Why I'm not sponsored...
Depending on the industry, “sponsorship” can mean many different things. In climbing it usually encompasses anything from free product to regular payment for promotional work.
For a few years I was partnered with 4-5 different brands who would send me gear (and sometimes $$) with the expectation being that I would share about it online. Around this time last year I let my contracts expire and haven’t officially partnered with any new brands since.
This isn’t because I haven’t been approached, it’s because I haven’t been approached by anyone who aligns with my personal values.
It doesn’t feel right to me to accept new things every season and then encourage others to buy them simply for the sake of having the newest stuff.
Something that struck me at OR was how almost *everything* in that showroom would be in landfills within ~10 years. 😣
How can I expect people to make changes to protect the environment, and by extension marginalized communities around the world (see my DEI x Climate Justice post), if I’m continuing to buy into and promote unethical, consumerist practices?
To put it simply, I can’t. Thus came my decision to only partner with brands that align with my personal value system: JEDI, minimalism, intersectionality, veganism, environmentalism, decolonization, sustainability... If these things aren’t prioritized then I can’t support the company.
So, how do I decide? A lot of it comes from doing my own research as well as having frank conversations with brand reps about everything from supply chain (“Where are your products made? Who makes them? Under what conditions? Where do the materials come from?”) to marketing (“Would you be open to using more gender inclusive language?”). These are all questions I ask any time I consider working with a company. So far, my choice has been to remain unaffiliated.
That being said, I do not judge or blame anyone who does accept sponsorship. As I said, these are my personal values and we each have to make our own decisions for ourselves.
Additionally, if there *ARE* any brands looking for partners who share these values, feel free to slide into my DMs! ✨🥰✨ Thoughts? Questions about sponsorship? Or how to create mutual brand partnerships? Leave them below. 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 📸📍 Lands and waters of the Kanien’kehá:ka, People of the Flint, of the Haudenosaunee, Iroquois Confederacy.