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Askov Finlayson pledges $1M to climate change action groups

The champions of "The North" will donate more than the cost of the company's environmental impact.

The Essentials

1. Askov Finlayson, the North Loop Minneapolis outdoor clothing store and fashion brand, has pledged to give $1 million to climate change organizations over the next five years.

2. Dayton brothers Eric and Andrew, the sons of Gov. Mark Dayton and co-founders of Askov Finlayson, are making the commitment to jumpstart its Giving 110% initiative. The company will track the cost of its impact on the environment (so the carbon footprint of its supply chain, for example) – and for every $1 measured, Askov Finlayson will donate $1.10 to climate change groups.

3. Eric Dayton said that "climate change threatens our winters here in the North, and the health, security, and prosperity of people all around the world."

What Else You Should Know

Algae clogging up our lakes, more frequent tornadoes, rain instead of snow during the winter and invasive species forever altering our ecosystem.

That's a potential future that Minnesota faces in 2050 if climate change continues, as CityPages reported a few years ago.

Askov Finlayson, and Eric Dayton in particular, have taken on the mantle as celebrator-in-chief of Minnesota and its great outdoors, championing the movement to name Minnesota as "The North."

Its line of "North"-themed outerwear – particularly its popular hats – has seen the company become as much of a clothing brand as it is a (pricey) retail store, which prompted the internal soul-searching that led to Monday's announcement.

A letter written by Dayton on the Askov website reveals it's this evolution that made them "increasingly aware of the contributions of our business toward the very problem we're trying to solve."

"We’re proud to make high-quality products designed for outdoor use all year long, but the production process of apparel adds to the issue of climate change, which is warming our winters here in the North and impacting people’s lives around the world," Dayton writes.

Askov will determine the carbon footprint of its operations and supply chain, looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment along the way.

But at the same time, it will look to put a monetary figure on the negative effects the business has on the environment, and will donate 110 percent of that to "innovative" climate action groups.

It's initial pledge of $1 million to these groups over the next five years is a commitment beyond most small business owners.

But as MSP Magazine notes, the Daytons aren't your typical small business owners, with the Dayton family worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

To implement the changes, Askov has hired Minnesotan Adam Fetcher to be its new VP for Environmental Impact & Policy.

Fetcher was previously the director of global communications at outdoors company Patagonia, and was the Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior under the Obama Administration.

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