working at REI
REI's thriving spirit was born in the 1930s when Pacific Northwest mountaineer Lloyd Anderson began his search for an ice axe. Lloyd wanted a reliable tool at a reasonable price but had no success in finding one locally. He eventually found a high-quality model in an Austrian alpine gear catalog for a mere $3.50, shipping included. Word about his find quickly spread among Seattle's climbing community, which led Lloyd and his wife, Mary, to convene with 21 fellow climbers to establish an outdoor gear co-op in 1938.
REI has been a trusted retailer of outdoor gear ever since and is now the nation's largest consumer co-op, continuing to return the majority of profits to our members through annual member refunds based on their purchases. While the gear we sell for human-powered outdoor recreation has changed, our philosophy and passion for the outdoors haven't. Since the beginning, REI has been committed to helping people enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest-from weekend family camping trips to Mt. Everest expeditions—by offering innovative, high-quality outdoor gear and apparel.
For our more than 3.5 million active members and other customers, REI provides the knowledge and confidence to explore and discover new adventures. We do this through frequent educational clinics and expert advice at our retail stores and at REI.com from trusted REI staff who share our members' passion for outdoor recreation. Above all, we provide a convenient and seamless shopping experience, whether at an REI retail store, online, by phone or by mail order. We also offer adventure trips in the outdoors through REI Adventures, our travel division.
We're also committed to giving back to the communities where we have retail stores by supporting volunteer projects of outdoor-focused community organizations with money, gear and "sweat equity." We believe that by supporting these causes and by introducing youth to the outdoors, together we can prepare the next generation of environmental stewards and protect nature's legacy of trails, rivers and wild lands for years to come. By combining the highest quality outdoor products and staff expertise in a welcoming environment with meaningful programs that encourage outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship, we will be successful in helping to inspire, educate and outfit our members and other customers—from novice to the highly accomplished—for a lifetime of outdoor adventures.
One of the largest product brands in the outdoor industry, REI Gear and Apparel is REI's own high-quality line of gear and clothing designed and sold by people with an expertise and a passion for outdoor recreation. Crafted specifically for the individual outdoor recreational needs of men, women and children, REI Gear and Apparel is available only through REI, along with other top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, outdoor fitness, paddling, snow sports, and travel. The product line, developed with REI members in mind, combines quality, performance, style and functionality. REI's exclusive mountain, road and touring bike lines are recognized under the brand "Novara." Novara offers a full range of bikes that appeal to all levels of riders, from cycling enthusiasts to casual recreational riders and kids. All products sold by REI are backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
REI employees and members expect the company to have REI Gear and Apparel made in a responsible manner. To meet these expectations and our duties as a concerned corporate citizen, REI follows a sourcing code with due regard for workers and the environment. REI pursues compliance through several levels of auditing including inventories of factory practices, independent third-party audits, and factory visits by members of REI's sourcing and corporate social-responsibility teams.
To read more about what we're up to, check out our newsroom.
REI employees care about the products we sell. We're not just peddling widgets. Our people are invested in our products because their passions revolve around them.
- Steve N.
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