The North Face Pledges $7 Millions To Diversify the Outdoors

The North Face Pledges $7 Millions To Diversify the Outdoors

Lena Waithe stars in the campaign...

Often taken for granted, most of us have always considered an escape into nature a freeing experience, and in 2020, a godsend. Particularly for us city dwellers, a morning run or distanced park picnic with friends has become the main source of relief in an otherwise stifling climate. Despite the apparent accessibility of the great outdoors, it is becoming more and more apparent that these spaces aren’t such a peaceful escape for communities of colour.


The world’s largest outdoor brand The North Face recognises this inequality of injustice, and in response is launching a new global initiative titled “Reset Normal”, pledging $7 million to diversifying the great outdoors, encouraging people everywhere to reset and progress through exploration.


In partnership with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, producer and actor Lena Waithe and The North Face Global athlete, climber and Academy Award-winning director Jimmy Chin, the Californian outerwear brand is launching the Explore Fund Council, bringing together passionate experts across culture, entertainment, academia and the outdoors to develop ideas and potential scalable solutions to support access to exploration. 


“For me, exploration has always been a mindset. As a creative I see myself as a constant, curious explorer and I believe everyone can have and should have access to this right,” says Lena Waithe. “The only real way to see change happen is by helping to create it yourself. I’m excited to work with The North Face and all the Explore Fund Council members so our collective perspectives can help diversify the outdoors and make it a more equal place for all.:


“Throughout my life, exploration has been a constant source of positivity. I truly believe it is part of what makes us all human, and that exploration can bring people together and change lives,” says Jimmy Chin, The North Face Global athlete. “Not everyone has the same access to or opportunity for outdoor adventure. This is an issue I’m excited to take on alongside The North Face and the other Explore Fund Council members.”


The Explore Fund, set to launch fully in Spring 2021, hopes to bring a new perspective to The North Face, and how the brand develops and funds the initiative. A diverse board will look to programs and charities that empower future explorers who have been denied access while addressing the need for an equitable era in exploration and the outdoors. 


“For ten years, we’ve been working to reset the barriers to exploration and make it more accessible for all through our Explore Funs,” says Steve Lesnard, Global VP of Marketing and Product for The North Face. “But 2020 has proven we need to radically accelerate that work and collaborate with a broad-reaching community to help us do so. We’re really excited to work alongside change makers like Lena and Jimmy, and I believe the Explore Fund council will help us foster a new, more equitable era for the outdoor industry.”


Check out the Reset Normal campaign film by Sid Lee, with a VoiceOver by Lena Waithe and music by Aloe Blacc.




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