North American technical fabric maker Polartec has just unveiled a brand new digital diversity campaign with an upbeat video at the heart of it.
Filmed by 13 different artists across six different territories around the world and accompanied by music from the Grammy Award-nominated Black Pumas, the edit shows 30 outdoor enthusiasts undertaking a range of different activities, from running and hiking, to mountain biking and climbing.
“The project began as an expression of different people enjoying the outdoors,” explains Steve Layton, Polartec’s President. “We see this is one of the primary benefits of our fabrics; enabling people to experience the outdoors, and most importantly, have a good time”.
The idea for the project and the video itself came about after Polartec assembled a special advisory board history of POC members of the outdoor community.
“From this meeting the project’s larger purpose became clear,” explains Layton. “A commitment to featuring diverse outdoor enthusiasts is made more legitimate by expanding opportunities for the diverse perspectives of storytelling. And by depicting the authentic joy shared by people who love nature, we inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts to take their rightful place in the outdoor community. While a lone video project can’t solve a decades-long lack of representation, it’s the start of how we’re changing our approach going forward.”
Layton believes one of the problems the industry has had over the years is that it’s been “too focussed on those who are already enthusiasts”. He says that this “didn’t leave much room to attract a more diverse audience”.
He does, however, believe that the industry is moving in the right direction. “There is a real desire to understand and build messaging and programming that’s welcoming to all communities, to reach out to participants of all abilities, and for companies to diversify their workforces,” he says. “I think the brands that call the outdoors home take this challenge seriously. It’s a welcome force.”
Accompanying the video is a dedicated website that will serve as both a home for the video as well as the larger message of promoting diversity in front of – as well as behind – the camera in an effort to drive work with more diverse outdoor participants. The site also includes a short bio, video clips and a Q&A to identify and share more about each filmmaker, including Abby Cooper, Dominique Granger, Evan Green, Gritchelle Fallesgon, Jason Edelstein, Jr. Rodriguez, Kopal Goyal, Renee Hutchens, Taylor Johnson, Textured Waves (Danielle Black Lyons, Chelsea Woody, Martina Duran), and Tom Carey.
You can explore the Polartec hub over at everyone.polartec.com