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Our Story

The Surfer, the Farmer, and the Fashionista 

PuraKai's origin story is a tale of passion, innovation, and a commitment to sustainability, forged by the unique partnership of a surfer father, a fashionista daughter, and a farmer nestled in California's Central Valley in 2012.

This collaboration was sparked by a shared vision to craft clothing in California, using organic cotton grown in California. Despite completing the project the first year, the following year the drought worsened, leading to the adoption of GOTS-certified organic cotton from India, and the exploration of other environmentally responsible fabrics such as hemp, merino wool, and lyocell. 

In recent years, conscious of the adverse environmental effects of synthetic materials, PuraKai decided to abandon the use of recycled polyester and work exclusively with natural fibers, ensuring each garment’s journey begins and ends in the soil, thereby addressing the pressing issue of microfiber shedding.

This transition highlights PuraKai’s steadfast commitment to cultivating a harmonious balance between fashion and Mother Nature. Nonetheless, achieving a 100% plastic-free status remains a challenge, as a minimal percentage of spandex is essential for crafting activewear. PuraKai continues to search for a biodegradable alternative, remaining dedicated to our ultimate goal of complete sustainability.

Committed to making a positive impact beyond clothing, as a 1% For the Planet member, in 2023 were are directing efforts and resources towards non-profits working to eliminate plastic pollution from the world’s oceans. 


The Founders

Noel Huelsenbeck - Growing up on a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey, then migrating to San Diego in his late teens, Noel has spent his entire life in, on, and under the ocean, whether surfing, spearfishing, freediving, stand up paddling, or just relaxing on the sand, his life has been defined by the ocean.

And now his mission is to help heal and protect this great resource for future generations, other eco-friendly business investments include the ocean-friendly and sustainable seafood restaurant Colectivo Surf, based in Baja California. 


Megan Huelsenbeck - Growing up with an ocean-loving father, Megan adopted her dad's love for the ocean. Since riding her first wave at the tender age of four, the ocean has been an integral part of Megan's journey. Now a mother of three young boys, with her newest joy born this September 2023, she instills in them the same deep reverence for nature's wonders.

As a passionate designer, Megan channels the rhythms and inspirations of the sea into creating stylish, sustainable fashion. Balancing motherhood and her flair for design, Megan is unwavering in her commitment to leaving a more environmentally conscious world for the next generation.