REI Co-op is greatly expanding its ability to develop and produce promotional and educational content.
The outdoor gear and apparel retailer is launching Co-op Studios, which will create films, podcasts and editorial programs. According to REI, Co-op Studios will release multimedia stories that explore the “power of time spent outside,” while also complementing the company’s ongoing commitments to climate and racial equality, diversity, and inclusion.
As part of its racial equity and climate efforts, the studio will prioritize storytelling from people and communities that are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ, women, and any other historically underrepresented groups, as well as stories that reflect the human impact and opportunity to protect the environment.
The next release from Co-op Studios is "The Trees Remember," a three-part, scripted, short film series exploring connection to nature through the stories of three Black women. More film projects will be announced in coming months. Upcoming multimedia projects from Co-op Studios include a new podcast series, "Hello, Nature," exploring the experience of our national parks through the eyes of a Pakistani-American; new episodes of the digital outdoor series “Miranda in the Wild”; and a relaunch of the REI Co-op Journal blog as digital publication “Uncommon Path.”
"The outdoors is for everyone, and content is a powerful and relevant way to bring that belief to our members and new audiences," said Paolo Mottola, REI director of content and media. "We are supporting projects that explore this idea from a variety of perspectives, formats and, most importantly, from a variety of voices. Our plan is to share and promote stories that encourage awareness, inspiration and celebrate the different ways communities spend time outside."
The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.