Polartec, a Milliken & Company brand, and premium creator of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, launches a new digital campaign showcasing the diversity of those who share the universal love and joy of natural places. Headlined by a two-minute video set to Colors by the Grammy Award-nominated Black Pumas, the campaign features over 30 different outdoor enthusiasts wearing products from 16 different brand partners, and includes a website dedicated to promoting the many people from around the world who contributed to the effort.
Prior to initiating the project, Polartec convened an advisory council to listen to experiences, discuss potential issues and identify outcomes, ultimately finding a need for more stories featuring, and told by, diverse participants. With the aim to show how the joy of being outdoors can connect us all, Polartec shines a spotlight on diverse outdoor participants in an effort to increase participation and representation.
Created throughout the past year, the video is brought to life by 13 different filmmakers from six different territories (United States, Japan, France, India, Canada, and Navajo Nation). Matching a person and place to a specific color and capturing their bliss with being outside, the ambitious global project is a series of soulful portraits that show joy, comfort, and natural connections. Each filmmaker has their own assignment, outdoor activity, time of day, and set of lyrics in which to craft their piece of the narrative. Polartec also asked each filmmaker to turn the camera around and create footage of themselves.
Accompanying the video is a dedicated website that will serve as both a home for the video as well as the larger message of promoting diversity in front of––as well as––behind the camera, in an effort to drive work with more diverse outdoor participants. In this effort, the site includes a short bio, video clips and a Q&A to identify and share more about each filmmaker, including Abby Cooper, Dominique Granger, Evan Green, Gritchelle Fallesgon, Jason Edelstein, Jr. Rodriguez, Kopal Goyal, Renee Hutchens, Taylor Johnson, Textured Waves (Danielle Black Lyons, Chelsea Woody, Martina Duran), and Tom Carey.
“As an authentic part of the outdoor lifestyle, we wanted to show the true nature of outdoor enthusiasts as a diverse group of people who simply love being outside,” said David Karstad, Polartec VP of Marketing and Creative Director. “This has been true since the beginning of our industry, even if our industry hasn’t always done the best job including everyone in its storytelling. Opportunity and access are crucial steps to inclusion and inspiration. Steps that ensure there’s a next generation of passionate outdoor enthusiasts driven to share the stoke, advocate for nature, and conserve our collective right to enjoy it.”
The campaign will debut at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver, Colorado and continue to run on social media channels and other digital spaces frequented by outdoor enthusiasts.
“We see this project as a first step in a shift in how Polartec will go about ensuring diverse perspectives to help tell our stories now and in the future,” added Karstad.