Why L.L. Bean is going dark on social media this month

As Mental Health Awareness Month begins, L.L. Bean is halting its social media for the first time and instead encouraging customers to go outside. Beginning today, the Freeport, Maine-based retailer will wipe its Instagram feed and stop posting on any social accounts until the end of the month.

The moves are part of a first-time partnership with Mental Health America, an organization that promotes mental wellness, that will last two years. L.L. Bean will also donate $500,000 as a grant to help with community-based outdoor programs, and is commissioning research around the potential benefits of time spent in the outdoors for mental health.

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L.L. Bean typically posts to social media on a daily basis. A spokeswoman said the retailer’s social media community “is a significant part of our marketing function.” The brand intends to still engage with customers on product questions behind the scenes through direct messages, she said. The retailer intends to add a single post today about resources consumers can use to enhance their outdoor experience—such resources include articles around walks to boost mental wellness and the power of forest bathing, as well as a Get Outside Guide.