This November, leading women’s outdoorwear brand ACAI Outdoorwear is to turn Black Friday bright, calling for women to embrace the outdoors, boosting their confidence, mental health and physical wellbeing. From 27 – 30 November 10% of all sales made will be donated to Women in Sport, enabling the charity to continue their incredible work to ensure all women and girls can experience the joy, fulfilment and lifelong benefits of sport and exercise.
From research carried out by Women in Sport during the first lockdown*, we know that during this time women have found it difficult to keep active with 32% of women saying that they couldn’t prioritise exercise as they had too much to do for others. However, strong links were also forged with exercise and the outdoors, with many women discovering the benefits to wellbeing and mental health of being active and connecting with nature. There was also a clear appreciation of the freedom that getting outdoors offers, with 61% of women stating that they wanted to put more effort into being active.
Coming together in partnership this Bright Friday, ACAI and Women in Sport want to encourage women to get outdoors, regardless of the weather and be inspired by the bright colours of Mother Nature. Women are encouraged to wear their brightest clothing and walk, hike, or even run to realise the physical and mental health benefits of being active. Participants are invited to flood social media with colour, taking and sharing selfies in the outdoors accompanied with a message of positivity using the hashtag #BrightFriday.
The proactive alternative Black Friday campaign is the latest in a string of initiatives from ACAI Outdoorwear to empower women in the outdoors, with a community group launched by the business in the first phase of lockdown having united more than 1.7k women with an interest in walking.
“We’re huge advocates of the mental and physical health benefits to be enjoyed from walking”, said Co-Founder and Creative Director of ACAI Outdoorwear, Kasia Bromley.
“It’s one of the few benefits to have come out of what has been an incredibly difficult year for most, people rediscovering the value of time spent in the outdoors. As a women’s outdoorwear business we have benefitted from that surge in interest and it’s important for us to give back.
“The reported increase in mental health problems resulting from the last phase of lockdown is deeply saddening. We hope that with this campaign we, along with Women in Sport, may be able to play a small role in supporting and uniting women, helping them to discover the positive health benefits of walking whilst raising a welcome smile and essential funds too.”
CEO Women in Sport, Stephanie Hilborne, added: “As the country deals with this pandemic, we must do all we can to avoid fuelling future crises, in mental and physical health, and not least of women and girls. Re-learning how to be outdoors in winter and finding ways to enjoy being active despite the shorter days will be key to this. Women in Sport is delighted to have the support of ACAI Outdoorwear over Bright Friday. Reminding ourselves that we are just a part of the natural world and re-connecting with nature, whatever the season is a powerful way to refuel emotionally. Being active and re-connecting with our bodies is another fantastic route to wellbeing, physical and mental.”
Leading the charge, ACAI Outdoorwear is providing all its team with an extended two-hour lunch break to get outdoors and enjoy time in the fresh air on Friday November 27. They will be joined, remotely, by a team of ACAI Adventurers, women with a shared love of the outdoors and who are committed to working with ACAI Outdoorwear to help inspire and support women in being introduced to the benefits of walking.
Bright Friday will take place on Friday November 27th and continue over the course of the weekend to Monday November 30th. To participate and help flood social media with positivity and colour, simply pull on your brightest piece of clothing, get outdoors and share a selfie with the hashtag #BrightFriday. Visit our JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bright-friday-acai-outdoorwear-women-in-sport to pledge your support to Women in Sport.
*Lockdown Research – Implications for Women’s Participation (Women in Sport, June 2020)