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November 02, 2021


Learn all about Patrick Rouxel’s story and the history of Sun Bear Outreach through this short 6-minute documentary.

We wanted to help them in our own way by donating every year through the sale of each pair of shoes. The money raised goes directly into the various local projects implemented by Sun Bear Outreach to improve the living conditions of sun bears.

The story begins in Indonesia with Patrick Rouxel, director and founder of the Sun Bear Outreach project. During one of his trips to the Asia, Patrick was shocked by the obscure living conditions of the sun bears. Founded in 2014, Sun Bear Outreach is dedicated to helping and rescuing sun bears that have been captured and placed in captivity.


About sun bears:


Sun bears are found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Fun fact, they are actually the smallest bear species in the world! Sun bears grow to as long as 1.5 meters and weigh 70 kg on average. They are black, except for their chest which has gold spots. Legend says that this spot looks strangely like the rising sun, hence the name "Sun Bear" for this endangered species.



Declining by more than 30% over the last 30 years, sun bears are on the official list of endangered species. The reason for their disappearance is the increasing deforestation and number of areas affected by poaching. These bears are highly sought after for their meat, skin, paws, and their bile, the latter which is used in Chinese medicine. When the adults are killed, the cubs become orphans and are often sold to individuals. Once placed in captivity, the cubs are usually raised in cages for their entire life for the simple pleasure of their owner.


Animal rescue centers:

These centers are a better alternative to the wildlife trade, but remain very limited. Although the bears are removed from their cages, the rescue centers have very little funding. Bears are all too often rescued from individuals only to be placed back in cages. Although the bears receive much greater care and attention, they still remain in cages. The problem is still far from solved.


Solitary by nature, sun bears are supposed to live in more than 200 hectares of forest. When their living space is reduced to a 2m² cages, the bears all to often go crazy, just as a human being would.


The role of Sun Bear Outreach :

Upon his arrival in country, the living conditions of these bears shocked Patrick to such an extent that he created a movement to provide assistance to this species.

Today, Sun Bear Outreach works miracles for these bears. Sun Bear Outreach's first mission is to provide these sun bears with better, down-to-earth, and respectable living conditions. To do this, the non-profit raises awareness among locals about animal welfare, the severity of deforestation, and poaching.

Sun Bear Outreach (SBO) is a non-profit organization registered in France. Since 2014, SBO has worked with animal rescue centers in Indonesia that specifically care for sun bears. Volunteers on site build large forest enclosures, and renovate and improve existing facilities. Training in animal welfare and the needs of sun bears is also provided by the non-profit. 

To date, Sun Bear Outreach has helped to improve the living conditions of about 100 sun bears across Indonesia. Some bears have gone from living alone in less than 2 square meters to living with other bears in several thousand square meters of forest.


SAOLA SHOES x Sun Bear Outreach

Since the creation of SAOLA SHOES, our objective has always been to create a strong link with the non-profits we support. As you know, each year we donate 1% to the non-profit organization 1% For The Planet. 

All the non-profits we support are also part of this movement. In other words, through 1% For The Planet, we donate 1% to the 5 non-profits we have chosen to support, including Sun Bear Outreach. 


With the funds we raise throughout the year, we want to give Patrick the opportunity to build more shelters for sun bears, expand their living spaces, and improve their living conditions.



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