We’ve Been Waiting All Our Outdoor Lives For Kinfield

01.24.2020 Life
Logan Cross
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For brands like Kinfield, sustainability isn’t just a nice thing to practice when it’s convenient — it’s ingrained deep in the company’s DNA. The brand has made it their mission to celebrate being outdoors in a more thoughtful way. 

“The name Kinfield stems from a love of shared outdoor gatherings with family and friends — literally, your kin in a field,” explains founder Nichole Powell. “The brand really exists because of my love of the outdoors, and my hope that everyone — from the outdoorsy to the more ‘outdoors-ish’ — can feel the pure joy of being outside.” 

Having grown up playing outdoors in Minnesota, the “aha! moment” for Kinfield occurred when Powell noticed she was still using the same bug sprays and moisturizers she did as a kid.

The budding businesswoman wanted to create products that would fit in the 21st century — solutions that would take into account ingredient safety and clean living, but would also be just as efficient and useful for the most hardcore of ourdoorspeople. 

Because sustainability is the pillar that Kinfield considers most important, Powell realizes it is an ongoing commitment that requires a lot of time and energy to achieve. “For us, sustainability means no unnecessary waste in packaging or shipping materials, utilizing recycled components whenever available, and going the extra mile to find the most sustainable forms of raw materials possible,” she notes. “It takes longer, but makes for a better product in the end.”

As part of their commitment to the cause, Kinfield legally incorporated the company as a Public Benefit Corporation (also known as a “B-corp”) with the stated public mission to “inspire responsible outdoor activity and environmental stewardship through creating the best products possible with sustainable materials and eco-friendly suppliers.” 

Essentially, this means that by being a B-corp, Kinfield can prioritize sustainability in all facets of their organization. “We’ve written sustainability into our DNA, our team, our community, our business practices, and into our plans for the future,” Powell states proudly.

Kinfield isn’t known for dropping new products every few months, but rather sticks with a few tried-and-true, quality products. Their typical research and development process can take anywhere from 6-12 months, with some products taking even longer. (Their Golden Hour Bug Spray, a sweet-smelling and DEET-free alternative to name brand bug spray, took a year and two months to perfect!) The testing and approval process takes multiple rounds of efficacy testing, expert consulting, and formula tweaking to get it just right. But the result is a sustainable, clean outdoor product that makes you feel good about being outside (just the way it should be).

Being a fairly new brand (they launched in 2018), the Kinfield team is still quite small. However, Powell says it’s to their advantage as they’re able to adapt to new things or challenges quicker because of it. “We are a hard working and dedicated team of ladies, but also love to have fun together when the day is done (especially outside)!” laughs Powell. “Our office pup, Sugar Maple, plays a key role in making sure we get outside throughout the day.” 

And indeed, their hard work is paying off in a big way. The brand recently launched with goop.com, goop Palm Beach, and verishop.com.  

Ultimately, what the Kinfield team wants is to get their customers (and the whole world) outdoors, even for just 15 minutes a day. “It can start as small as taking your lunch break outside or planning a two-mile hike with friends,” says Powell. “And if Kinfield helps you get out there by solving some of those pesky little problems in a way you can feel great about, then all the better for it.”

Logan Cross is a writer, editor, and dancer based in Los Angeles. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter, or listening to every fictional podcast her phone allows her to download. 

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