Gear for a Purpose: 7 Brands Going Above and Beyond

If you love the outdoors, you have probably heard the inspiring news from Patagonia, who raised $10 million for the planet on Black Friday. More and more lately, outdoor brands are taking further steps to do their part and make a positive contribution to our world. We’re proud to partner with many incredible companies, big and small, that go beyond the call of duty in their efforts to give back. Here are just a few.


These guys and gals go out of their way to use traceable materials like organic cotton, recycled wool and polyester, hemp, and repurposed down in order to make their production process sustainable. They partner with fair trade companies and factories that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy. By doing so, they’re able to make the products we love, in a way that everyone can feel good about.

Goal Zero

"My experience in life has taught me that whenever we try to do something significant, there will always be opposition,” founder Robert Workman. Goal Zero was founded on the idea that they could help lift people out of poverty by teaching them how to build sustainable businesses. Their lighting kits have empowered both outdoor enthusiasts and those in need of reliable light sources. They have sent batteries and lights to Haiti and helped to provide relief after Hurricane Sandy.

Adventure Medical Kits

Tender Corporation’s Adventure Medical Kits keep you prepared for a variety of mishaps that inevitably occur in the outdoors. Many of their products are packaged in ways that allow them to be convenient to use as well as environmentally friendly. But the best part is, they contribute to two awesome initiatives: supplying their insect repellent at reduced prices in order to fight the Zika virus, and providing an environmental studies scholarship fund.


Clean water is essential no matter where you are, from high up in the mountains on your weekend backpacking trip, to recovering communities after natural disasters and daily life in developing countries. LifeStraw’s technology is used in more than 64 countries around the world, and you can join the movement! Sign up for a chance to win a 9-day trip to Kenya, where you’ll take part in our LifeStraw Follow the Liters program, bringing safe water to more than 250K school children.


When they’re not making their famous ponytail-compatible hats, the folks at Trailheads are working to support three worthy causes: the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. They donate 3% of their annual sales to enriching the lives of those touched by these foundations.


We love the work that Cotopaxi is doing, and we know you do too; their Luzon pack in our June collection was one of our most popular Cairn collection items to date! In addition to creating innovative outdoor products, their mission is “Gear for Good,” and it shows. Among their many initiatives, they fund solutions that focus on global poverty alleviation and give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world.


1.6 billion people around the world lack proper access to electricity. LuminAID has partnered with NGOs and nonprofits all over the world through their Give Light, Get Light program to distribute more than 25,000 lights in more than 60 countries to individuals who greatly benefit from a safe, rechargeable light source. Now, hikers in Yosemite, backpackers in Whistler, and emergency workers in Nepal alike use LuminAID to light their way.

Our contribution

Cairn values partnerships with brands that make giving back a core part of their business. In addition to including the multitude of companies beyond this list in our collections, we do our part to give back, too. Here’s one of the ways we're trying to make a positive impact:

Conservation Alliance

Conservation Alliance

Cairn is an active member of the Conservation Alliance, whose mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. The Cairn Crew participates in the Backyard Collective events, which recently included lending a hand with the construction of the new Catch & Release Trail in the Deschutes National Forest.


What are some of your favorite brands and organizations that give back? Tell us in the comments!