We’re out there with you. On the winding trails. In the deep, cool of the forests. In the wind blowing across the great open spaces. High up on the knife edge of a ridge. We love to wander through the woods watching the fall leaves spiral to the ground. We push ourselves to be faster and better, feeling the rush of breath in our lungs as we summit a peak. We hold hands on soft snowy trails, and kneel down next to our kids to inspect a centipede or teach them the name of a trillium.
Like you, we can’t imagine a world without these outdoor spaces − the places where we can get lost and find ourselves again, unplug so we can reconnect, push the limits only to find out we can go further than we ever imagined. That’s why the ethos of conservation and the commitment to preserve and protect our public lands was woven into the fabric of our company from the beginning.
“The idea that the outdoor experience is both unique and valuable for every person is a core belief here at Farm to Feet” said Dane Nester, Creative Lead at Farm to Feet. “Trails create vital connections between people and communities. Whether you’re a hardcore trail runner, or someone who relaxes by walking with your kids in the woods after work, there’s something out there for you. By making the world’s best socks, we fulfill the most essential part of our mission – to support people in finding and enjoying their own trail.”
THE CONSERVATION ALLIANCE
The Conservation Alliance's mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.
Founded in 1989 by four of the outdoor industry’s most iconic brands – REI, Patagonia, The North Face, and Kelty – The Conservation Alliance has grown to more than 230 brands.
The Conservation Alliance advocates for the protection of public lands in three different ways. The first is through the allocation of grants. 100% of membership dues go into the grant fund, grant applicants are nominated by The Conservation Alliance membership, and twice a year, members receive a ballot where they vote for their top 10 picks from a slate of finalists, narrowed down by The Conservation Alliance staff members and board.
The second is through direct political advocacy. Once a grant has been funded, The Conservation Alliance then takes an active role representing the collective voice of its members to advocate for and support the project. That advocacy work includes letters to elected officials signed by member companies, other letter writing campaigns, getting opinion pieces published as editorials in local, regional, and national newspapers, and social media action. But the most direct political advocacy comes when the Conservation Alliance assembles its members, and outdoor industry leaders in Washington, DC for a day of direct political action. Participants receive a full day of training, and then divide up into teams to speak directly with members of Congress about the importance of public lands and to advocate for specific conservation bills and legislation.
The third is through a separate grant fund created in 2016 specifically to support political and policy advocacy, the Public Lands Defense Fund. “Following the election, we anticipated unprecedented attacks on public lands,” said Blackburn. “Our response was to increase our advocacy capacity.”
FARM TO FEET U.S. BASED CONSERVATION PARTNERS
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
As the guardians of the Appalachian Trail, the ATC’s role is to preserve and protect the AT. Their work encompasses everything from trail maintenance to public policy work, to protecting and preserving the land around the AT, beyond simply the footpath.
The two biggest threats facing the AT right now are overuse and increased development pressure on the land around the trail. While the footpath itself is protected, the small communities that are the lifeblood of the trail are getting squeezed out as property values shoot sky high.
As a company producing 100% American Made socks, supporting local economies is something we are deeply committed to, and we’re excited to be collaborating with the ATC to strengthen the connections between AT users and the local communities the trail connects.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks.
Largely volunteer-powered, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the growing community of members and volunteers who support the trail. They work statewide building and maintaining the trail, encouraging communities to create new sections of trail, and helping people hike it.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail directly ties together communities, important cultural and historical landmarks, iconic parks, rivers, streams, lakes and protected outdoor spaces – islands of nature and beauty – all connected by one simple footpath. It is the very essence of the open places and public lands we are committed to protecting, so that no matter where you live, you have the opportunity to seek out and follow your own trail.