Since 1995, Outdoor Gear Exchange has been supporting the outdoor community by supplying equipment, knowledge, and inspiration to explorers both in the Green Mountain State and around the world.
Part of doing our job well means giving back to the community. We do this by engaging in local efforts to conserve land for recreational use, volunteering time to be the best land-stewards we can be, and donating money and goods to organizations that help promote the sports and values we live for. As a result, we often assist like-minded organizations who could benefit from our help through several programs. After being in the business for more than 25 years, we believe it is our duty to give back to the communities that have supported our growth and success.
We believe in responsible environmental stewardship. We strive to run our business in a way that promotes our staff, local community, and the outdoor industry to become more effective at preserving our wilderness. We are committed to selling sustainably made products, as well as providing alternatives to buying new gear. This includes selling quality used items through our consignment program; stocking a variety of products for maintaining, repairing, and revitalizing your gear; our gear rental program; and our in-house repair services.
We also take care to practice stewardship efforts within our brick and mortar store, including:
- Traditional recycling.
- Plastic film recycling.
- Terracycle partnership (recycles hard-to-recycle items such as common outdoor brand snack wrappers).
- Reusing boxes to ship gear to our online customers.
- LED lights to light the store.
- Recycled toilet paper in staff and customer restrooms.
- We only have hand dryers present in restrooms—no paper towels.
- Uncorked partnership (recycles wine corks to create flip flops and other goods).
- Tons of our staff walk and bike to work every day, all year long.
- We focus on carrying outdoor brands that are committed to sustainability.
We are always looking for new ways to practice environmental stewardship as our business grows. If you have any suggestions on how we can do better, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Community Service Days
We're thrilled to partner with many local recreation and stewardship-based nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont. We frequently offer financial support through our grants program, donations program, and event sponsorships, but boots-on-the-ground support is our favorite! If your nonprofit needs some extra hands for that trail day, invasive species removal, or other projects, let us know and we will send a group of staff to help! Email [email protected] to set up a Community Service Day, but please give us at least two weeks’ notice to allow for coordination.
Inclusivity in the Outdoors
Both Vermont and the Outdoor Industry are notably lacking diversity. This is a fact that for decades has been attributed to circumstance. It is, unfortunately, anything but circumstantial and for that reason, it is something we NEED to work on correcting. Regrettably, we at OGE don’t have a solution – though we know it cannot be fixed quickly or easily. We do have the ability to actively engage in this conversation. We can and will use our position in the industry and in the Vermont community to work to create more opportunities for inclusion and support those in the community who may not be able to recreate, socialize, shop, or merely exist with the safety and sense of security afforded to others in our community who differ only in their skin color. We are open to hearing how we, as an organization, can improve in this regard and welcome your feedback.
We ask that you, as a follower and friend of OGE, commit to discussing this issue with your family, friends, and colleagues. That you look for ways to give voice to those whose voices are diminished by divisive and hateful rhetoric wherever it comes from. And that, when you see a wrong being committed, whether it be by intent or by ignorance, that you speak up and give clear support to those who deserve and need it. Thank you to everyone who has made their voice heard already. Read more about our commitment to inclusivity here.
National and State Nonprofit Affiliations
The Conservation Alliance is an outdoor industry-funded granting group that has had incredible success protecting land for recreation, habitat, and ecosystem services. Their mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. They do amazing work all across North America and have also helped fund numerous projects close to our home in Vermont, including the Catamount Town Forest, Richmond Town Forest, Bolton Dome and Quarry, Bolton Backcountry, Barre Town Forest (Millstone) Ascutney, Stamford Appalachian Trail corridor and more! Learn more about their work on their website.
Outdoor Industry Association
The Outdoor Industry Association is the voice of the Outdoor Industry. They collaborate with key stakeholder groups to move the needle in focus areas of outdoor recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation, and outdoor participation while providing meaningful benefits to help businesses thrive. In addition to lobbying at the national level, OIA has initiatives to #votetheoutdoors, show that together we are a force, and sponsors/created the Outdoor Foundation to inspire children and families to develop healthy outdoor habits and passions. Learn more here.
Vermont Business for Social Responsibility
The Vermont Business for Social Responsibility is a statewide, nonprofit business association with a mission to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of its citizens. They are a 30-year-old organization and are networking, education, and public policy focused. Learn more about their history and work on their website.
Vermont Parks Forever
Vermont Parks Forever was founded in 2013 to enhance and protect the Vermont State Parks system through charitable and private support. They collaborate with Vermont residents, park visitors, and state governments to improve Vermont’s parks for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Their work continues Vermont’s tradition of support for conservation, recreation, public health, and natural beauty. OGE is a topline sponsor of Vermont Parks Forever, and we are grateful for the work they do!
Vermont Mountain Bike Association
The Vermont Mountain Bike Association’s mission is to ensure the sustainable future of mountain biking in Vermont and to thoughtfully promote the best riding in the Northeast by serving as the central hub for advocacy, education, and event support. We are 1 of 4 primary sponsors for VMBA, and happy to support their efforts to build and maintain a growing multipurpose trail system throughout Vermont. Learn more about their work and advocacy efforts on their website.
Vermont Huts Association
The Vermont Huts Association exists to develop a new statewide hut network connected by trails accessible and appropriate for skiing, hiking, and bikepacking. We are a corporate sponsor for Vermont Huts and are thrilled to help them achieve their goals!