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05/02/2022

L.L. Bean Goes Dark on Social Media

L.L. Bean has paused its social media channels in May to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month.
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LL Bean

The move is a campaign by the retailer to go “off the grid” and prioritize time in the outdoors throughout the month. L.L. Bean also announced a $500,000 grant to nonprofit Mental Health America in a two-year partnership. The partnership strives to reach people through community-based outdoor mental health-focused programs, research and multimedia campaigns aimed at creating connection and inclusion in the outdoors and uncovering the well-being benefits of time spent outside.

Through May, L.L. Bean has paused posting across its social media presences and wiped its Instagram clean. In lieu of social media posts for the month of May, L.L. Bean has left “a few resources encouraging people to get outside, with tips and tools to prioritize self-care.”

The move comes as more retailers are making efforts to reveal their values to customers. Consumers are increasingly shopping with values in mind, demanding the retail industry to work toward better sustainability, diversity and inclusion efforts and more. 

L.L. Bean is not the only retailer to make a statement with social media. Bath, body, skin and hair care retailer Lush made the move to ditch social media altogether at the end of 2021, citing the mental health harms caused by social media.

[Lush Cosmetics Ditches Social Media for Mental Health]

Some studies have shown spending time outdoors can have positive impacts on people, such as greater creativity, lower levels of stress, increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety, according to the retailer.

“For more than a century, L.L.Bean has helped enable people to get outside, based on the belief that experiences in nature help bring out the best in us,” Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean executive chairman and great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean, said in a statement. “Now, research confirms what we have always felt intuitively: Going outside is critical for our individual and collective well-being.”

Spending time outdoors even for just two hours a week in green spaces like parks or other natural environments has been shown to have a significant positive impact on both physical health and psychological health. 

“Even a simple walk outside can lower your risk of depression, strengthen cognitive function and increase focus,” Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO of Mental Health America, said in a statement. “All of these effects improve our mental health and well-being at a time when we need it most.”