of over 36,000 trees nationally from 2014 - 2020. We've also supported land purchase and protection. HalfCut is a fundraising movement where the money raised goes towards saving and restoring the Earth's rainforests. It's very tangible. I feel it's such a wonderful way for people to engage and go, "I can do that." I feel it's empowering for people to get that information, and to know it's not all bad. Through our efforts and the contributions of our partners, we've contributed just short of half a million dollars.
On 31 August – National HalfCut Day – Why this date?
We invite males to grow a beard, any scruff, beardy ecosystem, and on the last day of winter, August 31st to go HalfCut (cut the beard in half). This also includes those less beardy (males, women, and children) to cut their hair or and or braid half their hair.
2020 National HalfCut Day August 31st - How can people take part?
Go to www.halfcut.org and get ready to have some fun! We want as many people to be part of the solutions and giving back to Mother Earth. Get family and friends together for this fun and tangible campaign and show that you are making a difference with your very on rainforest acre counter. For every $2.50 you donated you save one square meter of Daintree Lowland Rainforest. Go to HalfCut.org and pre-register and get us on our socials - @HalfCutorg and @Jimmy_HalfCut