A Letter from MiiR Founder and Owner, Bryan Pape´
MiiR has decided to withdraw from attending the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City in July following Patagonia’s firm stance to withdraw from the show in response to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s signed resolution urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bear Ears National Monument. Our decision is multi-faceted and was discussed with rigor amongst my leadership team. I am sharing my thoughts during a time when land conservation is under an intense policy fight, large industries are being disrupted almost overnight and the very nature of how businesses interact with customers is changing faster than ever.
MiiR is an active lifestyle brand focused on making great product, empowering lives and building community. We do this through our Product to Project™ movement where every MiiR product sold funds a trackable giving project. We’ve funded clean water projects from Liberia to Laos and bicycle programs from Zambia to Boise, Idaho. We strongly believe businesses can and should be a force for good; for both social and environmental causes. Our name is inspired by the Czech word ‘mir’ which means ‘world’ or ‘peace’; we define ‘MiiR’ as ‘world peace’. While ‘MiiR’ is unique, our name is also a tip of the cap to John Muir who was one of the earliest advocates of national parks. The very nature of our company supports the idea of public, wild and protected land.
It’s unclear what Gov. Gary Herbert’s plan is besides attempting to have the state take over the land. Speculation sways from privatization to additional oil and gas drilling leases. However, I’m struck by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition made up of 5 nations and 30 tribes that backs the protection of the region and specifically supports President Obama’s decision to create the monument which Native Americans believe "is vital to all of us for the preservation of our culture and our history." I’m humbled by such a coalition when our own government is at the height of partisanship. At MiiR we see Gov. Herbert’s actions as a threat to wild and beautiful land and are taking a stand by not attending Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. Our hope is others voice their opinion and take action to encourage Gov. Herbert to revert course.
Full disclosure: I grew up a Patagonia fanboy and customer. I have always admired the values, conviction, and action the company lives out. When Patagonia reached out a few years ago to partner with MiiR on our award winning growler, I was quite literally in shock. This was our moment, to work with my favorite brand. Every interaction with them has been abundantly positive and I can say firsthand they are the real deal. They’ve acted as an older sibling to us, helping us improve our supply chain and grow our business. We’re both certified B Corps, members of 1% for the Planet and give annually based upon revenue, not profit. To this end, we stand with Patagonia on taking a stance on the issue of Bears Ears.
Money & Time
At a recent leadership team meeting, we discussed at great length the benefit the OIA (Outdoor Industry Coalition) receives in funding by putting on the Outdoor Retailer show. As an alternative to exhibiting, we will be granting additional funds beyond our membership dues to the OIA. Further, I will be visiting DC in late April for an OIA summit to meet with representatives to express our deep support for public lands and the value of the active and outdoor industry. It is our civic duty to stand up and be heard when the things we care about are threatened.
In this time of uncertainty for public lands, I’m reminded of Paulo Coelho’s words,
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.
To this end, MiiR will not be attending Outdoor Retailer while Gov. Herbert threatens the very essence of our name.
Founder & CEO