You know Merrell. The shoe brand has become synonymous with well-fitting, well-priced outdoor footwear that simply works, right out of the box. They brought you the iconic Moab, a hiking shoe that has been worn by nearly 20 million people, and a range of hiking, trail running, work, and casual footwear.
2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Merrell as a company. And to celebrate Merrell has launched Future 40, a program that focuses on the next 40 years of the brand’s growth and impact. The next 40 years for Merrell will be focused on supporting the next generation of outdoor lovers: the movement and community that is centered on inclusivity, sustainability, and empowerment.
See how Merrell is planning for the #Future40, below.
Merrell and Partners Continue to Break Down Barriers
Throughout 2020 Merrell focused on highlighting the voices in the outdoor community that are breaking down barriers. And this was just the start — in the Future 40 campaign Merrell will continue to work with these voices, showcasing a range of people and movements that speak up for justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the outdoors (and the world).
Merrell has partnered with Jenny Bruso and Unlikely Hikers, a “diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community” that gives a voice to the people who are traditionally underrepresented in the outdoors. They launched a shoe, the Zion Mid X Unlikely Hikers, to kick off this partnership, but it goes way beyond footwear. From representation to ambassadorship, Merrell works with Unlikely Hikers to bring true liberation to the outdoors.
Merrell is also partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help get more young people into the outdoors. They will provide gear and financial support to the organization, known throughout the U.S. for pairing young people in need with adult mentors, while also focusing on creating outdoor exploration experiences for children who would otherwise not have an opportunity.
And they will continue to partner with We Hike to Heal – Outdoor Journal Tour, an organization that helps women dive deeper into their personal development and growth by hiking through beautiful landscapes.
Each of these partners aims to bring more people outdoors in a comfortable, accepting, life-enriching way — which is the core tenet of Future 40.
Protecting the Environment is Essential
Environmental preservation and sustainability has always been inextricably linked with diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, but 2020 highlighted just how critical this link was. Merrell has been supporting the protection of natural spaces for many years, and Future 40 aims to enhance that support for the next generations and beyond.
This includes a Pinnacle Membership with The Conservation Alliance, a commitment from Merrell’s team to clean up 40 trails during the summer of 2021, and a Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
This Report is critical because it will not only show the impact Merrell is having, which gives them opportunities to improve, but it will provide clear methods of success and operational functionality for other brands to follow.
To Another 40 Years
The engine that drives Merrell is, of course, footwear. Along with these partnerships the brand will continue to innovate, collaborate, and incorporate best practices of footwear manufacturing for a positive impact on underrepresented communities and the environment.
This article is sponsored by Merrell.
All images courtesy Merrell.
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