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Editor's pick sustainability

The North Face to shut stores on Earth Day and encourage exploration

The North Face is launching Explore Mode, a campaign encouraging its employees and customers to explore the outdoors during Earth Day (April 22). As part of the activation, the outdoor brand is also calling for the day to become a national holiday in the US.

On April 22, the brand is shutting down all 113 of its stores in the US and Canada to give its employees time to explore the outdoors. Meanwhile across the globe, the campaign will partner with musicians, artists and culinary influencers at major cities including London, Munich and Paris on a series of experiences.

From a weekend camping at the Mecklenburg lake district near Berlin to helping clean up Butler Memorial Sanctuary trails in New York, TNF searched for activities that would encourage its brand fans to unplug and learn more about the environment. All experiences can be booked via a dedicated page on the brand’s website.

This is the first time TNF has closed its stores for a cause, which aims to match a wider mission to inspire a global movement of exploration and adventure. “As a brand that has been enabling exploration for over 50 years, we believe that when people take time to appreciate and explore the earth, they feel more likely to protect it,” said Tim Bantle, global general manager of lifestyle at The North Face, to Fast Company.

Taking it one step further, the company has also launched a petition to make Earth Day an official national holiday in the US.

Outdoor brands from TNF to Patagonia are upping their efforts in order to bring attention to the importance of keeping the environment clean and sustainable by creating activations that foster a sense of wonderment emotional attachment.

For the past four years, REI has run #OptOutside, an award-winning campaign that sees all of its operations – from stores to factories – shut down on Black Friday in order to encourage employees and consumers to spend more time outside with family and friends, as well as ignite a conversation on overconsumption. REI’s 2018 numbers show the company’s strategy of closing stores on the busiest commerce day of the year is paying off: the co-op reached a record $2.78 billion in revenue, representing 6% growth.

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Campaigns Editor's pick

The North Face reaches global community with “Walls Are Meant For Climbing” campaign

The North Face

The North Face has expanded its “Walls Are Meant For Climbing” campaign this year, aiming to reach a global community of up to 100,000 people and re-evaluate perceptions of what walls represent.

The campaign supports the brand’s second installation of its annual “Global Climbing Day”, which will take place on August 18. Partnering with a multitude of indoor climbing spaces globally, the brand will offer free climbing lessons for anyone attending on the day, donating $1 per person to the non-profit The Khumbu Climbing Center in Nepal. It is also launching a limited edition collection available for purchase now.

According to the outdoor brand, the aim of the campaign is to create a community and reflect its founding values. “Since 1966, we’ve seen walls not as obstacles but as opportunities. They are mirrors that reflect the best versions of ourselves. Walls do not divide us, walls bring us together. Walls are meant for climbing.”

With this initiative The North Face aims to reach a much larger audience than in 2017, where the campaign attracted 20,000 people to participate in climbing activities globally.

It has also taken this as an opportunity to let female climbers tell the stories of how they started their journey of conquering walls.

Under the banner “Climbing, the Great Equalizer”, the brand has released a total of four inspirational videos, each illustrating a unique story from a diverse set of characters – featuring three female climbers and one male. This week’s release – which has so far been viewed over 300.000 times on YouTube –  tells the story of Monserrat Matehuala, who dedicates the video to “my brown girls from the ‘hood’.”

This links back to the brand’s efforts to celebrate female explorers with their “She Move Mountains” campaign launched in April.

 

Brands are upping the ante when speaking to their consumers in a way that mirrors their values and in particular, their anxieties, in modern societies. In a politically charged landscape, encouraging positive activism is an increasingly important tool – as also seen by Patagonia’s Action Works platform which encourages charitable behavior.

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Campaigns Editor's pick

The North Face celebrates female explorers with campaign to inspire future generations

The North Face "Moves Mountains"
The North Face “Moves Mountains”

The North Face has launched its first-ever campaign focusing on women and celebrating the achievements of female explorers around the world.

Move Mountains is an initiative that aims to empower the next generation of explorers by highlighting the stories of courageous and adventurous women, and by partnering on a multi-year outdoor adventure collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

The campaign features a series of short videos telling the stories of trailblazing women including alpinist Hilaree Nelson, climbers Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes, and ultrarunner and activist Fernanda Maciel. The North Face is also featuring women who are paving the way in their respective fields including NASA scientist Tierra Guinn Fletcher, musician and activist Madame Gandhi and women’s rights advocate, America Ferrera.

According to Tom Herbst, global vice president of marketing at The North Face, the theory behind Move Mountains was simple: if women and girls could see female explorers represented more widely, it will create a new generation of female role models.

As part of the initiative, The North Face has made a commitment to represent women equally in all advertising, social media and content moving forward.

The Move Mountains initiative is also being applied to the internal business with increased investment in women’s product design, a renewed focus on employee development and an ensured closure of the gender pay gap on the athlete team. The brand will also be expanding their Explore Fund grants to $750,000 with a new program focused on enabling female exploration.

Inspiring a new generation of explorers is a cornerstone of the campaign and The North Face is collaborating with GSUSA to enable women to further push the boundaries. The collaboration includes the creation of 12 new Girl Scouts outdoor adventure badges, with skills ranging from mountaineering, backpacking, hiking and trail running.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Valentino’s Instagram strategy, YNAP and IBM team up, Lacoste’s AR book

Valentino_instagram

Beyond Paris Fashion Week, and on past SXSW, here’s your round-up of the latest fashion and technology stories to know from the month of March…


  • In the age of the algorithm, top Instagram brand Valentino needs to rethink its strategy [Digiday]

  • Yoox Net-a-porter Group, IBM partner on software, tech development [WWD]

  • Lacoste enriches its brand campaign with augmented reality book [PSFK]

  • The North Face to launch insanely smart Watson-powered mobile shopping app next month [Venture Beat]

  • True Religion is equipping its sales staff with Apple watches [Apparel News]

  • ‘It can bottle our energy’: Why Bloomingdale’s is going all in on Snapchat [Digiday]

  • Bloomingdale’s spurs branded conversation through emoji app [Luxury Daily]

  • Why Uniqlo is now selling through mobile shopping app Spring [Fashionista]

  • American Apparel offering on-demand delivery via Postmates partnership [TechCrunch]

  • Alibaba spreads its wings into VR sector [China Daily]

  • L’Oreal creates unbranded content hub to woo beauty fans [AdAge]

  • Net-a-Porter’s digital chief on how brands can get up close and personal to consumers [Marketing Magazine]

  • In the store of the future, your shopping bag connects to the internet [Fast Company]

  • How do you bring personalised shopping technology to stores? Adobe has an idea [Fashionista]

  • More influencers, fewer posts: How Instagram’s algorithm will affect fashion brands [Digiday]

  • In the future, Instagram and Facebook could be amongst the largest retailers online [WWD]

  • To big brands, from a millennial: Snapchat filters are where it’s at [AdAge]

  • How Pinterest knows who’s down to shop and who isn’t [AdAge]

  • Personal shopping services seek scale [BoF]


  • Brotailers market to millennial men who hate to shop [BrandChannel]

  • Venture capitalists: e-commerce funding to tighten [WWD]

  • Flush with tech wealth, San Francisco warms to fashion [BoF]

  • E-commerce in Brazil gets more mobile [eMarketer]

  • FedEx to expand e-commerce reach in China, Japan [WSJ]