Through the uncertain times, the outdoor industry is finding ways to stick together. And VF Corp., the parent company to several companies in the market, is working to support the Outdoor Industry Association.
VF Corp. — which owns standout outdoor brands including The North Face, Timberland and Altra — announced today that it is donating 15% of its Outdoor Retailer Summer Market refund to OIA.
Outdoor Retailer was scheduled to take place June 23–25 in Denver, however the event announced April 2 that the summer expo was canceled. Because of the cancelation, exhibitors received refunds, including VF brands. The Timberland parent said in the statement that the now canceled biannual industry event will create “a critical funding gap in OIA’s traditional revenue stream.”
VF Corp. stated the funds will support the small business members of OIA through providing tools, resources and advocacy to get through the coronavirus crisis. VF also said it will help sustain the association’s mission-driven work.
“While no company is immune to the impacts of COVID-19, we recognize there are disproportionate impacts on non-profit organizations like OIA,” Jen McLaren, president of VF-owned Smartwool president, said in a statement. “OIA is important to our industry and the work they do directly supports small businesses. We believe it’s important to support those who support our industry, and we want to make sure OIA can continue doing great work.”
OIA executive director Lise Aangeenbrug added, “We are extremely grateful that VF is stepping up to support the important work OIA does by providing a voice for the industry, resources, tools and guidance that help our 1,300 member companies, including many small businesses that depend on us for support. VF and its brands are true pillars of purpose-led leadership in our industry. We hope other brands will follow their lead and support us as we continue serving the outdoor industry.”
Although VF Corp. is the latest company to reveal its way to support the outdoor industry, it’s not the only one to reveal plans this week. Chaco, for instance, announced its new “Stay Home. Shop Local” dropship program that will give participating retailers the chance to offer its products online via Chacos.com, earning a percentage on every sale with Chaco handling the delivery and returns.