We're proud to introduce our latest Directory member KEEN, who produce quality, durable footwear for outdoor adventures, while having their finger on the social and environmental pulse
Introduce us to KEEN – what do you guys do?
Based in Portland, Oregon, KEEN footwear was founded in 2003, with the mission to provide high quality products to an inclusive, outdoor community while demonstrating integrity and leadership, especially on social and environmental commitments.
What's important to you?
Community, environment, the desire to dare to do things differently, and acting with respect and integrity. KEEN's operations and company culture reflect a stand out commitment to build a strong community and healthier planet where we can all create, play and care. In 2004 KEEN established a giving program called Hybrid, which has since donated more than €6 million in cash and resources to not-for-profit organisations around the world. Our latest initiative – the KEEN Effect II program – encourages KEEN fans and the general public to nominate non-profit organisations that align with the company’s outdoor-focused, core values for one of 10 grants. Through KEEN Effect II, KEEN is looking forward to supporting organisations that inspire responsible outdoor participation as a way towards building strong communities, creative and sustainable thinking, and introducing new audiences to the outdoors.
What inspires you and your products?
Innovation. It's in our DNA. KEEN was launched with the industry defining Newport sandal – a product internationally renowned for its forward thinking hybrid design and patented toe protection. This unique sandal revolutionised the sport sandal industry and provided the catalyst to launch the brand's outdoor causal and performance footwear lines. That one radical departure for sandals inspired an overriding philosophy for KEEN footwear: original hybrid products that allow consumers to connect with the outdoors in its entirety. From that break-through moment, KEEN quickly expanded to include closed-toe footwear and has continued to grow ever since. KEEN now produce eight categories of footwear incorporating men’s, women’s and children's products as well as bags and socks, that can be found online and in more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries around the world.
What should we look out for this year?
Our new UNEEK sandal epitomises KEEN's defining philosophy of innovation. Created from two cords and a sole, UNEEK has an entirely new footwear construction that challenges the convention of footwear manufacturing. KEEN started by examining the foot and redesigned every single piece of the shoe to best compliment the foot's shape. We started with one material – the cord – and built off of that – adding only what was absolutely necessary. There is beauty and elegance in its simplicity, which promises one of a kind fit, feel and comfort that is unique to UNEEK.