(Founder of 100 For All)
In partnership with 100 For All
Inspired by his years spent traveling internationally as a model, Chris Schortgen became inspired to build an organization dedicated to help bring clean water solutions to those who need it most. He founded 100 For All, a nonprofit addressing the global water crisis.
Water is the foundation of all known life on the Earth, but the access to clean water is a luxury that many are born without. 100 For All raises social consciousness about the water crisis, creates new strategies to promote water sustainability, and installs cost-efficient water treatment solutions to affected regions across the world.
What inspired you to start 100 For All?
There was a 72-hour period that really opened my eyes to the wide spectrum of walks of life. I was new to the fashion industry and just getting my feet wet attending all of these high end events. One night, I was at a club and witnessed over 100K spending at the table and was blown away that this was happening every night in clubs all around the world.
Fast forward to the next day, I was in Southeast Asia shooting a commercial and decided to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was at the border of Thailand and Cambodia that I witnessed some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen. This wasn’t my first trip overseas, nor was it my first time witnessing poverty, but this was the first time I witnessed families going to extreme lengths to work for unsafe water and a bowl of rice. It didn’t come to me immediately, but eventually after thinking about what resources are within my reach, I felt that I could use the bottle service environment to create a product that would become a vehicle to fundraise.
Water related deaths are the largest killer in the world and not due to a lack of solutions. It just seems to me if there are solutions, why haven’t those with resources helped those without to be able to have access to life’s most basic necessity. It doesn’t sit well with us after witnessing what millions of families across the globe go through daily, knowingly drinking unsafe water. If we can provide safe water, we can provide opportunities for girls and women who miss out on school due to water duties to have options in their life. Clean water directly furthers opportunities in education, economic, and quality of health.
What has been the biggest lesson you learned in starting your own nonprofit?
There’s 24 hours in the day for all of us. I think in the beginning, I wanted instant results and progress for 100 For All while also maintaining my career, social life and the rest of my hobbies. I kept an unhealthy pace for an impressive amount of time, but I inevitably burned out. I think accepting the process and enjoying the organic relationships and progress that’s developed is a healthier approach than what I think NYC hustle culture tells us we need to do. Some days will bring good news and others bad news, but as long as each day you take a step towards your goal, you’ll get there.
How would you describe your style?
My style is- dude who grew up at the beach, but now lives in Brooklyn but also has to attend fashion events. If it’s summer time I’m dressed down and ready for the next adventure, but I’m always ready to clean up for an evening red carpet event. I love the versatility of the Vega Moss frames for my personal style. They’re good to go in the summertime when I'm rocking Hawaiian shirts to the beach or now when I’m street styled in all black running around the city.
We created Elevated Fit® so that we could smile with confidence and feel comfortable in our own skin. What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence to me means being comfortable in your own skin, and not just how we’re looking on the outside. I think when we feel good about the work we do and who we surround ourselves with, it trickles into other aspects of our life with confident actions.
How can we get involved with 100 For All?
This year, our goal is to provide 1 million days of clean water in Cebu, Philippines, and we’re almost there! We’d love to grow our community to make that happen with some of our programs and campaigns. If you work in education, we’d love to partner with your school for our Next Gen Pen Pal program that connects students in the US with the schools we work with abroad. If you’re interested in attending one of our NYC events or donating just head to 100forall.org or follow us @100forall to find out when the next one is. Our “For All” mission means working together with everyone to make the world a better place, so feel free to message us with any creative ideas!
Anything you learned recently that blew your mind away?
Honestly the statistics that we learn hit pretty hard and make us feel pretty lucky, but one that sticks out to me is that one third of the world’s schools lack access to safe water. This is crazy to me personally because I moved around so much growing up. I attended 7 schools total and never once had to question the water quality so I think this stat gives me a perspective on how lucky I was growing up.
Favorite place I’ve traveled to? Yucatan, Mexico
Song of the moment? Brent Faiyaz- Trust
Frames I’m obsessed with? Vega Moss
Best advice I received? “Be good at the internet”
Emoji that best describes me?