When it comes to Earth Day, The North Face has a lot of reasons to mark the occasion. Their entire company is built on the idea of exploring and enjoying every corner of the planet we live on, so protecting it is in their best interest both as a corporate entity and as adventurers who appreciate things like breathable air, drinkable water, and clear skies.
In fact, the company appreciates the planet so much that it launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday, to give people time to connect with each other and the world around them.
“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,” explains Tim Bantle, Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, in an interview with Fast Company. “That’s why we are bringing together other companies and organizations to take a stand and commit to take time on Earth Day to explore and connect with our surroundings. Love for our planet comes from having the freedom to explore it and we hope that our Change.org petition will bring more attention and awareness to Earth Day and encourage people globally to unplug and explore.”
“We believe change starts within our own walls,” adds Bantle, which is why The North Face is leading by example while the petition is still gathering signatures (over 7,000 at the time of publishing). The brand is closing its 113 stores in the U.S. and Canada—for the first time in the brand’s history—on Earth Day to celebrate and honor the planet. “While we always encourage our employees to explore, by closing our stores on April 22, we are providing a crucially valuable asset—the time in which to do so,” says Bantle.
Of course, no holiday would be complete without a party, so The North Face is throwing one. It’s launching Explore Mode, a series of events and experiences taking place across NYC, the country, and the world in the week leading up to Earth Day.
There’s a performance by Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Ella Mai; The North Face retail locations in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and New York City, are opening “Exploration Hubs” in each store and hosting events; there are giveaways at stores in Rochester, Boulder, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. and more. Visit The North Face’s event page to learn more.
If, like us, you’re wondering how big global events impact the store’s mission to save the planet, according to Bantle, in 2018, The North Face announced a commitment to offset all greenhouse gas emissions from its events and expeditions in partnership with the Conservation Fund.
“These offsets will help protect and restore America’s forests by supporting reforestation efforts in Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas,” Bantle explains. “We will also have more news to share around this in 2019, aiming to create awareness around carbon footprints and the importance of offsetting to better protect our planet.”