Mion Footwear will officially unveil an environmental film award program called Mion Solutions at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The program will recognize films that inspire environmental activism and stewardship at a local or regional level.
"The idea we have is to use the power and artistry of film to recognize, celebrate and support the efforts of individuals and grassroots organizations who have been able to positively affect their local environment and then, as a result of viewing those films, inspire others to get involved and make a difference in their own communities," Erik Burbank, Mion's sales and marketing director, told SNEWSÂ®.
Burbank added, "If you think about what film is, it is great at bringing a motivating and captivating story to something that otherwise might not seem so interesting. Humanity gets brought into the story, and that makes the situation compelling to watch and interesting."
Mion arrived at the idea as Timberland and Mion company executives were brainstorming ideas that Mion could be involved in, such as grant programs and innovative promotions that would inspire a much broader audience into action to find environmental solutions at a community level.
This first year, Mion Solutions will recognize three outstanding environmental short-films at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. The judging committee will be composed of environmentalists, film experts and Mion team members, SNEWSÂ® has been told.
Mion will award $5,000 to the first place winner to help fund future environmental films and donate $5,000 to the environmental non-profit of the award winner's choice, for a total of $10,000. Second and third place winners will receive $6,000 and $4,000 (split between the award winner and donation), respectively.
Burbank said that because Mion shoes are amphibious, the awards will give preference to films dealing with the health of rivers, lakes, oceans and coastal areas.
SNEWSÂ® View: A large part of Mion's story since the new division of Timberland launched last year has been to explore new ways to become better stewards of the earth's limited resources. Mion shoes are made using 100-percent renewable energy and the company's distribution center gets 60 percent of its power from on-site solar panels. Mion also uses recycled materials in the production of all of its marketing materials, and Mion has created and launched an Ecometrics label designed to provide visibility into the environmental impact of its products.
If successful, and we hope it is, the Mion Solutions award program could serve as yet another very visible means for an outdoor industry company to offer up inspirational stories that encourage further environmental stewardship and participation from an audience that is much broader than those simply purchasing Mion footwear.
The SNEWSÂ® headquarters in California converted to solar power in 2004 and currently feeds electricity back to the grid. SNEWSÂ® is committed to further the communication of the green message. Our regular "Green Scene" column takes a look at what our industry is doing well, what it can do better, and provide inspiration and ideas for establishing our industry position as the leaders in green for both preservation and profit. If you have ideas or issues you would like to see us discuss, send an email to:GreenScene@snewsnet.com.