Path Ahead Ventures REI Navigate Program 2023 Participants at the Founders Market

ToughCutie Continues Coveted Retail Partnership with REI

In 2023, ToughCutie announced a major retail expansion, which brought our best-selling sock style to 35 REI Co-op stores nationwide and online. At the time, Dan Gilbert, REI Co-op Sock Buyer, had this to say about the brand: 

“REI is thrilled to be partnering with ToughCutie to launch the new Eve Merino Wool Hiking socks. This brand brings a beautifully crafted performance hiking sock to the market, with compelling and inclusive color options. ToughCutie is a fantastic representation of REI’s commitment to expand the number of diverse-owned and led brands offered to our members.”

Later that year, our founder, ToughCutie, was selected as one of six companies into the REI Navigate Accelerator Program for outdoor founders of color. The Navigate program brought the cohort of founders together in-person and online over 20 weeks for a customized learning and development experience tailored to each individual company’s needs.

Now, one year later, we are excited to continue our partnership with REI maintaining our distribution in 35 stores and online. 


REI has been dedicated to fostering a love for the outdoors among all individuals since 1938, providing top-quality gear, expert advice, and outdoor experiences. With no shareholders, every purchase supports stewardship of the environment and sustainable business practices. With a rich history rooted in a love for adventure, REI continues to inspire outdoor enthusiasts with its vast community and locations across the United States.


REI Co-op's Path Ahead Ventures aims to provide comprehensive support to startups led by Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, and Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals in the outdoor industry. Their mission is to boost the success of founders of color, who currently make only about 1% of outdoor entrepreneurs, by offering community networks, infrastructure support, customer connections, and a $30 million investment fund. They seek to foster an outdoor industry where diversity is reflected in opportunities and success.

 If you're interested in carrying ToughCutie in your stores, contact us today!

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