As an outdoor public relations agency, we’re all about putting sustainable decisions over the bottom line. That’s why we started our Stand Up Initiative, a pro bono program supporting environmental-based nonprofits and nonprofits working to promote diversity and inclusion in the outdoors through a mix of public relations and digital marketing. It’s also why we value working with clients who make environmentally-friendly products, lead impactful sustainability initiatives, or work to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming to all.
But what if we told you that making sustainable decisions could actually increase your bottom line? A 2017 study shows that 87% of consumers have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues; 88% are more loyal to such a company; 87% would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity; and 92% are more likely to trust such a company. This study highlights what countless others have shown: if brands want to thrive in 2020, they need to care about the social and environmental impact of their decisions.
Need some inspiration? We’ve highlighted 6 of our brands who are leading the charge in making environmentally-friendly products, implementing impactful sustainability initiatives, or working to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming to all.
Appalachian Gear Company
Appalachian Gear Company’s high-performance garments are made entirely from alpaca fiber. That means no synthetics, no harsh chemicals, and, best of all, no microplastics. These tiny plastic particles are small enough to be carried by the wind or born by water currents, making them difficult to detect, hard to trace, and virtually impossible to clean up. And synthetic garments are a major culprit—an astounding 35% of microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic textiles. That’s why Appalachian Gear Company came up with a solution: an all-natural alpaca fleece that has all the same performance characteristics as synthetic alternatives without any of the environmental side effects.
Long known for eliminating toxic PVC foam from the PFD industry, Astral is now on a mission to design footwear with the smallest environmental footprint with its line of hemp shoes. Hemp is grown without pesticides or herbicides, grown without fertilizers, and requires 21% less water to grow than cotton does. Not to mention it’s naturally antimicrobial, extremely durable, and UV-resistant…so you get all of the performance, but none of the guilt.
Ignik makes high quality, environmentally thoughtful heating products for the wilderness. The brand’s signature Gas Growler is a refillable no-waste alternative to the single-use green propane bottles—48 million of which clutter landfills each year. Meanwhile, their Air Activated Sleeping Bag Warmers, Hand Warmers, Phone Warmers, and Tablet Warmers are 98% biodegradable—their contents can be composted after use! As a member of 1% for the Planet, Ignik supports the work of the Alaska Wilderness League, Ice911, and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.
Ombraz builds carbon-negative, armless sunglasses that solve a problem and serve a purpose. Through its Ombraz Shade Project, the brand partners with the Eden Reforestation Project to plant 20 mangrove trees for every pair of sunglasses sold. Over a 5 year period, 20 trees sequester nearly 3X the amount of carbon emitted to produce and deliver a pair of Ombraz to your doorstep. As a member of 1% for the Planet and a Carbon Neutral Certified brand, Ombraz takes it a step further, sequestering a total of roughly 330x the amount of carbon emitted to produce and deliver each pair of sunglasses.
Sustainability takes many forms. LifeSaver’s water purifiers answer a global need for clean drinking water, both for families and communities living without access to clean water and for in-the-field aid workers to use while operating in remote areas. LifeSaver works directly with NGOs, charities, and governments who deploy LifeSaver products through their emergency response efforts and planned programs.
Since 1965, Sierra Designs has pledged to create gear for adventurers of all backgrounds, experience levels, and budgets. This year, the brand took its mission to the next level by introducing Reach Out, an interdisciplinary initiative designed to increase accessibility and participation in the outdoors. Throughout 2020, Sierra Designs has partnered with four nonprofits—Big City Mountaineers, SheJumps, Black Girls Trekkin’, and Nature Bridge—committed to making the outdoors more accessible and welcoming to all. In addition to donating 1% of all web sales and $2,000 in gear per quarter, Sierra Designs provides each nonprofit with education, event support, and awareness-raising messaging. Additionally, Sierra Designs new apparel line for Fall ’20 uses recycled materials and fabrics that are PFC free.
If you want to learn how Darby can assist your brand with your cause-marketing, drop us a line HERE. You can also go HERE to learn more about the successes we’ve had for our clients in both public relations and digital marketing.