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Buy Retro Gear, Help Zac Efron Save Grizzly Habitats

Kodiak has recruited Zac Efron and artist Brooke Bartleson for its latest Keep It Wild campaign, aimed at protecting and restoring North America’s grizzly bear populations.

Zac Efron Kodiak Keep It Wild Campaign(Photo/Kodiak)
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When grizzly bears are thriving in their natural habitat, it’s a good sign the ecosystem is healthy and flourishing. That’s why Kodiak Cakes, the Salt Lake City-based grain foods company, launched its Keep it Wild campaign, selling sweet retro gear to help raise awareness and educate people about the importance of land conservation and bear preservation.

And Zac Efron is helping lead the charge.

“I wanted to be heavily involved in the Keep It Wild campaign as helping to preserve habitats is something I truly care about,” Efron told GearJunkie. “I love the outdoors, to travel and explore the world around us. And I believe that we all need to work together in order to care for these sensitive ecosystems and the wildlife that inhabit them.”

The latest Keep It Wild campaign recruited Alaska bear guide, wildlife photographer, and artist Brooke Bartleson. She created the limited edition “Keep It Wild” collection of retro prints, products, and apparel. Brands like IGLOO and Slowtide got on board to make funky coolers, koozies, and towels emblazoned with Bartleson’s retro art.

“For the last six years, [Brooke] has been leading bear-viewing trips while establishing herself as a powerful force for good in the wildlife photography community,” Cory Bayers, Chief Marketing Officer of Kodiak, said. “We are so proud to celebrate her work through this campaign.”

Preserving Bears, With Retro Gear

Zac Efron Kodiak Keep It Wild Campaign grizzly bear
A “Keep It Wild” Kodiak-edition IGLOO cooler; (photo/Kodiak)

The limited edition collection of Keep It Wild gear includes a T-shirt, an Igloo cooler, an Igloo koozie, and a Slowtide towel — all of which are brightly colored, popping with Bartleson’s art, and reminiscent of ’70s-style wilderness camps. It’s retro and it’s rad.

And, best of all, it’s helping preserve grizzly bears. All proceeds from these sales will go directly to the Vital Ground Foundation, a grizzly bear conservation nonprofit organization. Kodiak has also pledged to match those funds dollar-for-dollar when the campaign ends.

Brooke Bartleson, the artist behind this campaign’s colorful imagery, is primarily based in Juneau, Alaska. Kodiak chose her as a partner because of her history as a grizzly bear guide and wildlife advocate/photographer. She designed all of the prints, products, and apparel for this campaign (much of which is featured in Efron’s videos).

Zac Efron Kodiak Keep It Wild Campaign

“Bringing together Zac Efron, Brooke Bartleson, and incredible brands that align with our values in such a great way, allows us to give back to organizations like the Vital Ground Foundation, that are doing such incredible work for the environment,” Bayers said.

You can purchase Bartleson’s Keep It Wild collection at the Kodiak Cakes website now. Any purchase you make goes straight to the Vital Grounds Foundation, and Kodiak will match it dollar-for-dollar.

Keep It Wild: Vital Ground Edition

grizzly bear hunt
(Photo/Michal_K via Shutterstock)

Kodiak’s Keep It Wild program features different quarterly campaigns spotlighting conservation organizations and raising money for them.

This time, the brand is working with Vital Ground Foundation, a nonprofit organization. It’s been conserving habitat for grizzly bears and other wildlife in the Northern Rockies since 1990. Based in Missoula, Mont., the organization also partners with communities to prevent conflicts between bears and people.

“We chose Vital Ground as our current non-profit partner because our missions aligned so well,” Bayers said. “The incredible work they do protecting and restoring North America’s grizzly bear populations by conserving wildlife habitat is both inspiring and critical for future generations. Our main goal is protecting nature’s playground.”

As a keystone predator species, grizzly bears exert healthy pressure on their ecosystems. They spread seeds, fertilize the forests, and regulate prey animal species. Protecting and expanding their habitats has a direct and discernable positive effect.

Zac Efron Leads the Charge

Zac Efron joined Kodiak as its Chief Brand Officer in 2022. He’s been working with the brand, known for its flapjack mixes, oatmeal, granola, and cookies, to combine his passion for the outdoors with meaningful action.

“The reasons I got involved with Kodiak was their overall philosophy and mission to encourage people to eat better, make a difference and be passionate about the world around us,” Efron said. “Kodiak is inspiring people to be a part of change that is critical to the future of our planet.”

For Kodiak’s Vital Grounds Keep It Wild campaign, Efron created a series of short, fun, and informative videos featuring products from the artist collaboration with Brooke Bartleson. They’re spunky, ’80s-themed, and colorful — and they’re all about supporting grizzly conservation.

“I love any opportunity to have fun at work while also shedding light on an important issue,” Efron said.

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