So last week REI made a new promo video about getting more women in the outdoor industry. After doing a survey they found that women want to be outdoors more but have a hard time being taken seriously. Wanting to make the outdoors a playground for men and women they are trying to encourage women to get out there more. Starting on Saturday May 6th all REI stores will have a class or outing of some kind for women only.
They have come up with four points to help get the word out and spread their message. To begin with they are going to focus on sharing more stories of women in the outdoors. They even partnered with Outside Magazine to have an all female issue. If you haven’t checked out their YouTube channel I would do so. They have some videos from 3-20 minutes that will give you some inspiration to get outside and challenge yourself.
They are trying to have more women only classes, starting with the May 6th launch. They even have outings that you can do with them. I’ve looked in the Outessa Retreats, I would love to go but don’t have the money this year. It is pricey but I think it would be worth it to meet women around the country that share the same love for the outdoors as me and have that community.
Making gear better for women is a huge thing. I wasn’t big into the outdoors as a kid so I don’t know what it looked like in the 80s and 90s but from what I’ve gathered it use to just look like a men’s size small covered in pink. While now the store is balanced as far as floor space there is still more work to be done. They are working not only on their own brand but also brands that they carry to have more extended sizes. I read in one article that we should start seeing plus size clothing this fall. This is a huge thing for me because currently there are no plus size clothing in the stores. The online section is a joke too. I’m excited to see what they have coming and to try it on.
Lastly they are looking to donate money to help charities that encourage young girls to get outside. They even have a limited edition bandana that they will be selling later this spring.
I’ve read some where else that they think it is just a ploy to get more money. While yes it is a marketing strategy just like #OptOutside was a few years ago. But this is also a response from corporate that they hear the customers demands and are working to improve it. I’m all for women getting outside, I mean that is the reason for this blog after all.