Back in December, just hours after President Trump announced his administration’s plan to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah, outdoor brand and retailer REI responded with a “We ❤️Our Public Lands” graphic that linked to a corporate statement condemning the act.
It was a bold move that not only made clear REI’s stance on the political issue at hand, but also its commitment to sustainability and the environment.
And now, REI is doubling down its efforts in becoming your favorite eco-conscious brand with another announcement this week: a new set of sustainability guidelines for suppliers and every brand it carries in its stores. Many are calling the new requirements a first in the outdoor industry, with the prediction it’ll have impact for years to come.
The plan — announced here and detailed here — outlines an exacting set of baseline standards that speak to a range of sustainability challenges, from chemical usage, animal welfare and environmental protections, all the way down to organically grown cotton.
In a press release, Adam Siegel, Senior Vice President of Research, Innovation and Sustainability for the Retail Industry Leaders Association applauded the new standard, saying the “effort to advance sustainability across an entire vendor base is among the most comprehensive in the U.S. retail industry.” He added, “by going so broad with requirements for their suppliers and approaching this with such a spirit of collaboration, REI has not only moved their own operations forward, but they’ve raised the bar for the entire industry.”
REI notes that all brands carried on the web and at its stores — which number 154 brick-and-mortars in 36 states — must meet the standard requirements by 2020.