ROOM TO BREATHE: With getting outdoors being top-of-mind for many as summer approaches, Free People has finalized a yearlong partnership with the National Park Foundation to help draw attention to the national parks.
As part of the deal, the Philadelphia-based company has donated $100,000 to the foundation and will be encouraging consumers to get out in the open air through monthly community events. A launch celebration was held at the Joshua Tree National Park highlighted with wellness events, a guided hike and farm-to-table meals. In addition, Free People plans to donate 25 cents from every transaction to the NPF, when a customer opts to not have a shopping bag or uses a reusable one in stores. Brands are increasingly championing wellness and sustainability to appeal to environmentally minded shoppers.
Chartered by Congress in 1967, the NPF raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts among other things. L.L. Bean is also helping shoppers find the national parks. Last summer the Maine-based company extended its support with a multi-year $3 million premier partnership with the National Park Foundation for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. L.L. Bean’s site notes how most Americans live within 100 miles of one. There are 417 park sites across all 50 states and five U.S. territories, including monuments, preserves, lakeshores and seashores. As L.L. Bean’s site notes, “That’s 85 million acres of land and waters, 18,000 miles of trails and over 11,000 miles of shoreline to hike, bike, fish, swim or just relax and enjoy the view.”
The obstacle race Spartan has joined forces with the performance-oriented clothing brand Craft Sportswear to create competition-ready footwear. The $140 Spartan RD Pro by Craft shoe is designed to deal with drainage, grip, speed and endurance, during obstacle course racing.
In New York City, the landlocked city dwellers get a glimpse of nature at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, where “Nature — Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” is on view through Jan. 20. The exhibition features 62 global projects that showcase how designers are teaming up with scientists, engineers, and environmentalists to develop solutions to humanity’s challenges. Terreform ONE’s Monarch Sanctuary, for example, proposes transforming the facades of skyscrapers into sanctuaries for the orange-winged butterfly.