Montbell is an outdoor equipment and clothing company, offering "Light & Fast®" products to outdoor enthusiasts since 1975. Known for introducing feather light yet sweater warm down jackets and world patented stretchy sleeping bags to wilderness lovers around the world. At Montbell, we strive to create more than just products, but trusted tools built for adventure.
But now looking today, Montbell has surpassed being merely a design, production and outdoor retailer. We have become involved in so many different activities and businesses, and now aim to meet various social objectives. We have started referring to these objectives as "Montbell's 7 Missions"
1. Cultivate a respect for Mother Nature and the great outdoors
Protecting the natural environment is at the forefront of our objectives. If the environment isn't protected and left intact, then there won't be a place for us to enjoy the outdoor activities we so love. It is vital that people are given the chance to experience the awe inspiring beauty and raw power of Mother Nature, so that people can become aware of their part in and the importance of the natural world.
2. Foster education and learning life skills through experiences in the outdoors
Activities and experiences in the outdoors are ways to foster and develop life skills and how to face the uncertain. For example, even on a small "outdoor adventure" at your local trail, it's an opportunity for children to develop a willingness to face the unknown and learn about risk management skills. These outdoor adventures become formative experiences that have a great effect on our identities and the ways we are molded.
3. Make all efforts to live a long, fulfilling, healthy life
The average life expectancy is on the rise and although this is something to cheer, what sense is there in having a long life if at the end you spend it lying in bed or being sick? Montbell hopes that everyone aims a long, fulfilling, healthy life up until the very last, staying active and pursuing quality of life through outdoor activities.
4. Using outdoor activities and experiences to prepare for natural disasters in combination with learning survival skills
In 1995, Montbell formed the "Outdoor Gientai" for disaster relief in response to the Hanshin Earthquake in Japan. The Outdoor Gientai has since helped with disaster relief at the Tohoku Earthquake (2011) and Kumamoto Earthquake (2016). The Outdoor Gientai is a positive proof that relief via outdoor products (clothing, shelter, and food) and outdoor survival skills are useful during times of emergency. From these background, Montbell is also using our firsthand expereinces to develop products that can be used in times of natural disaster. We are working with local governments to create a disaster response network.
5. Encourage participation in outdoor activities as a way to help revitalize local communities through ecotourism
"Ecotourism" creates the delicate balance between nature conservation and using the sustainable resource for the economical benefit of the local community. As long as there is effective infrastructure which has minimum impact to the natural environment, Montbell helps with promoting what the area has to offer in terms of outdoor activities and sightseeing. This way the natural environment can be used as a resource for economic benefit while limiting the negative impact to it.
6. Support the people who work in industries that make use of natural resources; agriculture, forestry, and fishing
In Japan, there is a concern over the decline in our food self-sufficiency, with a lot of people leaving the agriculture industry. Through Montbell's partnerships with "Friend Areas," we are working to bring safe, wholesome foods directly from farms to our Montbell Club Members via "Friend Market." We are also developing fashionable yet functional "field wear" for the next generation of young farmers. These are our ways to help bring some stability to the industry that is in decline.
Along with promoting reforestation in areas ruined by irresponsible logging practices, we are helping the forestry industry by providing safe and comfortable clothing and equipment based on our experience with outdoor product development.
We are also manufacturing products that can be utilized in the fishing industry, by working closely to an oyster farmer and environmental activist, Shigeatsu Hatakeyama.
7. Provide access and support to disabled persons, enabling participation and the ability to experience outdoor activities
30 years ago, a young man who had polio since little said to Tatsuno, "Mr. Tatsuno, teach me how to canoe." For a moment, Tatsuno didn't quite know how to respond to his request, but was then convinced of the potential that canoeing would open a new world to disabled people by moving more freely on the water. Tatsuno immediately set out to start a canoeing clinic for people with disabilities, partnering with Aohani Kai, a social welfare group based in Nara prefecture. Back then, Tatsuno already foresaw that one day, people with disabilities would be able to compete at the national or Olympic level, evenly matched alongside those without. At the Rio Paralympic Games, canoeing became an official event, and the athletes proved us that Nature has fewer barriers than the human society.