I am extremely selective about which companies support me. I choose to maintain the purity of my work rather than make a bunch of money from unrelated brands. Every so often, a company comes along that makes me go hell yeah! These are the current companies that help me out, that I believe in, and that are worth your time.
The gals and guys at GoWesty were the first to support this project. GoWesty keeps Volkswagen vans roaming the infinite sunset. They make, stock and distribute original parts, replacement parts, and proprietary inventions for these vans.
I talked to their GM, Jad, about how I would represent their company. “Drop us only when it’s appropriate and natural,” Jad said. “When you’re sitting in your van finishing up that story, and it’s 20 degrees outside, and you’re able to do it because of our heater… times like that." Jad and GoWesty get it. People don’t buy stuff because of catchy sentences, people buy your purpose and passion.
I found Peak Design many years ago when they solved the "camera in bag" problem all adventure photographers face. Their Capture system holds your camera secure by a backpack strap or waist belt, giving you easy access at all times. I use their Capture, backpacks, and other gear carry systems when I'm out in the field. I also write a quarterly piece for their Field Notes Journal.
Peak Design's ethos is lockstep with mine. They're a small team that produces products slowly and thoughtfully... only crowdfunding them to keep investor pressure out of the creative process. Photographer or not, they make the best bags, keepers, and accessories for outdoor, creative exploration. When you absolutely need to buy something, there isn't a better company to support.
Folk Rebellion is the anti-brand brand... a perfect blend of cynicism and optimism. Their mission – "Bring attention to offline living in the new screened in-world. We love things that are tangible like nature, humans, paper, and music made with instruments. It's an appreciation and instruction manual for living in the present with actual things among flesh, blood, and bones people."
Ummm. Yes. I could have written those sentences, so naturally we work together. I'm a regular contributor to their print publication, The Dispatch. It's the best collection of thinkers, articles, and humor to guide us out of this screened-in maze we've designed. I hope you give it a read. After each publication, I'll be posting the pieces I write to my blog.
MiiR and I go way back. Back to when they were a bottle company supporting water projects in places that didn't have clean water. They still do that + a ton of other things, like making bikes, bags, growlers, and journals, to name a few. MiiR is a lifestyle brand that makes impeccable products AND gives 5% of their revenue to trackable giving projects. They've given away over $400K thus far into their existence. Talk about truly putting their money where their mouth is!
The coolest part: When I type the code on the bottom of my MiiR insulated water bottle into their website, I see 5% of my purchase is supporting a clean water project in Nepal. Incredible. Oh, and I've climbed Mount Rainier twice with the guys and gals of MiiR. I'm also a regular contributor to their blog. Put simply, they rock.