Why L.L.Bean Is Wiping Its Social Media Accounts For The Third Year in a Row Next Month

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, outdoor retailer L.L.Bean is going “off the grid” for a third consecutive year, pausing all social media channels to prioritize time outside.

Beginning May 1, the company said it will completely clear its Instagram grid, pause posting across all social media channels and encourage followers to join them in prioritizing time outside.

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New for this year, L.L.Bean will host a “Be An Outsider” challenge on NatureDose, an app by NatureQuant that serves as a “nature prescription,” helping users better understand their time spent outside.​ According to NatureQuant, there is an overwhelming body of scientific literature that links exposure to nature to improvements in physiological and psychological health. In addition to helping users track and monitor time spent outdoors, those who complete the app challenge will receive 15 percent off one full-price item from L.L.Bean.

“Prioritizing time outside isn’t just about embracing our company purpose; it’s about nurturing our individual wellbeing,” Shawn Gorman, executive chairman of the board at L.L.Bean and great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean, said in a statement.

This year also sees the return of L.L.Bean’s multi-year partnership with Mental Health America (MHA) to support and improve mental wellbeing by increasing access to outdoor programs. Since 2022, the company has committed $500,000 to MHA, including 10 $20,000 mini-grants to its affiliates, enabling 8,045 hours of outdoor activities, including hiking, swimming, biking, horseback riding, forest bathing and more for program participants.

LL Bean, outdoors, duck boots, mental health awareness month, social media, outdoor shoes
LL Bean, outdoors, duck boots, mental health awareness month, social media, outdoor shoes

“Being outdoors, even if it’s just in the backyard or a city park or garden, helps improve mood, reduces stress, and supports our mental well-being,” Schroeder Stribling, president and chief executive officer of MHA, added. “Mental Health Month is a great time to start connecting with nature and we are thrilled to team up with L.L.Bean to highlight the importance of spending time outdoors.”

This year’s initiative builds on the 2023 program, which saw L.L.Bean partner with social fitness app Strava, inviting users to log their outdoor time in the app as part of the L.L.Bean Feel-Good Challenge, with a goal to spend a combined 500,000 hours outside during the month of May.

L.L. Bean first started going “off the grid” for the month of May in 2022. At the time of the announcement, the company left a set of six posts on its Instagram that create a grid of an outdoor landscape with the words “Gone Fishin’” on one of the posts with a link to a few online resources that provide tips and tools to prioritize self-care. The company also announced last May a $500,000 grant and its two-year partnership with Mental Health America.

In addition to helping foster outdoor mental wellbeing for its customers and communities, L.L.Bean offers its 5,500 global employees a variety of programming centered around mental health. The company noted that it provides all employees with Outdoor Experience Days, which are paid days off that employees can use to spend time outdoors.

Last year alone, L.L.Bean employees spent more than 78,000 hours participating in outdoor activities as part of the program. Moreover, L.L.Bean was recently awarded Mental Health American’s Platinum Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, a national certification program that recognizes employers committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces.

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