KEEN partners with Below the Surface and River Network to engage with fans through community events and nonprofit projects
Since its inception, KEEN has been dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of its fans by creating original hybrid products and conducting business with a conscious.
Through its Hybrid.Care giving program, KEEN has partnered with non-profit organizations around the world that are working towards building stronger communities and a healthier planet. KEEN proudly stands behind its partners actively working to inspire responsible outdoor participation, and protect natural playgrounds through land and water conservation. KEEN believes in the power of a brand to inspire others to create positive change.
Now, KEEN is taking its commitment to making a difference a step further with the launch of Follow Your Feet, a campaign to show the brand’s fans and future fans how each individual action can add up to something bigger. This call-to-action campaign weaves together stories from inspiring KEEN ambassadors, deserving non-profit partners, and impactful community events.
“We’ve partnered with artists, adventurers and activists who have followed their feet, found their passions, applied their skills, and ultimately have done some pretty amazing things,” said Linda Balfour, director of marketing at KEEN. “We’re excited to share their stories.”
Follow Your Feet showcases immersive stories and projects that span different kinds of nature’s playgrounds:
The Riverview Project: Kristian Gustavson
Below the Surface launched the Riverview Project to capture street-view style, panoramic high-definition images and collect important data of 10 major rivers across the U.S. from their source to the sea. The primary goal of the project is to build the most comprehensive database of America’s waterways and to use this information to better protect and preserve their vitality. The nonprofit and project are led by KEEN ambassador oceanographer, researcher and explorer Kristian Gustavson, a surfer who was inspired to study and protect rivers after seeing plastic and other garbage polluting the ocean from upstream.
“This scientific research is fundamental in shaping policies around recreation and fishery management,” said Gustavson. “The more we learn and share about our rivers, the more we can inspire river recreation, and the better we can protect and preserve precious waterways across the country.”
To inspire other people to follow their passion for play and support causes that make a difference, KEEN floated alongside Gustavson and his team on the Sacramento River. KEEN is telling his story through a series of webisodes, with the first one was just release.
“Kristian has combined his expertise and education with his love of oceans, rivers and waterways to launch the Riverview Project,” said Balfour. “He is using streetview-like mapping technology and tools to provide the public with an unprecedented perspective on our precious rivers. KEEN is excited to share his story and work to inspire others to tap into the things they are passionate about to make a difference.”
The River Cleanup Tour
Follow Your Feet isn’t just about sharing the big stories. It’s also about enabling people to experience the joy of being part of giving back. This spring, KEEN inspired almost 7,000 people to follow their feet right into the water through the River Cleanup Tour. KEEN partnered with River Network to support and fund 14 river clean-ups across the U.S. through a give-with-purchase program at participating KEEN retail locations. KEEN donated $5 for every pair of KEEN.CNX shoes sold at participating retailers.
“KEEN’s commitment to protecting the places we play has been a pillar of our company from day one,” said Balfour. “We’re excited to announce that through partnership with many retailers we raised more than $35,000 for local water conservation non-profits.”
The River Network is a non-profit organization which helps to unite different river and watershed restoration and conservation organizations across the U.S.
The tour tally totals include:
- 14 river cleanups around the U.S.
- 6,906 volunteers
- 24,380 volunteer hours
- 76,440 pounds of trash collected
“KEEN is a great partner and we’re excited to see the positive impacts the cleanups will have on our nation’s rivers,” said Nicole Silk, president of River Network. “Beyond removing tons of trash and debris, programs like this help get new volunteers involved and inspired to make an on-going difference in their communities.”
Balfour added, “Our hope is that KEEN fans and future KEEN fans are inspired to forge a similar path as this ambassador and these nonprofits. We want to show how each individual action can add up to something bigger. Collectively, we can change the world one step at a time when we follow our feet.”
Click here for high-resolution photos of the Riverview Project on the Sacramento River.
Logo courtesy KEEN