Smiling broadly, a hiker enjoys sunshine and fresh air.


Calling aspiring creatives and designers

REI Co-op and FAAS (pronounced ‘faze’) Design Collab are teaming up to offer a free inclusive product design certificate program for aspiring creatives and designers from historically underrepresented communities. Unlock your potential, focusing on ways to solve unmet wants and needs in the outdoors. No previous experience is necessary.

The application deadline has passed.
Sketching new outdoor gear ideas with paper and pen.

Bring your unique perspectives

We’re looking for diverse candidates with a focus on those from Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian American, South Asian, East Asian, and Pacific Islander communities who want to grow their creativity and experience in the outdoor industry.

Using a computer to design new outdoor gear ideas.

Shape the next generation of products for the outdoors

Unlock innovative solutions by harnessing customer insights through audience research and design thinking exercises.

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Create for a more inclusive outdoor community

Learn inclusive design skills and practices to create truly relevant products that reflect the different ways communities find meaning outside.

Program Developed in Collaboration

R E I Co-op logo with tree and mountain silhouette.
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is a leading outdoor retailer and brand. REI is committed to building a more inclusive outdoor community by working across its own brand and industry partners to create more inclusive and relevant products, investing in nonprofits working to provide more welcoming and affirming spaces, and advancing efforts to hire, engage, and advance employees from historically underrepresented communities.
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F A A S Design Collab logo in blue gray over white background.
FAAS is a ‘learn while doing’ functional design program that is industry based and industry lead. Founded by apparel industry leader Angela Medlin, FAAS seeks to close the gap between underrepresented creatives in the apparel industry. Angela’s background includes 25+ years in the industry, designing and directing for brands that include Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Eddie Bauer, and Levi Strauss & Co.
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Application Process

This program is for members of historically underrepresented groups in the outdoor community, who are interested in pursuing a career in design and customer research, and the outdoor industry. We welcome applicants at all career levels. No prior experience in product design or the outdoor industry is needed or expected.

Application Deadline

In the application, you will be asked to submit a video that tells us how your unique perspectives might influence designing for a more inclusive community. A resume is not required to apply. You will need to commit a total of 30 hours per week, for the 4-week course in April-May 2022. If selected at the end of the class, you should be available for a 6-month paid internship program with REI (June – December 2022).

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Decision Notification

Our advisory council (see council members below) will review your video application after the submission window closes. We consider the unique background and interests of every applicant in our process. We will notify you regarding your application decision by March 18, 2022. If you have a question regarding your application, please reach out to us at

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The application deadline has passed.

Phase 1: FAAS Inclusive Design Certificate Program

4 weeks, April 18 – May 13, 2022 + final project presentation on May 20, 2022
12 applicants will be selected for an online design certificate program. Students are expected to commit a total of 30 hours per week, including 20 hours of live, remote instruction and 10 hours of additional project work. This Inclusive Design Certificate Program includes:

Live Online Instruction

REI is partnering with FAAS to provide 80-hours of industry-leading curriculum. You will participate in a live, interactive virtual classroom experience. The course will focus on hard skills relevant to the product development process, with emphasis on inclusive design, as well as people skills to help further your career and leadership.

Industry Skills

The FAAS team will teach you the product design skills to help you jumpstart your career in the industry and become a champion of inclusive product design. Curriculum includes the end-to-end product development process, illustration and prototyping, meeting sustainability standards, leveraging consumer insights, and project/stakeholder management.

Design Challenge

During the 4-week course, you will work in groups to create a product or collection of products that meets the needs of a range of customer profiles with the support of REI and FAAS mentors. This is an opportunity to deep dive into an unmet need and ideate on functional design that demonstrates the power of inclusive thinking in better design for all.
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Phase 2: REI Co-op Internship

6 months, June – December 2022
2 FAAS Inclusive Design Certificate Program graduates will be selected for a remote internship with the gear and apparel product design team at REI Co-op.

Real-world Experience

You will directly apply your product design and leadership skills, learned in the FAAS Inclusive Design Certificate Program, to your internship activities. Over the 6-months, you will work alongside industry experts and career mentors to continue to grow your skillset. Gain practical experience through cross-team collaboration, constructive feedback, and iterative design cycles.

Insights to Innovation

Everyone wants to feel seen, respected, represented, supported – no matter who they are, where they live, or how they find meaning outside. You will dive into inclusive product design, identifying and listening to your customers, considering barriers or differences, and developing innovative designs that meet customer needs.

Product Creation

Your internship project will have a chance to directly impact a REI Co-op Brands growth initiative. You will conduct research and iterate on design ideas, supported by our internal teams, to create a capsule of market-ready product. At the end of your internship, you will present your work to organization leaders and stakeholders.

A Team Invested in Your Success

A smiling portrait of Angela Medlin, Founder of FAAS Design Collab

Angela Medlin

Founder, FAAS Design Collab
A smiling portrait of Nicole Browning, R E I Co-op Manager of Local/Inclusion Marketing.

Nicole Browning

Manager, Local/Inclusion Marketing, REI Co-op
A smiling portrait of Nani Vishwanath, an R E I Co-op Program Manager in Marketing.

Nani Vishwanath

Program Manager, Marketing, REI Co-op
A smiling portrait of Nikole Rock, R E I Co-op Creative Director of Product Design & Apparel

Nikole Rock

Creative Director, Product Design & Apparel, REI Co-op
Equitably Designed's business logo of an illustrated hanger.

Equitably Designed

Empowers businesses to design products with equity at the center
A smiling portrait of Muhammad Umar, R E I Co-op's Divisional Vice President of Diversity & Talent

Muhammad Umar

Divisional Vice President, Diversity & Talent, REI Co-op
A portrait of Wilma Wallace, R E I Co-op Chief Diversity & Social Impact Officer

Wilma Wallace

Chief Diversity & Social Impact Officer, REI Co-op
A smiling portrait of Isabelle Portilla, R E I Co-op's Divisional Vice President, Product Strategy & Design

Isabelle Portilla

Divisional Vice President, Product Strategy & Design, REI Co-op

Additional Program Advisors

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CJ Goulding

Partner, The Avarna Group
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Len Necefer

CEO, Natives Outdoors
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José González

Founder, Latino Outdoors
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Nikki Smith

Owner, Pull Publishing & Pull Photography
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Marley Blonsky

Co-Founder, All Bodies on Bikes
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Vasu Sojitra

Co-Founder, Inclusive Outdoors Project
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Chris Speyer

Vice President, Merch Product, REI Co-op
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Susan Viscon

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Investment, REI Co-op


Want to get in touch?

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