Red Wing Shoe Company is pushing back on the trend to use Labor Day as a consumer spending moment.
The Minnesota-based boot maker announced today that it will not hold a promotional event during the long weekend and instead aims to “honor the intended spirit of the holiday” by giving back to workers.
On Labor Day (Sept. 5), Red Wing has pledged to donate 100% of its profits that day to organizations that support men and women in the trades, including Helmets to Hardhats, a nonprofit that transitions military service members to careers in construction; TradesFutures, which connects underrepresented workers to apprenticeship programs; WINTER (Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles), an organization that prepares women for opportunities in construction; as well as BuildStrong Academy and Construction Career Pathways.
In a statement, Dave Schneider, chief marketing officer at Red Wing, said, “Labor Day is such a a meaningful and important holiday for the people who make this country what it is. We felt it was important to try to reclaim the meaning of this holiday and bring the attention back to where it belongs.”
Labor Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1894 to celebrate the contributions of American laborers. According to the Labor Department, the first proposal for the holiday suggested that the day be marked by a street parade to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community.
However, in recent years, thanks to its placement on the calendar during the back-to-school season, Labor Day has become an important opportunity for retailers and brands to drive revenue with discounts and sales promotions.
For Redwing though, that’s not the message they’re sending out: “Red Wing believes that the work done by trades workers in our country should be honored, not depreciated, especially on Labor Day,” the company said in a statement.