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Keen Shoes and Jerry Garcia Take On Climate Change, In Style

Shoemaker KEEN and the Jerry Garcia Family have expanded the company’s branded collection of sandals and sneakers, featuring Jerry Garcia’s artwork, in a campaign to save the Tongass temperate rainforest.

The Tongass is considered the largest remaining temperate rain forest in the world, and KEEN is now auctioning off the #420 individually numbered collector’s limited-edition Newport Junglescape Sandal via Bidding For Good, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit The Wilderness Society’s ‘Protect the Tongass’ campaign. The auction will close April 30 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

“Jerry Garcia was devoted to the exploration and performance of music and was not known for taking public positions on issues,” says Erik Burbank, Vice President of The KEEN Effect. “But, in September 1988, he and the Grateful Dead felt compelled to step up for the Earth’s rainforests. They organized the Rainforest Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden with the hope that they would motivate their audience and the world to act. Some 33 years later, we’re still fighting the same battle.

“In the press conference for the 1988 Rainforest Benefit Concert, Jerry Garcia famously stated, ‘Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us’,” Burbank adds. “Thirty years later, we see the world’s largest temperate rainforest under constant attack. We’re again voicing Jerry’s words and hoping that the world takes notice and works to save this critical piece of the Earth’s ecosystem. We’re proud to be working with The Garcia Family and The Wilderness Society in this effort, because somebody has to do something.”

Following the 2020 launch of the KEEN x Garcia product line, KEEN, Inc., in partnership with the Jerry Garcia Family, is also announcing the expansion of the collection that combines Jerry Garcia’s artwork with KEEN’s iconic Newport sandal, the  KEEN Yogui Slip-On, and KEEN Elsa Lite Sneaker with a portion of sales donated to The Wilderness Society’s ‘Protect The Tongass’ campaign. The new 2021 collection will be available starting April 22 (Earth Day).

The Jerry Garcia Family, which owns and protects the late singer-songwriter’s brand, says they felt it was important to carry on his legacy of protecting the environment. “We, the Jerry Garcia Family, once again band together with KEEN for a second KEEN x Garcia collection because we, like you and them, value being eco-conscious and socially responsible,” says Trixie Garcia. “In 1988, my father and the Dead held a benefit concert to save the rainforests and to protect our environment when no one else thought it was important. It’s unimaginable that we’re still fighting this fight today, but we are pleased to partner with KEEN to help protect the Tongass.”

The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, near Ketchikan, is the largest U.S. National Forest at 16.7 million acres. Most of its area is temperate rain forest and it is remote enough to be home to many species of endangered and rare flora and fauna. While it has been a national forest since it was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in two land grants in 1902 and 1907, only 241,000 acres of the Tongass is protected from logging. Environmental groups like The Wilderness Society and forestry companies have been fighting over the future of the forest for decades.

The Wilderness Society is a leading conservation organization working to protect the wilderness and inspire Americans to care for its wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society is leading an effort to permanently protect 111 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

“Old-growth rainforests like the Tongass National Forest are not only rare but one of the country’s best climate solutions,” said Josh Hicks, Assistant Director of Forest Policy and Conservation at The Wilderness Society. “We thank KEEN and the Jerry Garcia Family for recognizing the importance of the Tongass to the health and well-being of all people and the planet, and for taking action to protect it for future generations.”

The new KEEN x Garcia collection includes KEEN Newport Junglescape ($170), KEEN Yogui ($90), and KEEN Elsa LIte ($100) and will be available at KEENFOOTWEAR.COM. The KEEN x Garcia initial collection is now available globally. 1% of proceeds from all KEEN x Garcia collection purchases in 2021 will be donated to The Wilderness Society’s campaign to protect the Tongass rainforest, with a minimum total donation of $25,000.




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