A New Alternative: Alternative Explores our National Parks through their New Collection

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Picture this: the last rays of a sunset hit the smooth boulders and yuccas of Joshua Tree National Park with a neon flamingo pink sky. Fog clings to the lush, low-slung hills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. These memorable landscapes are inspiration for the graphics behind Alternative’s new collection of official National Parks-branded apparel.

In a natural extension of Alternative and the National Park Foundation’s shared value of bettering our planet’s welfare, Alternative debuted a one-of-a-kind collection of National Parks graphics. This collection features Alternative’s ultra-comfortable Eco-JerseyTM and Eco-Fleece fabrics and includes vintage silhouettes of Rocky Mountain, Acadia, Joshua Tree and Great Smoky Mountains. The tie between Alternative, a part of the HanesBrands family, and National Parks goes further than just graphics. The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, receives a royalty from each purchase to help sustain and conserve America’s natural, cultural and historical treasures. HanesBrands announced a five-year partnership with the National Park Foundation for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement in February 2018.

“With a commendable record of environmental and social stewardship, HanesBrands is a powerhouse in helping the foundation carry out its mission to ensure the vitality and promise of America’s National Park System for future generations,” said Will Shafroth, President of the National Park Foundation.

This collaboration excited Alternative since the company has focused on being rooted in global and social responsibility before sustainability became a buzzword.

“Since day one, we’ve focused on sustainably produced basics, and partnering with the National Park Foundation will help us achieve our goal of bettering our planet’s welfare,” said Heather Devine, Alternative’s Creative Director.

“We were brought together by shared values, history and a great passion for America’s great wonders, and are excited to do better for our planet, together.”

Alternative chose to partner with Austin-based artist Alana Lyons on this project because of her ongoing relationship with the brand and her love of the outdoors, especially national parks.

“I make it a point to visit as many national parks as I can and made seven trips last year,” Lyons says. “I keep all of their brochures because as a designer, I love how consistent they are. They become special keepsakes to remember each visit.”

Lyons is a big fan of the look and feel of Alternative products and was given free reign to interpret each park using her own vision.

“This complete trust challenged me to do the best work that I can,” Lyon said. “I feel honored I was chosen as one of the designers on this series because this is a subject I’m so passionate about.”

Alternative is known for their undeniably soft and stylish eco-friendly basics produced with sustainable practices, including low-impact dyes, recycled materials and environmentally friendly packaging.

The news of an acquisition by a large corporation may seem like a surprise for a brand dedicated to sustainability, but HanesBrands has actually led the industry in environmental responsibility. In 2017, the company diverted 84 percent of its supply chain waste from landfills and they’re on track to meet several environmental goals in 2020, in- cluding cutting carbon emissions by 40 percent and reducing water use by 50 percent. With these standards in mind, their collaboration with the National Park Foundation was an organic next step.

These products recently debuted online and in Alternative’s Venice and Hayes Valley stores, and will be on display at Outdoor Retailer at Booth VO435-SL. Alternative’s Venice store will also host a RANGE Magazine launch party at the beginning of August to celebrate the collection and partnership.

For more info on Alternative, head to alternativeapparel.com or visit their retail stores in Venice, Hayes Valley and Soho.

Joshua Tree images by Ethan Gulley. Product images courtesy of Alternative.

xx Ali Carr Troxell

This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Nine.