In the world of eco-friendly activewear, partnerships with environmental organizations are causing brands to make major strides in the sustainability space. Though brands are increasingly becoming more dedicated to better practices such as using recycled materials, some are looking externally as well to help mitigate their impact. 

One vendor making this effort is Buff, the headwear and neckwear brand that recently strengthened its partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW) to continue to advocate for climate change awareness and its effect on outdoor sports. 

“POW’s mission aligns perfectly with our company’s purpose and inspiring everyone to ‘Do More Now,’” says global marketing director Thierry Peuchot. “Acting now is crucial if we want things to change and joining forces with meaningful organizations will only amplify our common message,” 

POW for the Environment

POW is a non-profit founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007. The organization’s purpose is to affect systemic solutions for climate change by creating a community of athletes, outdoor enthusiasts and advocates working to protect the environment and the outdoor sports industry. Buff’s partnership with the organization will increase its financial support of POW to $50,000 this year. 

Runners will be among the first to benefit from the partnership. The increased contribution from Buff gives includes an exclusive collection that is entirely dedicated to POW to sport on their next run. Featuring the brand’s EcoStretch Multifunctional Neckwear, the new collection is designed by artist and outdoor guide, Jess Gilbert.

 “As we accelerate our sustainability program, it made complete sense for us to up the stakes and commit to a global partnership with POW,” says Peuchot. 

The new neckwear designs created by Gilbert include representations of humans, the elements and earth’s playground. Each piece is made out of two recycled plastic bottles and consists of 95 percent recycled Repreve microfiber. 

The Retail Connection

While this new collection was made with both the environment and runners in mind, retailers can get excited about the environmental partnership as well. As customers become more eco-conscious, collaborations between brands and non-profits have become a big selling point.

“We find that our specialty retailers are the trendsetters in their markets and are important for spreading awareness directly to the consumer on important topics such as Protect Our Winters, who is equally focused on protecting our summers and winters,” says Casey Rolig, Buff’s North American media communications manager.

By increasing their awareness at the retail level, runners can become more knowledgeable about the products they shop and ensure their business goes to brands that have their best interests at heart.

“Runners, especially mountain and trail runners, depend on a healthy trail system, so support of POW means support of their playgrounds,” adds Rolig. “It’s not just an organization focused on climate change for more snowfall each year. It’s all connected. 

“The POW collection gives the retailer something to talk about that’s unique, with fun designs, and it helps support POW, as Buff is now a global contributor at the $50,000 level annually.”