It’s that time of year ... when we give gifts to friends, family and non-profits. You can kill two birds with one stone (so-to-speak ... we actually don’t recommend killing birds) by shopping from small outdoor gear companies that give back.
Here are a few that are not only making awesome products, they’re also finding ways to better the world.
Eric Larson died in an accident shortly after Christmas in 2013. A group of his loved ones launched Fortitude Clothing Company
in his memory, just this month. The brand new Missoula, Montana-based company features t-shirts with a tree design. It promises to use profits to both re-invest in the company and donate to charities, foundations, scholarship programs and “folks we meet along the way who need some support and encouragement.”
2. Po Campo
When Maria Boustead couldn’t find a bag she could attach to her bike for her Chicago work commute that was stylish enough to carry with her into the office, she designed her own. Po Campo
started in 2009 and now offers an array of adorable, yet functional bags you can attach to your bike or sling over your shoulder as you go into work. The company is sharing its love of bikes with the world, partnering with World Bicycle Relief
. For every 25 bikes sold they donate the cost of a bike.
To read our review of Po Campo's Six Corners Handlebar Bag click here
3. Proof Eyewear
Boise, Idaho-based Proof Eyewear
started in 2011 with a core tenet of creating quality products that would do something good for the world. A portion of each purchase goes to help causes such as tsunami relief in Japan, child soldier rehabilitation in Africa, restoration in Haiti and building eye clinics in India.
When you buy a Kammok
Roo, a portable camping hammock, you get a great way relax and also help end Malaria. With every Roo, Dragonly (insect protection for you hammock), or Glider (portable rain protection for you hammock) purchase, Kammok donates to Malaria No More to provide life-saving treatment for five children with malaria in Africa. Kammok is also a member of 1% for the Planet
, investing at least 1 percent of total revenue to environmental and sustainable initiatives around the world.
5. Oboz footwear
“True to the Trail” is Oboz Footwear’s
motto. Created by a group of people who left big-brand corporate footwear jobs, the Bozeman, Montana company uses this motto to guide its business ethics and shoe design.
Oboz donates shoes through Project Sole
and to local charities. It also plants a tree for every pair of shoes they sell working with Trees for the Future
. The trees, planted in Africa, Asia and Latin America, provide shade, soil rehabilitation, windbreaks, medicine and mudslide control while also reducing carbon dioxide levels and increasing biodiversity worldwide.
Bonus: Yours truly, Garage Grown Gear
Here at Garage Grown Gear
we deeply admire companies with sustainable business practices, so much so that we want to do our part. We’re members of 1% for the Planet
and 1% for the Tetons
, which means we donate 1 percent of our revenue to support environmental causes. Yep, you heard right, not 1 percent of profits, but rather revenue.
We also have a special place in our heart for whitebark pine trees, using one for our logo. We plan to focus future efforts on helping to protect these important species.
What other small outdoor gear companies that give back do you love? Leave us a comment below.