The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), whose members include REI, Iron Mountain, Patagonia, The North Face and Timberland, is producing a new film series that shares the stories of outdoor companies using business to drive impact reduction and inspire the next generation of consumers and businesses to be stewards of the outdoors. The stories showcase unprecedented pre-competitive collaboration among the OIA Sustainability Working Group and explore topics such as sustainable materials sourcing, closed-loop models and supply chain transparency.
“Consumers are demanding a higher level of transparency and social consciousness from companies,” said Johnny Alamo, producer of the film series. “The outdoor industry — led by OIA’s Sustainability Working Group — is answering that call by suggesting that purpose is the new business imperative to achieve a values-driven future. The Outdoor Industry Film Series features culturally relevant storytelling that will drive brand awareness and revenue for our partners while inspiring the next generation to be conscious consumers and stewards of the outdoors.”
OIA Sustainability Working Group members REI and Patagonia have been at the helm of the purpose-driven business movement, putting their values-first approach into action with myriad efforts to call attention to pressing environmental issues, such as access to public lands and microfiber pollution. Timberland has also developed into somewhat of a beacon for sustainability with its extensive and far-reaching environmental initiatives that include planting 10 million trees and designing new products made from recycled materials. However, these are only a small sampling of the work being done by the industry to move forward the sustainability agenda.
“The member companies in the OIA Sustainability Working Group — competitors in the outdoor marketplace — have been working together for over 10 years to establish standards and improve practices in their shared global supply chains,” said Beth Jensen, OIA’s director of sustainable business innovation. “In that time, they’ve established the outdoor industry as a leader in collaboration and impact reduction. But how many consumers or even other industries, know about this work? It’s high time we start to tell the stories involved in these efforts, to raise awareness of the outdoor industry’s commitment to using business to drive impact reduction and to encourage others to follow suit.”
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The series’ host and featured athletes will introduce viewers to product designers, brand execs, retail employees and concerned consumers in order to explore where outdoor gear comes from, how and by whom it’s made and the footprint it leaves on the great outdoors.
Issues explored in the film series include how companies are sourcing materials sustainably; addressing challenges and opportunities regarding the use of chemicals and PFC; improving factory conditions; promoting animal welfare; identifying supply chain improvements and closing the loop via end-of-life solutions.
With each episode, viewers will also embark on a cultural adventure. They’ll meet the local people who make their outdoor gear and get a unique perspective of the inner workings of the supply chain, fostering a deep emotional connection with the featured sustainability-focused brands.