History: The evolution of a Humanitarian Enterprise

History: The evolution of a Humanitarian Enterprise

2020

Vestergaard and LifeStraw grow into two companies connected by the same humanitarian entrepreneurship DNA.

 

2019

LifeStraw® Home, a water filter pitcher that addresses serious water quality issues in well-resourced nations is introduced. Is first LifeStraw product to enter home, lifestyle market.

 

2018

At the end of the year, the LifeStraw® Give Back program reaches over two million children.

 

2017

Vestergaard supports construction of a maternity ward at the Emusanda Health Center to provide high quality maternal and child health care to the community.
LifeStraw® Play for Kids, LifeStraw® Universal and LifeStraw Flex® lead LifeStraw’s entry into the mainstream consumer athleisure market.

 

2016

Vestergaard launches the independently run LifeStraw® Safe Water Fund to bring drinking water to victims following natural disasters and school children in vulnerable communities globally.

 

2015

Beginning this year and in all subsequent years, 100% of all LifeStraw® Guinea worm filters provided to The Carter Center are donated.

 

2014

Vestergaard launches a Give Back program through which, for every LifeStraw® purchased at retail, one school child in need receives safe water for an entire school year.
WHO recommends PermaNet® 3.0 LLIN, an advanced net with increased efficacy against insecticide resistant mosquitoes.

 

2013

LifeStraw® Go, a refillable water bottle incorporating LifeStraw® technology, is introduced as the first LifeStraw product targeting the outdoor consumer market in developed countries.

 

2012

Vestergaard starts a food security division to support sales of its ZeroFly® Screens, Targets and Traps that protect livestock from nuisance and deadly flies.
Vestergaard launches IR Mapper, an online tool to track insecticide resistance.
LifeStraw® Family 2.0 with a built-in safe storage container and the high-volume LifeStraw® Community water purifiers are introduced.
ZeroFly® Storage Bags are introduced as the first insecticide-incorporated storage bags to improve income, health and livelihood of smallholder farmers in developing countries by preventing pest infestations that cause post-harvest crop losses.

 

2011

The LifeStraw® Carbon for Water campaign uses carbon financing to provide 4 million people in Kenya with sustainable access to safe drinking water.
Vestergaard funds a state-of-the art vector research facility which launches within the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research at the University of Ghana.

 

2009

Vestergaard builds and finances the Emusanda Health Center to ensure that every person tested in the CarePack® campaign has access to health services, including HIV/AIDS treatment.

 

2008

The LifeStraw® Family water purifier is introduced for in-house use in developing countries.
Vestergaard conceives of and leads the pilot of an integrated prevention campaign, called CarePack®, in Kenya. It bundles health tools given away as an incentive for mass HIV testing.

 

2007

PermaNet® 3.0 LLIN is introduced as the first combination bed net with increased efficacy against malaria vectors resistant to current insecticides.

 

2005

Corporate headquarters are moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, closer to the multilateral development organizations served.
The award-winning portable LifeStraw® personal water filter evolves from the Guinea worm filter. It transforms dirty water into safe drinking water.

 

2004

PermaNet® 2.0 LLIN receives WHO recommendation.

 

2003

Vestergaard opens its first office in the US.

 

1999

Vestergaard creates a plastic pipe filter to strain out Guinea worm larva (and prevent Guinea worm disease) for The Carter Center.
The game-changing PermaNet® bed net, one of the first long-lasting insecticidal bed nets (LLINs), is introduced.

 

1997

Mikkel assumes leadership of Vestergaard. He sells the traditional clothing manufacturing operations to focus entirely on the humanitarian business.
Vestergaard is transformed from a sales organization into a research-driven company that adds value to textiles. Development is started on long-lasting impregnated mosquito bed nets.

 

1995

To support the humanitarian business, Vestergaard opens its first offices in Africa (Kenya) and in India (New Delhi).

 

1994

The portfolio of humanitarian products expands to include mosquito nets (for development aid) and plastic sheet and tents as temporary shelter following crises (for emergency aid).
Vestegaard begins working with The Carter Center, creating a simple mesh filter to remove Guinea worms from drinking water.

 

1993

Mikkel joins the family business, but pursues his humanitarian interest by starting a division focused on products for development and emergency aid. Tsetse fly traps to catch vectors carrying sleeping sickness and blankets for refugees are its first products.

Torben’s son Mikkel (Vestergaard’s current CEO) closes his business in Nigeria following a military coup and returns to Denmark.

 

1984

Kaj turns the business over to his son Torben, who had been working there since 1968.

 

1966

Kaj adds sewing equipment, and from then on, focuses solely on manufacturing. The weaving department is eventually sold.

 

1963

Kaj starts manufacturing clothes out of the woven fabric, doubles the number of looms, hires 4 people and engages contract sewing companies.

 

1957

Denmark farmer Kaj Vestergaard Frandsen starts a textile weaving company. It’s run by family members using six weaving looms.