• The North Face's Explore Fund
    The North Face's Explore Fund

Outdoor gear brand The North Face has announced an initiative aimed at accelerating equity in the outdoors, the Explore Fund.

The Explore Fund will help to create access and drive opportunities in the outdoors by funding community organisations around two themes: creating a community of new explorers and protecting the environment.

$25,000 will be awarded to up to five successful applicant groups that are based and operate in Australia or New Zealand.

The North Face General Manager, Paul Karis, says the Explore Fund is long overdue. “The last two years put this important initiative on hold but it’s now a major priority for 2022, which the team is excited about," said Karis.

“The benefits, enjoyment, and wellness that comes with time spent in the outdoors should be for everyone, and we look forward to seeing how we can make a positive and meaningful difference to people’s lives by helping them experience the outdoors".

To guide the selection of the Explore Fund grantees, The North Face has elected a Council of five influential members of the community experienced in protecting the environment, and creating spaces and opportunities for more equitable systems, both in and outside of outdoor communities.

"It’s clear that our collective outdoor community is changing. We have seen new communities form, grow and champion the needs of diverse people in the outdoors in really exciting ways," said Explore Fund Council member, Coralie Fleming.

“We see our role as Council members as amplifiers of that existing work and not as directors of it. We believe in the power of our communities to break barriers, and in our ability to support their leadership".

To launch the initiative, The North Face has announced two founding partners, Affinity Initiative (an accessible and uplifting climbing space for women-of-colour) and ClimbingQTs (an LGBTQ+ social climbing community and advocacy group).

Grants have been awarded to these two groups to assist with expanding their outdoor programs and empowering their local communities.

For more information or to apply for a grant click here.

Applications are now open and close on August 28, 2022.

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