Keen Recommits to Making the ‘World’s Cleanest Shoes’

Keen is reaffirming its mission to make the “World’s Cleanest Shoes” this Earth Month through several new initiatives including a new multi-year partnership with environmental educator and filmmaker Max Romey.

Now 10 years after starting its journey to eliminate PFAS (Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, commonly known as “forever chemicals” found in hundreds of types of products), the Portland-based footwear company has teamed up with Romey on educational videos like “What Is PFAS Free?” and “What Is Consciously Created?.” The brand has also signed on to be the title sponsor of Romey’s documentary “Footprints on Katmai,” which will premiere at the MountainFilm festival in Telluride, Colo. in May.

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Separate from its Romey tie-up, Keen is also sponsoring the relaunch of climate non-profit Intersectional Environmentalist’s podcast, The Joy Report. The podcast aims to share critical stories about climate topics such as conscious consumerism and PFAS, the company said. The relaunch is set to be celebrated at Keen’s Portland headquarters on April 18 with a panel discussion featuring Intersectional Environmentalist co-founders Leah Thomas, Kiana Kazemi and Diandra Marizet Esparza.

And to further mark Earth Month, Keen will launch Targhee IV hiking boot on April 4. According to the company, the shoe is made with “Keen.Fusion” technology, which features one of the industry’s first solvent-free mechanical bonds that fuses the upper and sole of the boot into one piece.

These new initiatives come weeks after the brand released its 2023 Impact Report. Key highlights of the report sees that the outdoor footwear company advanced its climate journey through five critical steps. These include measuring its greenhouse gas footprint, setting a science-aligned goal to reduce its emissions, shifting to renewable energy, creating a Keen climate task force, and investing in climate-focused partners such as Protect Our Winters and The Conservation Alliance.

The 2023 report also marked the sixth year of Keen being PFAS Free, which led the company to update its PFAS Free Green Paper for other brands to follow suit, and published its second Green Paper which outlines how to eliminate antimicrobials, another class of toxic chemicals.

Last year, Keen also marked its 20th anniversary. The company celebrated this milestone by setting and beating a goal to increase employee volunteer hours by 20 percent from 2022, resulting in over 2,337 hours in 2023. Keen also made a portion of its investment dollars to be managed directly by employees, resulting in donations to nonprofits such as Pie Ranch, the City Union Mission, Mazamas, and Warrior Expeditions.

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