REI Partners with Athleta to offer their latest in hike, yoga and swim
Ever since the beginning, Athleta’s mission has been to inspire a community of healthy, confident, active women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Today, with the intention of creating a new and exciting way to deliver that mission and our product to our customers, we are announcing a partnership with REI to offer an assortment of styles in select REI stores nationwide and online. Read more on how this partnership came to be plus how our two brands are more alike than you think.
We strive to bring our members the best gear to help outfit them for a life outdoors. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce we’re now offering an Athleta collection—featuring hike, yoga and swim apparel—in selected REI stores and on REI.com. We explore how this partnership came to be and what you can expect from the collection.
Athleta and REI have been admiring each other for years. “It comes down to two words: common values,” said Chris Samway, chief financial officer and head of strategy and business development for Athleta. “Athleta was created for women who love to get outside and take on new adventures. Twenty years later, that remains core to our brand.”
We share a similar commitment, evident most recently with our Force of Nature initiative—our stake in the ground to declare gender equity in the outdoors.
Another shared value: protecting and caring for our outdoor spaces. At the co-op, we do this through advancing gear sustainability and creating outdoor access for all. It’s a sentiment Athleta echoes.
“We care deeply about the planet and its resources. We have a goal to get 80 percent of our fabrics made of sustainable fibers by 2020. We’re halfway there. It’s not easy, but we think it’s the right thing to do for our customers and the planet,” Chris said.
Athleta earned our respect with its apparel as well its business practices. “This product is designed by women for women. They’ve done a lot for innovation in fabric. Basically, once you use their product, you become hooked,” Susan said.
Our co-op staff agrees. “Every time we shared that Athleta is coming to REI internally, women in the room got so excited. Our own employees love it,” said Susan Viscon, senior vice president of merchandising at REI. We know our members will too.
Take the Tahitian Salutation 7/8 Tights. These tights feature Athleta’s newest fabric designed for yoga called Powervita, which somehow feels both hugging and barely there at the same time.
Or the Trekkie Jogger 2.0, another fan favorite for hiking, that is now made of recycled nylon while still offering the same fit, feel and durability for hikes or adventure travel. According to Athleta, the switch to recycled fabric is already making an impact, helping divert 32 tons of waste from landfills this year.
“We design [product] with intent—not only how it looks, but also how it performs,” Chris said.
The Athleta team also excels at creating athletic swimwear that actually stays put. “They’re leaders in innovation in the women’s swim space. They do an incredible job,” Susan said.
With four collections coming up, one for each season, we can’t help but look forward. Susan said, “We’re excited about the future and what’s to come.”
To celebrate the power of this partnership, Athleta and REI will hold free Vinyasa yoga events taught by Athleta Ambassadors at select stores in late February and early March. Visit rei.com/learn to find an event near you.
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