SmartWool Steps Up for Parks4Kids

SmartWool is offsetting all of its employees' time inside at this summer's Outdoor Retailer by purchasing one Parks4Kids Give Back Badge for each attendee on its roster.

By Stasia Raines July 5, 2016

Years ago, Outdoor Foundation and the organizers of Outdoor Retailer hatched the idea of a Give Back Badge, a recurring program that would give OR attendees the chance to support an important industry cause at each show. This year, the Give Back Badge is finally launching and will support what is, arguably, one of our industry’s most crucial initiatives—youth engagement. This year, everyone who makes the $15 Give Back pledge at registration (online and in-person at the show) will get a commemorative badge signifying their commitment to growing the future generation of outdoorists. Money raised will go directly to Outdoor Foundation’s Parks4Kids program.

In a powerful gesture of support, SmartWool encouraged its employees to contribute individually, but the company also committed to buying one Give Back badge for each of its 275 employees. That money has gone toward 11 different Parks4Kids projects so far. We asked SmartWool’s Advocacy Co-Lead Andrew Bisbee why this was so important to the company.  

OIA: SmartWool was one of the first supporters of the Parks4Kids program. Why did you decide to get behind it in such a powerful way?

Andrew Bisbee: SmartWool is passionate about getting kids outdoors- it’s an important focus for our advocacy program. The Parks4Kids program is a great way to impact small groups that support getting kids outdoors and we’re excited the OIF is embracing this effort. 

OIA: The Give Back Badge program will give every individual in our industry the opportunity to get involved with the program. Why do you think that is important?

AB: We’re big supporters of this program. Small changes can make a big impact: for a donation of just $15 per person, we could get as many as 35,000 kids outside in nature and enjoying our parks.

OIA: Why is this initiative important to you, personally?

AB: It’s pretty simple, really. I believe that future generations need to: 1. Love the outdoors, 2. Support and protect our national parks and outdoor places and 3. Live active and healthy lives.

OIA: What will you do with your badge after the show?

AB: I will use it to explain to my two children what the program is, to show how people are trying hard to do good things for others and our natural places and also how important this sort of program is to our future.

You can register for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at You’ll have the option to purchase a Give Back Badge for yourself or your entire team.