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One thing you can’t really deny about Millennials is that they’re a socially-conscious bunch. This is especially true of those who also identify as members of the outdoor enthusiast tribe. Companies are starting to get the hint that these Earth-loving, community-centric buyers are more likely to make purchases that not only benefit them, but also serve the greater good. In response, they’re coming up with ways to balance the goal of turning a profit with giving back.
Enter evo’s new eponymous line of goods. Evo, a Seattle-based ski, snowboard, bike and skate shop best known for its e-commerce site, recently launched its own line of goods in conjunction with the company’s “Give Together” program, which dedicates two percent of all evo-branded product sales to youth-serving organizations in local communities.
The evo line includes technical and everyday apparel for men and women, accessories, ski and snowboard bags, as well as odds and ends like skateboard decks and stickers. And the two percent of proceeds from these purchases go to organizations such as Bike Works and Skate Like a Girl—nonprofits committed to connecting young people (specifically underserved youth) with the outdoors.
The new “Give Together” program is a smart business move, but for evo it’s not only about attracting community-minded consumers.
“One of our biggest priorities is to make giving back synonymous with the evo brand,” says evo’s General Manager of Giving Ashley Miller. “Generally there is a change in the way people are making their consumer choices. People want to buy products that make them feel good. And one of the things that makes people feel great is knowing that the things they buy help give back to their local communities.”
But why the focus on young people, instead of say, the environment? According to Miller, evo feels the two are inherently intertwined.
“Once a young person falls in love with an activity and finds a passion for the outdoors, he or she is likely to grow into an environmentally conscious person who wants to do good in his or her community in return,” she says.
Turns out, that’s exactly how founder and CEO Bryce Phillips was inspired to start evo out of his garage 17 years ago, and why he emphasizes the importance of giving back as part of his business philosophy.
Phillips grew up in a small town in a modest family. He counts himself lucky to have had an uncle who introduced him to skiing, which is now one of his greatest passions. But in his youth, he realized that many of his neighborhood friends didn’t have the same access to the outdoors and to activities that teach young people so many valuable skills and life lessons.
Evo may have come a long way, but the company has stayed true to its core values along the way, and its new line supports Phillips’ vision to use business as a medium to help others, and leverage evo’s success to serve local communities and provide opportunities for underserved youth.
But serving up ethical goods does not guarantee a company’s success. Evo knows this, and the smart and stylish pieces in the new line don’t disappoint.
Take the women’s evo Ridgetop Merino Wool Pullover Hoodie. An ideal mid-layer for variable spring skiing conditions and temps, the stylish hoodie is 30 percent merino wool and 70 percent Tencel® fibers, a soft and absorbent organic textile made from wood pulp that helps regulate body temperature. These moisture-wicking fibers also naturally resist body odors, another perk after a day of spring skiing.
And what spring skiing outfit is complete without a statement T-shirt you can rock while sipping patio beers? Evo’s Goggle Supima® T-shirt showcases original evo graphics that epitomize end-of-season vibes.
Encouraged by the success of the “Give Together” program, this year evo plans to expand their branded line, especially in the accessories department. “I’m excited that next quarter, and every quarter after that, we’ll be able to increase evo’s pot for charitable donations,” Miller says.
A company that’s focused on growing their charitable giving fund, not just their profits. How refreshing. How Millennial.