KEEN has partnered with the USDA Forest Service for Smokey Bear, the voice of wildfire prevention nationwide, to introduce a new collection of sandals featuring Smokey Bear’s iconic image. The partnership pairs two outdoor icons and aims to support Smokey Bear’s mission by helping educate people about how to prevent human caused wildfires. A portion of proceeds from the footwear sold will fund national wildfire prevention programs.
Smokey Bear was born in 1944 through a collaboration between the Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), and the Ad Council, who were commissioned to develop a campaign that would encourage Americans to be more vigilant in preventing wildfires. The celebrated character has taken many different forms over the years, but is immediately recognizable by his iconic hat and the passionate delivery of his most well-known call to action, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.” His message has transcended generations almost 80 years. Smokey’s work to educate people of the risks that unwanted human caused wildfires pose is more important than ever.
“Wildfires may seem like a freak accident, but the reality is that 87% of wildfires are human caused and are entirely preventable. In any other scenario, that level of error would cause an enormous stir, as it should, but it’s easy for that message to get lost,” said Justin McDonald, Global Sr. Director of Marketing for KEEN Outdoor Performance and Kids business. “This partnership is an opportunity for KEEN to take action and promote Smokey’s message about wildfire prevention, so that we can avoid making small mistakes that can cause enormous problems. There is no better personality to help educate people on how to do their part to prevent wildfires than Smokey Bear.”
“Smokey’s mission is to spread the message on preventing human-caused wildfires, and this footwear helps to further that message in a compelling way,” said Maureen Brooks, Branch Chief at the USDA Forest Service for Wildfire Prevention. “This partnership with KEEN will help spread Smokey’s message to a new generation.”
The newly launched collection of the fan-favorite KEEN Newport sandal features custom designed patterns and details adorned with Smokey Bear’s face and hat on both the fabric and the bungee lace toggle, and even includes Smokey’s iconic “Only You” line written on the heel tag. For the everyday fan or more avid collector, each pair of sandals in the collection comes in a collectible Smokey Bear shoebox featuring Smokey’s face on the top and a custom tissue paper on the inside. The “Smores Pack” plays heavily into the nostalgia of memories made and snacks enjoyed around a campfire, and features colors that pull from the hues found in graham crackers and melted marshmallows.
The collection includes two men’s styles and two women’s styles as well as three kids’ styles that carry across toddler ($65 MSRP), youth, and children’s sizes. As part of KEEN’s longstanding commitment to protect our planet, KEEN is proud to direct a portion of proceeds from every sale in the collection to the U.S. Forest Service to fund wildfire prevention education programs.