KEEN is an independent outdoors brands driven by an ambition to create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outdoor adventure. Founded back in 2003 in Portland, Oregon, KEEN launched a revolution in the footwear industry by introducing an innovative range of products, whilst developing a business model that strived to give back to the world.
KEEN’s business model aims to show the world that a business for good can actually be good for business. By giving back, reducing impact, and activating communities and individuals to protect the places where we work and play, KEEN puts its values in motion and takes action to leave the world a better place. In their relatively short history, KEEN have donated more than $17 million to non-profit organisations and causes around the world to promote responsible outdoor recreation, and land and water conservation.
This year, with a renewed vigour and commitment to ‘taking action’, KEEN wanted to do their bit in protecting the places we play, supporting communities in need and reducing the impact that humans have on the World. To achieve this, KEEN wanted to address our polluted waterways by teaming up with the World’s first professional plastic fishing company, Plastic Whale, for the “Better Takes Action Boat Tour”.
Plastic Whale is a social enterprise that was started in 2011 with a mission: make the World’s waters plastic-free and create value from plastic waste with as many people as possible. Their initial project started with a single challenge to build a boat made of plastic waste. Today, Plastic Whale have a fleet of ten design boats made from Amsterdam Canal Plastic. The overall goal of Plastic Whale is to actually go ‘out of business’, as the overfishing of plastic would ultimately end the plastic pollution that exists within our waters.
This month, KEEN and Plastic Whale completed their Better Takes Action Boat Tour which visited key European Cities throughout the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. The tour was designed to educate and raise awareness of sustainability issues, and to inspire and engage fans of the KEEN brand to get outside and proactively protect outdoor spaces together. During the tour, local fans, partners and friends were invited to join the brand on a plastic ‘fishing excursion’ to help clean up polluted waterways, the finds of which would be harvested, recycled and subsequently repurposed for a future life, courtesy of Plastic Whale.
The campaign originally kicked off on April 5th in KEEN’s European home, the Netherlands, which saw the boat making its maiden voyage on the Capital’s canals in Amsterdam. KEEN was joined by local volunteers, friends, partners and brand ambassadors, including record breaking paddle-boarder and founder of ‘Paddle Against Plastic’, Cal Major, who enjoyed an afternoon fishing and helping to keep the cities canals free of plastic. The campaign came to its end in London on the 14th July, with a fleet in boats, kayaks and paddle-boards clearing plastic from the Regents Canal.
Marketing Director, Perry Laukens, KEEN EMEA commented; “Preserving and protecting the places where people work and play in the outdoors has always been at the heart of who we are as a brand, so we are thrilled to be working with partners like Plastic Whale & Cal Major, who are sharing so many of our values. Over the years we have endeavoured to always lead by example, supporting and engaging with a variety of interventions including beach and mountain clean ups and donating funds and products for disaster relief across the world. We hope through the Better Takes Action Boat tour we can encourage and foster environmental actionism and in particular by aiming to work with children and young people during the tour, KEEN can also help to nurture a future generation of planet stewards.”
Details of KEEN’s 2020 campaigns will follow in due course, but for now you can follow the links below to learn more about KEEN, Plastic Whale and Paddle Against Plastic.