We have three key initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to support outdoor education and conservation. Each of these projects includes multiple partners, international scope, and address critical global issues at a local level. Please see the descriptions below to learn more about these dynamic partnerships.
Seagrass Recovery Program
Columbia Sportswear and the Ocean Foundation are working to preserve the "nursery of the sea" through the Seagrass Grow Campaign.
Seagrass beds are home to dozens of animals, including fish, shellfish, eels, and seahorses; in fact, 70% of marine life is dependent on seagrass at some stage in their life cycle. Unfortunately, a single boat prop can create a scar that can eliminate an entire seagrass meadow.
The Seagrass Grow campaign is proactively restoring sections of damaged seagrass beds while educating boaters and other resource users how to minimize their impact and raise their props.
Skin Cancer Foundation
Columbia is partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) to help educate consumers how to safely enjoy the outdoors. SCF is the only international organization devoted solely to combating the world’s most common cancer, now occurring at epidemic levels. More than a million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year.
Our Omni-Shade line has earned the SCF’s Seal of Recommendation which is awarded to ultraviolet (UV) protection products with a minimum of UPF 30 that meet their specific criteria. Columbia Sportswear is the first international large apparel company to hold the seal.
The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will hit the road in March, offering free full body skin cancer screenings conducted by local board-certified dermatologists. The 38-foot customized RV will stop at participating Rite Aid stores and other locations in order to provide early detection services to thousands of people.
The tour is expected to screen more than 10,000 people and will visit more than 50 cities at 100 different locations across the country. Please see the widget below to identify a tour stop in your area. The screenings will take place in one of two private rooms and are quick, easy and potentially life-saving. The tour will provide printed informational materials and sunscreen samples to help protect skin.
In addition, we have partnered with the SCF to produce 'Rays' Awareness: Science of Sun Safety curriculum designed for 5th and 6th grade students. This curriculum has been distributed throughout the Southern United States and is available for download here.
Getting Kids Outside
At Columbia, we have a passion for the outdoors. Sadly, many young adults and children do not share this connection to the outdoors. Recent studies have found that the average child spends 35 hours a week in front of the television. Less than 25% of school-aged children participate in daily physical activity. Only 34% of those between the age of six and 24 reported participating in outdoor activities.
We are working with a diverse group of partners around the world to improve these statistics and create opportunity for kids to go outside. Our support includes providing “clothes closets” of outdoor apparel so that young people can concentrate on their surroundings rather than any discomfort. We proudly partnered with the North American Association of Environmental Educators to sponsor the first ever scholarship directed towards a teacher and administrator who have been able to sustain an outdoor education program during difficult economic times.
We are also actively supporting America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and co-hosted a regional listening session in 2010 which identified proposed strategies to increase youth participation in the outdoors.