Apparel Companies Sponsor LGBTQ Youth Camp

Camp Brave Trails
Camp Brave Trails | Image by Brave Trails/Facebook

Apparel brands like North Face, TOMS, and Brooks are sponsors of Brave Trails, an overnight summer camp with ‘an LGBTQ+ twist!’

TOMS released a video showcasing a 17-year-old teenager who received transgender “mental health resources” from Brave Trails.

“Our consumers help drive social impact through their purchases,” TOMS chief strategy and impact officer Amy Smith said in the video.

“We were introduced to Brave Trails by a past employee, and we quickly learned how incredible their programming is and how they really support the queer community,” Smith said.

Consumers’ Research reported that Brooks promotes Brave Trails on its company website, and North Face uses the proceeds from its “Pride Collection” to fund programs like Brave Trails.

Last year, North Face released an advertising campaign called “Summer of Pride,” which featured a drag queen performer and Pride kids’ clothing.

“Brave Trails is a national non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth leadership. We offer accredited summer camps, backpacking trips, family camps, mental health services, meet-up groups, and year-round leadership programming. All of our programs focus on helping LGBTQ+ youth find what they need most to thrive: their people, their place, and their passion. Nothing makes us more proud than seeing our youth take the skills they gain in our programs and use them to create meaningful change in their communities,” the Brave Trails website states.

Brave Trails programs include LGBTQ Youth Summer Camp, LGBTQ+ Family Camp, and LGBTQ+ Backpacking.

“We bid farewell to gender-segregated spaces and activities, tossed aside arbitrary dress codes, and ensured our campers wouldn’t have to justify or explain their identities,” the website states.

The organization serves over 400 campers from the United States and 17 countries.

Companies like TOMS and Brooks are spending money on Brave Trails at a time when other companies, such as Bud Light, have faced criticism for getting involved in social issues like promoting Pride events and supporting the LGBTQ community.

In April 2023, Bud Light faced backlash when the brand collaborated with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney on an advertising campaign. The campaign led to a boycott that resulted in a 28% drop in sales — costing the company roughly $395 million.

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