Fall - InsideOutdoor Magazine

insideoutdoor.com

Fall - InsideOutdoor Magazine

Fall 2008

www.insideoutdoor.com

UNCOVERING

OUTDOOR

COMPONENTS

Textile Technologies ’09

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Green Sourcing

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Summer

Market Rewind

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C O N T E N T S

Fall 2008

30

14

36 Betting on a Better World

Global corporations are feeling intense social pressure

to clean up their acts, but sourcing environmentally

friendly materials and developing greener products

present harsh new realities for designers and engineers.

Things should get easier, assuming executives

are able to show some patience.

By Martin Vilaboy

Departments

DATA POINTS

8 NUMBERS WORTH NOTING

Pick up of in-store; signs of the times; energy policies;

plus more

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

25 The gift of gear

FEATURES

36

14 Salt Lake in the Rearview Mirror

Now that we’ve had time to digest all the activities and announcements

that took place at the recent OR Summer Market, there’s

still only time to scratch the surface. That said, here’s a look back at

some trends observed as well as a few forecasts for the future.

By Martin Vilaboy

30 A Healthy Dose of Textile Technology

The outdoor market is long on fabrications that protect us and

maintain comfort in less-than hospitable situations, but a new

breed of technology goes one step further toward the medical

and therapeutic. It could be a healthy opportunity for those

willing to make a commitment.

By Martin Vilaboy

TEXTILE NEWS & NOTES

40 ON-SPEC AND IN-STOCK

Component swatches and shorts

BACK OFFICE

46 TO CATCH A THIEF

Solving the worst kind of shrink

48 MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Who else will?

6 Letter from the Editor

12 Rep News and Moves

50 Advertiser Index

4 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


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Editor’s Letter

Holiday Wishes?

It’s quite possible this winter we will see one of those rare instances of late when an

Outdoor Retailer expo fails to experience sequential growth in the number of exhibitors.

Now, don’t get your bike short chamois in a bind. We’re not here to add murk to the

gloom and suggest that even the outdoor market is not insulated from the current recessionary

period. Sure, the capital crunch will put a kibosh on marketing agendas at some

smaller vendors and squash plans altogether for a few upstarts, both of which tend to

represent much of the new exhibitors, and hence the growth, at OR. What’s less clear

at this point, however, is how current market conditions will impact winter traffic in the

retail aisles.

Not good, say the experts, and for good reasons. But we’re still not convinced it’s wise

for outdoor dealers to alter plans in expectation of drastic dips in holiday spending, as is

widely suggested.

We’re willing to bet most of the 20 percent or so of your customers that generates 80

percent or so of your business didn’t see a large chunk of net worth suddenly disappear

when the Dow dropped below 10,000. And while lending is an issue that touches everyone,

credit card companies simply aren’t going to suddenly cut off qualified consumers or

jack rates on them in such a competitive environment. Nobody, quite frankly, likes to turn

away good business.

The instability of global markets even produced an interesting upside that for some

reason gets little attention from the keepers of the headlines. As the markets have dipped,

surely you’ve notice, so have food and gas prices, and that may impact Christmas consumerism

more than tanking stocks and tight credit, at least if we can believe the surveys

taken when those prices were rising.

There’s some evidence we should. This September, reports the U.S. Census, overall

retail dollars were down 1.2 percent compared to September 2007. Food and beverage

on its own, however, was up about 5 percent.

Gasoline station sales were up 17 percent year over year, despite data suggesting

people were cutting back on their driving. Consumers apparently were spending more

for lots less.

It seems safe to assume, as gas and food prices dip, much of the dollars saved once

again become discretionary. Of course, consumer attitude about the economic conditions,

or confidence, is a huge factor, as well, and falling prices at the pumps could have

the same positive effect as rising prices appear to have had a negative effect. We’d also

bet that as soon as the elections are over, we’ll be hearing a lot less from the talking heads

about how terrible the economy is performing.

So when it begins to look a lot like Christmas, don’t be surprised if it ends up looking a

lot like the holiday seasons of the past few years, when a good amount of retailers were

too short on inventory and staff to take advantage of the traffic. We’re not suggesting

caution is not in order. Consumers and financial institutions have been irresponsible, no

doubt, and some belt tightening appears inevitable. (The suggestion that purchasing is

patriotic while prudence is bad for the nation’s economy simply is dangerous, but that’s a

different discussion.)

Perhaps it’s best to take the same advice level-headed investment planners are offering

clients in these rocky financial times: There are two strikes, two outs, no runners on

base and you’re down a few runs, so give up going for the home run, and maybe even

choke up on the bat a little, but don’t just stand their taking pitches. If you do, there’s a

good chance you’ll watch the third strike go right by. –MV

Martin Vilaboy

Editor-in-Chief

martin@bekapublishing.com

Percy Zamora

Art Director

outdoor@bekapublishing.com

Ernest Shiwanov

Editor at Large

ernest@bekapublishing.com

Editorial Contributors:

R.J. Anderson

Philip Josephson

Berge Kaprelian

Group Publisher

berge@bekapublishing.com

Jennifer Vilaboy

Production Director

jen@bekapublishing.com

Suzanne Urash

Ad Creative Designer

suzanne@cre8groupinc.com

Beka Publishing

Berge Kaprelian

President and CEO

Philip Josephson

General Counsel

Jim Bankes

Business Accounting

Corporate Headquarters

745 N. Gilbert Road

Suite 124, PMB 303

Gilbert, AZ 85234

Voice: 480.503.0770

Fax: 480.503.0990

Email: berge@bekapublishing.com

© 2008 Beka Publishing, All rights reserved.

Reproduction in whole or in any form or

medium without express written permission

of Beka Publishing, is prohibited. Inside

Outdoor and the Inside Outdoor logo are

trademarks of Beka Publishing

6 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Photographs by Dan Milner

Every day is an

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Data Points

Numbers Worth Noting

by Martin Vilaboy

Uptick of In-store Pickup

According to the e-tailing Group’s most recent cross-channel

study, “buy online for pickup in-store is definitely becoming more a

part of stores’ culture,” says Lauren Freedman, e-tailing president.

A primary appeal for consumers is the free shipping to stores,

which 96 percent of surveyed retailers now offer compared to 92

percent last year. Efficiencies within the store, such as the pickup

location more frequently being at the customer service area and

more related in-store signage, are further evidence of the feature’s

integration within the brick and mortar environment.

Nonetheless, more merchants appear to be stocking

products centrally, and that means more time needed to ship

goods to designated stores, suggest the findings. Last year,

73 percent of merchants surveyed offered same day pickup

versus 54 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

In-Store Pickup Experience (% of surveyed merchants)

3Q 2008 3Q 2007

Pickup Location and Type

Designated pickup counter 37% 45%

General cashier 42% 43%

Customer service area 21% 12%

Designated Counter

Easy to find 79% 78%

Medium difficulty 17% 13%

Difficult to find 4% 9%

In-store signage for pickup 58% 55%

Overall wait time 2.58 min 3.21 min

Product ready and waiting 94% 83%

Source: the e-Tailing Group, September 2008

Snow Sports Snapshot

The 2007/2008 snow sports season brought in $2.97 billion

in sales of snowsports equipment, apparel and accessories

among both brick and mortar shops and on the Internet,

according to the latest figures from SIA. Of that, $834 million

came from equipment, $1.165 billion from apparel and $973

million from accessories. Sales through specialty shops

increased 3 percent in units and 5 percent in dollars over last

season to $1.9 billion, while chain store data showed sales

totaling $616 million, 15 percent higher than in 2005/2006, the

last season measured. Internet sales, meanwhile, increased

an impressive 39 percent in units and 46 percent in dollars,

says SIA. On eBay alone, 22,635 new (but not necessarily

current) alpine skis and 37,182 new (but not necessarily

current) snowboards were purchased between August 1, 2007

and March 31, 2008.

All told, about 26 million people in the U.S. consider

themselves snow sports participants, but 9 million did not

participate in 2007.

Digital Signs Grab, Engage, Inform

A study released by SeeSaw Networks and conducted

by OTX suggests that advertising on digital signage is a

compelling media for advertisers to effectively deliver their

messages. Nearly two-thirds of adults say that digital signage

catches their attention, and among those who have seen

advertisements on different kinds of media over the past 12

months, respondents found digital signage advertising to

be the most unique and the most interesting, just ahead of

magazine and television advertising, which came in a close

second and third on both accounts.

People Reporting That Advertising On The Media

Catches Their Attention

Media

% of Respondents Noting

Digital signage 63%

Billboard 58%

Magazine 57%

TV 56%

Internet 47%

Newspaper 40%

Radio 37%

Mobile phone 10%

Source: SeeSaw Networks

Digital signage also scored well in terms of being “credible”

and “informative,” ranking near the top in both categories. The

latter is particularly important because while all advertising

seeks to increase demand for a product or service, “informative

advertising provides people with information that influences

their decisions,” suggest OTX researchers.

Advertising On The Media Is Credible

Media

% of Base

Newspaper 41%

Magazine 37%

Digital signage 33%

TV 32%

Radio 27%

Internet 25%

Billboard 19%

Advertising On The Media Is Informative

Media

Magazine 59%

Newspaper 55%

TV 51%

Digital signage 50%

Radio 43%

Billboard 36%

Internet 35%

Source: SeeSaw Networks

% of Base

8 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Data Points

40%

Consumers Conversely, Are respondents Most Interested also find messaging Seeing on Sale digital and signs received a mobile offer, while about the 34% same percentage 31% was

less Product annoying Info than on Screen nearly all other media, and acceptance is a worried about the 30% cost of airtime.

“How “critical interested component would you of be effective in seeing media,” ... on large the video report screens concludes. in stores?”

21% 21%

Incidentally, the most annoying form of advertising when

20%

15%

Mobile Marketing Offer Responses

12%

comparing all forms was online advertising, say the findings,

% of

8%

Specials viewed as an annoyance by 67 percent of respondents. 81%

10%

Responders All 3%

Offer Types

Products

72%

to Mobile Respondents

0%

When Comparing Digital Signage With

Very often or Frequently

Offers

Sometimes Rarely/Never N/

al Events Other Media, Only Newspapers Were Found 68%

Responded to a text message always for product reador service read 70% read 17%

News To Be “Less Annoying” than Digital Signs

Participated in survey sent to mobile phone 42% 10%

67%

Source: MarketingSherpa

Media

% of Base

Responded to email offer for product or service 30% 7%

Weather

67%

Newspaper 23%

Responded to Web offer on mobile browser 22% 5%

al Shows Digital signage 26% 52%

Responded to a coupon offer 18% 4%

Billboard 26%

Source: Direct Marketing Association

Card Info

50%

Magazine 33%

ic Videos

TV 51%

49%

That seems to suggest that as data services get cheaper or

Radio 52%

continue to move toward unlimited plans, and as mobile messaging

orts Info

46%

Internet 67%

becomes more prevalent, a huge uptake is possible. A lack of interest

and Trivia

36%

was cited by 45 percent of non-responders. Interestingly enough, 18

Source: SeeSawNetworks

percent of non-responders said either that their phones did not have

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% the capabilities or they simply did not know how to use it.

Energy Policies

If your company Base: is feeling Consumers the pinch 18+ of rising energy costs, Reasons for Not Responding to Mobile Offer

you’re not alone. Just less than 70 percent of small and midsized

Source: Arbitron businesses surveyed by the National Small Business

I was not interested 45%

I have never received an offer on my mobile phone 33%

Association have taken action this year directly related to rising

energy costs. The most prevalent move is to simply increase

prices, named by 37 percent of respondents, while a third of

It cost me airtime or money to respond

My mobile phone doesn’t support this capability

32%

13%

firms have reduced business travel.

My phone has the capability, but I don’t know how to use it 5%

A Majority of Shoppers Find Retail Video Displa

Businesses have been forced to take steps to

mitigate the impact of higher energy prices.

“In response to rising energy costs, which of the following

steps have you taken?”

Cut production schedule or commenced

other conservation measures

None

11%

31%

Increased

Invested in

37% Prices

Energy-Efficiency

Upgrades

18%

3%

Increased Use of

Public Transportation

33%

Reduced Amount of Business Travel

Source: National Small Business Association

10%

4% Reduced

Employed Benefits

Reduced Workforce

Texting Tops Mobile Offers

Among the 24 percent of mobile phone users who have

responded to mobile marketing, a full 70 percent say they

have responded to a marketing text message compared to

42 percent who’ve responded to a survey and 30 percent to

email offers, according to findings from the Direct Marketing

Association. Of the 74 percent of respondents who did not

respond to mobile marketing, 33 percent said they had never

10 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008

60%

50%

54%

Transactional email

Typical opt-in messaging

Other 5%

to be Helpful

Source: Direct Marketing Association

“Do you think that video programs featuring product or sale

Overall, about

information

one-fifth of

are...?”

mobile marketing responders

indicated that they respond to three or more offers a month.

Not surprisingly, younger, “Very single Helpful” and the more affluent cohorts

are more likely to interact with

16%

mobile messaging, says DMA.

Gift Cards Get Personal

The perception that gift cards are impersonal is the top

inhibitor to consumers purchasing them, according to a survey

from National Research Network. So one way to increase gift card

sales and help them stand out in a dense marketplace is through

the “personalization “Not of at gift Allcards,” says Keith Maladra, National

Research Network Helpful” vice 22% president. Of course, personalization

means knowing customers better, so NRN tells us that gift card

purchasers are most likely to be female and between the ages

of 18 to 24, while Christmas and birthdays, not surprisingly,

were cited as the top occasions for gift card giving.

Base: Consumers 18+ who have seen retail video

In 2006, consumers spent nearly 18 percent of their 2006

total holiday merchandise Source: Arbitron gift expenditures on gift cards, up

from 13 percent in 2005, says the International Council of

Shopping Centers. In 2007, meanwhile, respondents to the

NRN survey claimed to have spent $262 on gift cards, at an

average of $52 per card. NRN also found that 15 percent of

gift card recipients spend less than the total gift card amount,

benefitting the card issuer.

“So

H


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Rep Moves and News

GreenRep.org announced its official launch as “a sales

agency dedicated to selling green products and advancing

green initiatives.” A full service agency, GreenRep.org will

focus on representing green-oriented manufactures in the

surf, skate, snow and outdoor industries. GreenRep.org works

by donating 5 percent of all profits to green organizations and

educational sources. The mission behind this contribution is

to build a business protocol that reflects the same values

their client’s share.

“We believe that it is incumbent upon all of us, as

ambassadors to the outdoors, to educate our end-consumers to

the very real connection between the effects of global warming

and the sports we love,” explains founder Daniel Clayton.

Among its early clients, GreenRep.org manages regional

sales and custom programs for industry brands Helly Hansen,

Gramicci, Ando and Friends and LiViTY Outernational.

Chinook Outdoors, an agency founded in 1995 by Ben

Tindall, will represent SCARPA North America in New York,

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C. and Delaware. Tindall

has been in the industry for nearly 25 years and started his

career in sales as a tech rep for Rossignol. Chinook’s other lines

include Sierra Designs, Boeri, Acorn and Io-Bio. Tindall can be

reached at 610-346-8843 or bent@chinookoutdoors.com.

Expecting a substantial increase of sales in these regions

in the coming year, NuCanoe has entered into three new

partnerships in the third quarter. In the Northeast, NuCanoe

now will be represented by John and Pete Tangney (617-

448-4509), while Bob Nichols (321-282-8289) will handle

Florida and Joe Lammers (937-470-5822) will handle

Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Skins is taking its gradient compression technology into the

Canadian market through a partnership with distributor Roblin

Athletic Inc. Roblin Athletic is an in-stock distributor, offering

fast shipping and a service-focused national sales team known

for superior product knowledge. The company will introduce

Skins to select run, cycle and ski specialty stores coast-to-coast

beginning November 1, 2008.

“With our advanced technology, there is a need for a

high level of specialized retailer education. Roblin Athletic

is committed to retailer education, thus was the perfect

choice for Canadian distribution,” says Jon Graff, brand

manager for Skins.

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the latest gear in the outdoor industry.

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12 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


nearly 1,000 nominations for this accolade from snow sports

retailers nationwide.

Nine regions were identified for retailers to vote for the snow

sports rep they felt most deserving. This year’s SnowSports

Regional Rep of the Year winners will be recognized at the SIA

Fall Education Seminars held in three locations throughout

the U.S. Each winner will receive a commemorative plaque

recognizing their commitment to the industry, and they are:

Wacoal Sports Science Corp., makers of CW-X

Conditioning Wear, has appointed Black Water Designs

(BWD), a division of Barrett Marketing Group Corporation,

as its exclusive Canadian distributor. BWD, based in Toronto,

is also the Canadian licensee of Sierra Designs and Ultimate

Direction and the exclusive distributor for Karrimor products.

BWD has been in business more than 25 years in the specialty

outdoor retail market and nine years in the specialty running

retail market. For more on BWD, contact Chad

Smith at chads@blackwater.ca.

At the same time it announced the departure

of longtime employee Martin Wilkinson, who

REGION

Atlantic (N.Y., Pa., N.J., Del., Md.)

Eastern Lakes (Mich., Ohio, Ind.)

has taken a position with Mountain Khakis as

Midwest (N.D., Minn., Wis., S.D., Iowa, Ill., Neb., Mont., Kan., Okla.)

the newest member of their sales division,

Outdoor Sports Marketing announced the Northeast (Me., Vt., N.H., Mass., R.I., Conn.)

hiring of two new team members.

Whit Clifford will be joining Outdoor Sports

Northern California

Northwest (Wash., Ore., Idaho, Mont., Alaska)

Marketing covering Georgia, Southern Alabama

Rockies (Wyo., Utah, Colo., N.M., Texas)

and South Carolina, while Justin Sams will be

serving Outdoor Sports Marketing’s retailer base South (W.Va., Va., Ky., Tenn., N.C., S.C., Ga., Ala., Miss., Fla., Ark., La.)

in Florida. Whit can be reached at 912-536-1299 West (Southern California, Nev., Ariz., Hawaii)

or whit@outdoorsportsmarketing.com, and

Sams at 904-477-0458 or justin@outdoorsportsmarketing.com.

And finally … now in its third year, The SnowSports

Industries America’s SnowSports Regional Rep of the Year

Award recognizes those sales reps in the snow sports industry

that have successfully fostered relationships with retail

storefronts to help move winter sports products. SIA received

WINNER

Rob Haggerty

Broc Johnson

Scott Ladwig

Brad Sellew

Craig Wingard

Dustin Anderson

Rob Howland

Mitch Chilton

Bob Stanislaus

Voting for the regional rep award began in late July with

surveys sent out to nearly 10,000 retail storefronts. Nomination

criteria focused on five main components including: relationships

with retail shops; communication with retailers; proactively

helping stores manage inventory; conducting shop clinics; and

timely response to retail shops’ calls and emails.

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 13


Salt Lake in the

Rearview Mirror

Photo courtesy Outdoor Retailer

Summer Market Rewind & Fast Forward

by Martin Vilaboy

Peaking travel costs and threats of “staycations”

be damned. The outdoor industry was

out in full force in August, convening in Salt

Lake City for what show organizers, Nielsen

Business Media, called a record-breaking Outdoor Retailer

Summer Market.

An informal survey taken on the show floor suggested

tough times forced some smaller independent

retailers, particularly those from Eastern parts of the

U.S., to send fewer buyers than in the past or forego

the trip altogether. But, by and large, outdoor industry

members used whatever means necessary (planes,

trains, automobile, buses and bicycles) to convene on

the Salt Palace, where traffic in the aisles was as heavy

as ever, and booths continued to push the boundaries

of the space provided by the long-time venue.

14 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


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Photo courtesy Outdoor Retailer

So much so that some requests from veteran exhibitors

for bigger footprints on the show floor had

to be refused, say show organizers. And that’s after

space was freed up by the removal of the paddle tank.

Meanwhile, many first-time exhibitors had to take

their chances on the expo’s first real attempt to house

booths off-site, across the street from the Salt Palace at

ESA or EnergySolutions Arena, which a few exhibitors

lovingly dubbed “East Siberia Area.”

When heading out through the West exit of the Salt

Palace, the walk over to the ESA actually wasn’t that

bad, but foot traffic still was light to non-existent any

given hour most days. It was probably wishful thinking

to expect anything much different. Remember the

first time temporary tents were set up in the Salt Palace

parking lot?

As most show organizers will attest, the first

year is always tough for a new site at an old event,

so it’s pretty safe to assume that traffic and enthusiasm

in the ESA will improve significantly down

the road, assuming also that enough companies are

willing to purchases booth space in the ESA next

summer and beyond.

That said, there are signs executives at Nielsen Business

Media now believe that OR Summer Market has

outgrown its host city, and while we’ve heard nothing

official, we wouldn’t be surprised if Nielsen already is

searching for other sites and cities, as its current agreement

with the Salt Palace nears its end in 2010. There’s

no telling yet where Summer Market will move, as

there simply aren’t many choices of convention halls

that can fit the entire industry under one roof, as well

as provide decent outdoor access for demos, competitions

and recreation. That’s partly why the smaller OR

Winter Market likely stays put in Salt Lake, at least for

the near to mid-term, even if Summer Market relocates

to a new home.

What’s SUP

Back to last summer’s show and the main floor,

it was hard not to notice the impact made by standup

paddling, including the momentum it generated

at the on-water demo, even before the expo officially

Stand-up paddlers are a sight for the paddlesports

market’s sore eyes.

16 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


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Anglers enjoy the versatility of SUP

opened. Providing a wave of excitement in an otherwise

flat paddling market, SUP quickly has permeated

the show’s paddlesports section. There’s even an inflatable

stand up board available to retailers already.

“Paddle dealers that haven’t yet brought in standup

paddling, or are at least considering it, will be

doing so in five years,” predicts Duke Brouwer,

events/promotion manager from SUP

board vendor Surf Technicians Inc.

Part surfing part kayaking, the

sight of an adult standing fully erect

up on top of the water is proving

to be an eye-catching site at paddle

dealer demos, says Brouwer, and proponents

of the sport claim it’s much easier

to learn than surfing, due to the flat bottom of the

boards, while the paddle helps with balance. After

a good 15 minutes of proper instructions, most folks

can get the basics down after about five minutes on a

board, says Brouwer.

“After debuting stand-up paddling at the show

three years ago, this year was clearly a break out year

for stand-up, both from the retailers interest, as well

as the expansion of our program into

the range of uses for different models,”

says Sander Nauenberg, Surftech marketing

manager.

Indeed, though SUP is a product

of the coastal surf culture, stand-up

boards are making their way inland,

with hybrid designs being developed

for all sorts of waters and

uses.

“Flat water paddling, tri-athlete

training and racing, fishing, river paddling, wave riding

... too many fun approaches,” says Nauenberg.

Similar to more traditional watercraft, SUP boards

range from nimble and fast to extremely stable and slow,

while SUP vendor C4 Waterman, for its part, this year

introduced a “go-anywhere board” called the ATV. The

end result is a sport with the cool factor of surfing and

the flexibility and market reach of canoeing.

“You want to fly fish off one of these boards? Let’s

do it,” says Surftech’s Brouwer.

18 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008

A Fleet for the Feet

Moving from the water ways to

retail aisles, retailers hungry

for opportunities

to cross-merchandise

footwear with apparel

on the sales floor have

some solid options

for Spring 2009. Now

into their second year

in the apparel business,

Merrell’s designers have

placed special emphasis

Lowa’s new Zephyr GTX was

on providing clothing styles designed to walk the line

that integrate tightly with the between beefy backpacking

company’s footwear line, says boot and everyday shoe.

a company spokesperson.

Similarly, Ex Officio took its first steps into

footwear with styles also intended to be

mixed and matched with ExO apparel on

the sales floor.

And sticking with footwear, it appears boots

are back, at least light hikers are anyway. After

years of hearing that old school hiking boots

were overkill for what most users were

doing on the trails, while the “fast and

ultralight” trend dictated that trail

running-type styles would be what

most hikers wanted, a few footwear

The SÓL represents

GoLite’s first step into

the outdoor boot

business.

vendors were plopping down

light-duty hiking boots that resembled

the once-dominant day

hikers of the 1990s.

Even “fast and light” purveyors GoLite, for example,

introduced its first full-sized boot, the Speed of

Light (SÓL). GoLite says its leather/fabric upper

boot is one-third the weight of comparable hikers,

but it’s certainly more day hiker than the

“running-inspired” shoes typical of the

GoLite line.

The Amazon GV Women’s

is part of Asolo’s Freeland

collection of multi-sport

boots and shoes.

Coming from a company steeped in trail running, Oboz’s new

Wind River is billed as a lightweight and agile backpacking boot.


dri-release microblend performance fabric

Faster Releasing=Greater Comfort

FreshGuard keeps garments fresh

Lasting quality, wash after wash

Dri-release is

RELEASE

FACTOR a real speed

4

demon when

it comes to

liters per hour

moisture

transport —

releasing as much as 4 liters

of moisture in one hour. That’s

faster than cotton, and faster

than any other performance

fabric! That means you will stay

dryer and more comfortable

even in your

most intense

workouts.

FreshGuard

keeps garments

smelling fresh by

working from deep

inside the yarn.

Unlike antimicrobials,

FreshGuard doesn’t kill

bacteria, it inhibits odors

caused by bacteria from

clinging to fabrics. How? Since

FreshGuard is built directly

into the yarn, it works from

the inside out. It’s like having a

“clean room“

inside your

garments,

where smells have a tough

time penetrating.

drirelease.com

For more information on dri-release, call 1-800-994-3083 or go to www.drirelease.com.

Dri-release and FreshGuard are registered trademarks of Optimer.

Dri-release is

a real trooper

when it comes

to the rough

and tumble

world. Because there’s no

topical finishes or harmful

chemical additives to the

yarn, the performance won’t

wash out. All of Dri-release’s

fabulous qualities are intrinsic

to the yarn itself which makes

for an extralong

lasting

garment, wash

after #@!{|@#

wash.


Merrell’s Bedlam is an

“action sport inspired”

camouflaged canvas boot

for multisport use.

Of course, in the bigger picture,

trail shoes are getting lighter and

sleeker. Even boot brand

Lowa made a

major push

into the trail

running and

outdoor crosstraining

categories

this year. But at the

same time, there’s also a

sense that low-cut profiles

and slimmed down

outsoles won’t work for every done-in-a-day activity

and end user. So among the many “athletic-inspired,”

mesh upper trail runners, there

was a fair share of high-cut, leather-based

hikers and even a few new “light backpacking”

boots designed to crossover as “everyday

use shoes.”

Again, ultralight, by no means, has become

less important. It’s just not driving every design

decision as it seemed to do during the past few

years. Or at least its predominant place on the

hype cycle has been somewhat usurped by

“going green” and sustainability.

Sustaining Momentum

Meanwhile, from outsole to outerwear,

the sustainability groove continues to charge the

room, some advocates looking to change their products,

some looking to change the world. Some more

realistic about change than others.

As would be expected, there was a bounty of green

gear and components, but the call to sustainable living

is causing more subtle changes that go beyond

the greening of products and production. Consider

a shift taking place within outdoor lifestyle apparel,

for example. Sure, there’s organic cotton and earthfriendly

bamboo, but there’s also a trend emerging

that, at least partly, can be traced back to the

bike-to-work movement.

The concept of “function meets fashion”

has become cliché in the world of outdoor

apparel, but we are seeing a slightly new

twist on this old trend. It’s difficult to wrap

a label around the concept, but it deviates a

bit from “performance pieces in fashionable

colors and stylings” and represents more than

“works in the outdoors but still looks good.” What

we are seeing now is more about “function meets

function,” as in sport performance functionality

in the back with design functionalities for office

and everyday life in the front.

20 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008

The model is best illustrated by the bike commuter

clothing lines from folks such as Gramicci and Smartwool.

A pair of wool bike/work shorts from Smartwool,

for example, sports a woven twill typical of wool

suits, says Smartwool’s PR firm SnL Communications,

while a smart city jacket by Gramicci hides a reflective

strip tucked away in a lower back pocket. Merrell

Apparel, for its part, incorporates reflective strips on

the sleeve of a shirt that strap down around the wrist,

hidden from sight, when in the office. Stretch jeans,

cycling shorts with a removable chamois and argyle

performance socks, such as those from Fox River, also

define the trend.

Whatever marketers decide to call it, one upshot of

this trend is the expansion of outdoor apparel

from the weekend trail and into daily

life and the work week, without necessarily

chasing the fashion whims of department

store shoppers or waiting for outdoor looks

to once again become “fashionable.”

Moving a bit more directly within the sustainability

movement, solar and self-powered

technologies continue to get increasingly interesting,

if for no other reason than the potentially

massive impact they can have on

the world’s energy production and consumption.

Companies such as Brunton

and Seattle Sports lead the

way with new alternative-powered

lights,

Fox River’s new performance

argyle socks exemplify the

trend toward office/outdoor

crossover apparel.

radios and chargers,

with increasingly impressive

output and

charging capabilities.

One particularly

nifty item is the self-powered ActiveTrax Audio from

Seattle Sports. The ActiveTrax combines an iPod/mp3

speaker with an AM/FM/Weatherband radio that is

charged through dynamo cranking or a built-in solar

panel. Small enough to take anywhere, the ActiveTrax

Audio cranks out impressive sound

without the need for batteries or electricity.

Elsewhere, one of the more interesting

possibilities among the alt-powered

opportunities was found over

on the less-traveled ESA show floor,

in the PowerFilm booth.

PowerFilm produces

monolithically

integrated solar

panels on

thin and flexible

plastic using

a roll-to-roll

The ActiveTrax Audio from Seattle Sports

can be charged via crank or sun power.


Paris.

Milan.

New York.

Des Moines.

Is Iowa the new fashion mecca? It’s possible, now that DuPont has created a

renewably sourced polymer for fabric with corn, DuPont Sorona ® . It’s exactly what

manufacturers, designers and buyers look for in a premiere fabric. Rich, vibrant colors.

True blacks and whites. Comfort stretch and recovery. Fade resistance. Easy care.

It also has something unexpected—it’s smart for the environment. That’s because it’s

the only high-performance polymer made with a renewable resource. So not only will

Sorona ® make consumers feel good in their activewear, swimwear or even lingerie,

they’ll feel great about your brand. Be the first in your field to be glamorously green.

Visit sorona.dupont.com or call 1-866-4-SORONA.

© 2008 DuPont. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont, The miracles of science, Sorona ® and Renewably Sourced

are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.


manufacturing process that the company says significantly

reduces manufacturing costs. The system’s

flexible-yet-durable polyimide substrate results in

paper thinness and light weights, while the amount

of silicon used in PowerFilm solar panels is as low

as 1 percent of the amount used in traditional solar

panels, says the company.

Although most of the applications are industrial

and architectural at this point, it’s quite possible that

PowerFilm eventually could provide apparel manufacturers

with small strips of its solar panel film, which

then could be attached to a Velcro strip on a jacket, for

instance, in order to continually charge mobile electronics

while out playing or exercising. Or maybe a

shell piece can generate its own heat when the temperature

drops – no batteries, heat-activated compounds

or (gasp) insulation required.

And while we’re over at the ESA, and since only

a minority of attendees found the time to make

the trek across 300 West, we’ll transition here to a

few of the gems uncovered by a quick walkabout

through the “new exhibitor” section. Hoping to

capitalize on the popularity of the iPod, iPhone

and other portable devices, SNIK’s headphone cord

routing device for apparel and bags is one quick

way to “tech your threads,” says Rob Honeycutt

of SNIK products. SNIKs are essentially slightly

oversized buttons with a small groove around their

circumferences to hold a headphone strap securely

in place. Line up a few SNIKs down the front of a

jacket or button-down shirt, for example, and just

about any such garment instantly includes a builtin

cord routing system.

Equally as small, simplistic and innovative as the

SNIK, the new Cord Lock Light from exhibitor Black

Crater combines a replacement cord lock device with

a hyper bright 3mm LED light. Conveniently attached

to any sleeping bag, stuff sack or hooded jacket, the

Cord Lock Light features three modes (low, high and

flash), a water-resistant construction and weigh less

than 8 ounces.

Individual Cord Lock Lights wholesale for about $5 a

piece, depending on volume, and come with a free point

of purchase hang strip with promotional graphic.

At the risk of suggesting that media swag leads to

positive ink (wink wink), the folks at Naturally Bamboo

were passing out free t-shirts to media members

who made their way to the ESA, and after a handful

of wears, the 100-percent bamboo shirt is now one of

the first t-shirts grabbed from my closet. The t-shirt

Reclaimed, Recycled, Responsible!

ECOWOOD

DISPLAYS

made w/ reclaimed wood

proudly made in the usa

800-452-1679

www.ecowooddisplays.com

22 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


The Cord Lock Light appears

to have appeal to both

retailers as a replacement

item and to apparel

designers as a point of

differentiation.

is super light and super

cool in the Arizona

heat, hangs nicely

and seems to live

up to what bamboo

advocates claim. Assuming

that the free

giveaway shirt was a

basic style and likely

not the company’s

best effort, we’re

optimistic about what

bamboo can do.

And finally, from the

new exhibitors to the notso-new,

history was in the

air at OR with many long-standing outdoor brands looking

to get “back to their roots” when it comes to both

positioning and product development.

“We’ve worked off our heritage equipment and

core product,” said Barry McGeough, vice president

of hardgoods for The North Face, in reference to the

company’s Spring ’09 equipment collection.

Eagle Creek marketing representative, Stasia

Raines, likewise, was quick to emphasis the company’s

renewed focus on core offerings, as well as getting

re-acquainted with the company’s history as a

pioneer of adventure travel gear. Meanwhile, throwback

imagery and retro stylings could be spotted in

every corner, such as JanSport’s billboard-sized tribute

to founder Skip Yowell and Freestyles line of fun, neon

bright 1980s-influenced wristwatches.

It’s quite possible the nostalgic mood hit full swing

because many outdoor brands are celebrating or preparing

to celebrate significant anniversaries of their

respective formations, some of which can be traced to

the early days of the outdoor industry and beyond.

Among them, Isis turned 10 this year, EcoWood

turned lucky 13 and CGPR marked its 15th anniversary.

Both Thinsulate and Nikwax celebrated 30 years;

Hilleberg the Tentmaker, Polarguard and Marmot each

turned 35; and The North Face threw a 40th birthday

bash. Going even further back, Gore-Tex marked its

50th year, while La Sportiva celebrated its 80th, and

Deuter hit a whopping 110.

Not that anyone needs another reason to party at

an OR show, where the free beer flows more plentiful

than at a Catholic wedding. But hey, faced with more

than 30 hours of trade show in four days, no one was

complaining either.

Prevention is Better Than a Cure

®

since 1996

worldwide

Consumables

that sell

all year long

better skin protection

for sports

& outdoor

upper

body

thighs

feet

© 2008 W STERNOFF LLC, Bellevue, WA USA

tel (888) 263-9454

bodyglide.com

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 23


Is your business

ready to make it

to the top?

Building and growing a business requires blending the right mix

of people, products and skills to achieve objectives. Finding the

right mix for success isn’t always obvious or easy and from time

to time businesses need specialized talent and resources to

‘smooth out the rough spots’ for continued success. Whatever

your situation, Corporate Ladders can provide a full range of

business services to equip your company with the tools you

need to give your company the edge over your competition.

Corporate Ladders is a business development consulting and

coaching firm whose principals have been senior managers

in multiple organizations, guiding a variety of businesses to

success. Our team of industry professionals brings experience,

expertise and a unique global perspective to the business

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today’s dynamic business environment.

Corporate Ladders goes beyond traditional consulting firms by

recognizing that the best business plans and strategies need

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Yaktrax Pro Ice Traction

The weather outside is frightful,

but no worries, the Yaktrax Pro Ice

Traction Device has undergone

major improvements for the

2008-09 winter season. A

new outer band, toe bridge,

heel tab and added texturing

enhance the fit and

grip on the shoe, while

increased coil spacing,

impact nubs on strand intersections

and increased heel

strand thickness make each device

extremely durable. As the Pro has always

been tailored for active performance users, the nylon

security strap has been changed to a lightweight nylon, enhancing

comfort and fit over the forefoot. 919-282-1001 or

www.implus.com

Outside Inside

Outside Inside’s gift

collection, distributed

by GSI Outdoors, includes

a complete array

of birdfeeders,

birdhouses, party

lights, cake toppers,

magnets, frames

and ornaments for

home, lodge or cabin.

New for the holidays is a

group of decorations including

the Rooftop Kayak Santa (MSRP

$12.95). All items in the collection are

packaged in decorative display boxes, ready to give as gifts

at anytime. www.outsideinsidegifts.com


C.A.M.P. Cosmic Helmet

We all have someone on our list

that could use some head protection,

and the Cosmic does the job in

style and comfort.

A ridged ABS injection-molded

shell with a

patented new

closure system

eliminates clips and

buckles around the

chin, allowing the

helmet to fit more

securely and comfortably.

Millimetric adjustment

is achieved with a

dial built into the helmet’s main structure

near the right temple. Headlamp

compatible, the Cosmic weighs 400

grams. www.camp-usa.com

Stealth Cam Epic Camera

Weighing

just 3 ounces,

the new Epic

camera can

be mounted

virtually anywhere

– from helmets

to handlebars to arms or

boots. The high-resolution video

and SD compatible memory with up to

200 minutes of video at 30 frames per

second plus audio makes it an ideal tool

for capturing those unforgettable, onthe-go

moments. The unit doubles as a

5 megapixel camera with Burst Mode

Technology for multiple still images.

877-269-8490 or www.epicstealthcam.com

Coghlan’s Cooler LED

Brunton BrewFire

The new

Cooler Light is

a single LED

light reflected

through an

acrylic lens

that secures

to the underside

of any

cooler lid with

double-side

adhesive tape. The light is designed

to shine automatically when the lid is

raised and to turn off when the cooler

is closed. Unlike the typical refrigerator

light, however, the Cooler Light will

shut off automatically after 20 seconds

regardless if the lid is shut completely.

www.coghlans.com

Even the camper who has everything

will be impressed by the BrewFire, the

world’s first propane/butane portable

coffee maker that serves up home

brewed coffee anywhere. Just twist

on a fuel canister, hit one button and

brew eight cups of

java. The doublewalled,

vacuumsealed

stainless

steel carafe keeps

coffee hot for

up to 2.5 hours.

Suggested retail

is $99. www.

brunton.com

26 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


OverBoard Waterproof Camera Case

Gave someone a digital camera last Christmas? Help

them keep it protected this year with Overboard’s Waterproof

Zoom Camera Case. Compatible with virtually all

compact digital cameras utilizing a telescopic zoom lens,

the Waterproof Zoom Camera Case is

a flexible waterproof case that allows

users to take pictures above or under

the water. Submersible to

19 feet, the extended

zoom channel

allows for

the protrusion

of a camera’s

telescopic

lens, while the

hard clear lens provides

image clarity

in all applications. This

waterproof case is available

exclusively from ROC

Gear, Inc. 706-955-0241 or www.ROCgearWholesale.com

“we’ve got you covered”

Our patented 3 in 1 system offers a soft case

and a cleaning cloth concealed in the eyewear

retainer. From our Classic that started it all, to

the ClipCase and SportGrip that together make

up our TechnoSkin, we can protect your eyewear.

Additionally, for the marine enthusiasts our H2O

will keep Davy Jones from claiming anymore

eyewear from you. Eyewear retainers and

protection is all we do. When it

comes to your eyewear…

“we’ve got you covered”

www.hides.com

866-287-0667

Slumberjack Deluxe Cooler Seat

Slumberjack’s line of cooler seats combines the comfort

of camp chairs with the storage and organization of a cooler.

The line is highlighted by the Deluxe Cooler Seat ($69.99),

which features an insulated cooler with two detachable

cooler cubes that easily mount on the side of the seat for

easy access. It even incorporates a unique beverage holder

system and multiple storage pockets for fast access to beverages,

keys, cell phone and other gear. The fully collapsible

seat features a lightweight yet durable aluminum construction

with a 600 x 300 poly-oxford

seat. The seat is made

from 100 percent PVCfree

fabric. 800-233-6283

or www.slumber

jack.com

Princeton Tec Swerve

Impress the urban

biker on

“we’ve

your

got you covered”

gift list with the new

Swerve bike tail light

from Princeton Tec.

Utilizing two highpower

LEDs rather

than regular 5 mm

LEDs, the combination

of diffused and

focused lenses creates

a bright beam

pattern that repeats

between a wider

beam and a narrow

beam, ultimately

creating a higher level of visibility, says the company. The

Our patented 3 in 1 system offers a soft case

and a cleaning cloth concealed in the eyewear

retainer. From our Classic that started it all, to

the ClipCase and SportGrip that together make

up our TechnoSkin, we can protect your eyewear.

Additionally, for the marine enthusiasts our H2O

will keep Davy Jones from claiming anymore

eyewear from you. Eyewear retainers and

protection is all we do. When it

comes to your eyewear…

“we’ve got you covered”

www.hides.com

versatile Swerve can be attached to a seatpost, a seatstay,

handlebar, jersey, helmet, fork, messenger bag, etc. Suggested

retail is $29.99. www.princetontec.com or www.

swerveyourbike.com

866-287-0667

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 27


M-Rock Multi-Use Camera Bags

The series of EXTREMEM-ROCK Multi-

Use camera bags can be used as independent

carrying cases or as modular pouches

that attach to the sides of M-ROCK’s

SLR bags and backpacks. The Ozark 505

can hold lenses up to 4 inches tall, many

medium-sized digital cameras with a large

zoom lens, compact camcorders, small

binoculars, hand held electronic games

and many other small electronics.

800-773-7067 or mrock@m-rock.com

Ruff Wear DoubleBack Collar

Lansky MultiTool

You don’t have to be a handyman

to appreciate a good multitool

in your holiday stocking, and the

Lansky Professional Grade Multi-

Tool delivers 20-tool functionality gift

wrapped inside a durable rustproof

stainless steel construction. A fullsized

tool, it is distinguished by its detailed

fit and matte, bead-blasted finish.

The needle-nose pliers deploy with a flick of

the wrist, and integrated tools and blades open smoothly from the inboard

handle positions and lock in place for safe use. The MultiTool stows into a reinforced,

ballistic nylon belt sheath with snap closure. The complete package

is designed to retail under $30. 716-877-7511 or info@ lansky.com

Primus TiLite Set

Perfect for the lightweight lover on your gift list,

the TiLet Set features an extremely lightweight,

compact and powerful stove and pot that is the

ideal combination for adventures that require minimal

weight and packing volume. The gas stove and 0.9-litre

pot weigh only 198 grams thanks to the versatile titanium

material. The piezo ignition guarantees easy handling, and

the matching 0.9-liter titanium pot with its practical handle is

big enough to feed two people on tour. www.primus.se

The perfect gift for the “big dog” in

the family, the DoubleBack Collar was created

to address those big pullers with an

infinitely adjustable buckle – no need to

punch any holes in this collar. The unique

lace back buckle made of forged anodized

aluminum employs the same lacing configuration

found on climbing harnesses,

making it strong with no moving parts

to fail. The hardware, V-ring leash attachment

point and separate ID attachment

are all set on jacquard woven strength-rated

webbing. Suggested retail is $19.95.

888-783-3932 or www.ruffwear.com

Sealife ReeMaster Mini

This 6-megapixel camera is

guaranteed waterproof to a depth

of 130 feet/40 meters and shockproof

to 6 feet/2 meters. The Reef-

Master Mini is compact and light

enough to fit in your pocket, fully

rubberized and ready to take impressive

photographs under harsh

outdoor conditions. 212-966-9000

or kgraue@graubardgroup.com

28 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


NRS Co-Pilot

The Pilot Knife

was such a success

that NRS decided

to expand its knife

line with the new

Co-Pilot featuring

a unique locking

sheath, blunt

tipped smooth and

serrated blade, contoured

handle and a

bottle opener. The Co-

Pilot knife is smaller

than the typical nonfolding

PFD knife,

saving space without

sacrificing the necessities.

800-243-1677

or www.nrsweb.com

For 30 years, Lansky has been the first

choice of consumers worldwide.

Lansky offers the broadest selection

of sharpening products in a choice of

ceramic, diamond, tungsten carbide or

natural Arkansas abrasives.

The best value in sharpeners.

V

For catalogs,

wholesale prices:

lansky.com

PO Box 50830, Dept. INO, Henderson, NV 89016 • Ph: 716-877-7511

Fargason Tent Chair

For soccer

moms to creek

side anglers, the

portable Fargason

Tent Chair is

always the best

seat in the house

anytime you’re out

of the house. Featuring

two large

zippered windows

in the canopy, the

Tent Chair is designed

to set up in seconds — just remove

the chair from its included carrying

bag, unfold it and pull the attached

tent over the chair. The lightweight

design (under 10 lbs.) and convenient

carrying bag make it easy to take anywhere,

yet it’s sturdy enough to support

a 295-lb. person. 800-828-1554 or

www.fargasonoutdoors.com.



kahtoola.com (866) 330-8030

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 29


A Healthy Dose of

Textile TechnologY

Fabrics and constructions offering

‘health and wellness’ benefits

represent a new

opportunity for outdoor

by Martin Vilaboy

It’s not very often that a truly “new”

category appears within a mature

market or industry, but an emerging,

albeit loosely tied, group of

“medically beneficial” fabrications

may just be one of those rare cases.

And while there could be all sorts of

outdoor performance applications at

play, this “category within a category” behaves and is

merchandised in ways that outdoor retailers haven’t

before seen among apparel products.

True, garments that protect us from the elements,

prevent chaffing, regulate body heat, even fight off bugs

and shield us from the suns rays all offer “health” benefits

and certainly are all familiar territory. What we’re

starting to see now, however, goes one step further, more

toward wellness and even the therapeutic, often combined

with performance enhancement, as well.

Indeed, fabrics and constructions have come to market

with the power to release moisturizers when signaled by

body heat or friction, that support or warm joints on command

and monitor physiological functions. There’s even one

fabric technology that is flexible under normal situations but

seizes up on impact to absorb shock like a solid pad.

Mind you, these aren’t 10-year out, seen in medical

and the military market examples; we’re talking technologies

that are on store shelves right now.

Macy’s, for example, this summer introduced a line

of women’s undergarments embedded with microcapsules

that “continuously moisturize and smooth the skin

while helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite.” The

new line of Skineez Skincarewear comes with a bottle of

Skintex skincare spray to replenish the fabric after every

six to 10 trips through the wash.

“Women will be able to give their body a slimmer, more

contoured look, while helping to smooth the appearance

of cellulite and moisturize their skin, all at the same time

and with one garment,”

the company says.

Sales of these so-called

“shapewear” garments grew

more than 36 percent between

April 2006 and 2008, says NPD

Group, with dollar value for the most

recent 12-month period reaching $718

million, says the market research company.

A bit closer to home, this fall Optimer announced

that its Dri-release technology has been

combined with Celliant in socks aimed at the athletic

market. Celliant is a material that when added to textile

products and worn or placed next to the skin reportedly

will enhance oxygen levels in the body from 8 percent

to 25 percent, according to Ao2, the exclusive global distributor

of Celliant, and Hologenix, which holds the patent

to Celliant. The technology is marketed as a way to

help regulate body temperature, boost energy, accelerate

muscle recovery after exertion and aid in wound healing,

say the companies.

Critics argue that any material in contact with the

skin will lift blood flow and oxygen levels at the skin

surface, but Ao2 and Hologenix say Celliant works by

modifying light, altering its energy and transmitting it

to the body through textiles in contact with the skin.

30 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


We¹re Green

even in a

whiteout

SUSTAIN - A Collection of Environmentally

Friendly Textiles from ASF Group

Petroleum is the base of most outerwear fabrics. It is becoming

increasingly scarce in the world and its products leave a heavy

impact on the environment. By building eco-friendly fabrics,

our SUSTAIN Collection takes another step forward towards a

cleaner planet.

The ASF Group produces technically advanced fabrics that use

Recycled Polyester and other Eco-friendly Fibers for performance

outerwear. For more info on how we create green fabrics, please

contact us.

SUSTAIN - Environmentally Friendly Fabric Collection






310-831-2334







We are the fabric builders—from fiber, to fabric, to factory, to finished.

www.asfgroup.com


Information Sources: Outdoor versus

Fitness Consumers

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

57%

50%

16%

33%

Fitness

25% 25%

13%

Web sites TV shows Product

review sites

Outdoor

16%

Online

retailers

15% 15%

Manufacturer

sites

Source: Hanson Dodge Creative

Inching us even closer to the reality of “smart garments,”

Delaware-based Textronics develops and produces “electrotextiles”

that seamlessly integrate micro-electronics with textile

structures. Machine-washable materials including fibers,

films and coatings are designed to react to electrical, optical

or magnetic signals providing embedded intelligence to knit,

woven or non-woven structures that monitor the condition

of the wearer.

One application of the technology involves stretch fabric

placed Percent strategically Playing Games in a garment While that Camping exhibits light transmission

and reflection properties. The smart fabric measures changes

in the amount of light transmitted through the fabric relative

to the Card amount gamesof light reflected by the fabric when the 79% fabric

Pen stretches and paper in puzzles response to a dramatic motion 40% such as respiration

or a subtle motion like the beating of the heart.

Dice games

25%

An upshot is a sports bra with a heart-rate monitor built directly

into the garment – no wires, straps or clunky devices. The

Checkers/chess

18%

Scrabble

information gathered from 16% the garment can be sent wirelessly

to a compatible Monopolywristwatch.

14%

Backgammon 8%

Source: KOA

54%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

Transactional Emails Are Opened & Read

60%

50%

Transactional email

Typical opt-in messaging

40%

34%

This mesh from d3o features the company’s 31% shock-absorbing

material 30% with intelligent molecules that “flow with you as you

move but upon 21% shock 21% lock together to absorb the impact energy.”

20%

15%

12%

8%

32 10% | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008

5%

3%

Have you identified or recovered sto

and/or gift cards that were being e

The NuMetrex heart rate monitoring sports bra by Textronics Yes

80%

features electronic sensing technology integrated Yes into the 71% fabric.

The sensors in the fabric pick up the 70% wearer’s 67% heartbeat and relay it

to the WearLink transmitter in the front of the bra.

60%

Yes

68%

Textronics this summer released 50% a developer’s kit that includes

the company’s textile electrodes 40% for use by designers, No

No

33%

researchers and product developers interested in creating their 29%

30%

own interactive wearable prototypes. The kit contains stretchy

textile electrodes that can be cut and 20% sewn for custom applications

and samples of the transmitter 10% modules.

Out in front of this health and wellness

0%

movement, at least

in terms of outdoor market penetration, are 2006 various versions 2007 2

of engineered gradient or variable compression and muscle/

joint wrapping. Marketed to the outdoor Source: National industry Retail Federation primarily in

performance tights under brand names such as Skins, CW-X

and Opedix Wellness Gear, the basic concept generally involves

varied and specific surface pressures over specific body parts in

order to provide targeted support to certain muscles or joints or

trigger blood flow.

How do you prefer to communicate o

Originally developed for the healthcare with a company industry whom for applications

including medical grade stockings and post-surgical

you do busine

recovery garments, compression Emailtechnologies carry a wide array

of physiological and performance benefits, both during and

Web site

37%

post activity, say its proponents. By accelerating blood flow and 34%

venous return to specific parts of the body, and thereby 23%

Postal Mail

increasing

oxygen delivery to those parts, varied compression can fo-

35%

cus muscle power, minimizing Fixed-line voice

23%

lactic acid build-up and muscle 29%

soreness during and after an activity, accelerate muscle 18% repair

Mobile voice

and optimize body temperature, according to 12% numerous studies

and testimonials put forth by Skins and CW-X. 10%

In 5 Years

Fax

13%

Opedix, for its part, uses compression for its S1 Knee-Support

System ski tights, Other which (in person) were recently granted 10% status as an

8%

Currently

official supplier to the National Ski Patrol for the 12% Winter 2008-9

Text, SMS messages

season. Opedix S1 tights can “unload” 2% knees, says the company,

reducing the load of impact pressure knee joints 17%

Instant messaging

otherwise

5%

would absorb.

Web meetings

12%

2%

19%

Video conferencing

1.3%


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In addition to the sporting

benefits, the increased

oxygenation and circulation

delivered through

gradient compression also

can relieve many medical

complaints, say executives

at Skins, including arthritis,

chronic fatigue syndrome,

lymphoedema, varicose veins

and deep vein thrombosis. It’s

also used to promote circulation

during pregnancy.

It all represents lots to convey

on the retail sales floor, which illustrates

one of the key ways this

emerging category differs significantly

from just about any

other apparel category outdoor

retailers have marketed and

merchandised up to this point.

When a consumer walks up to

a rack of rain parkas, puffy

winter coats, dry tops or even

climbing pants and lifestyle

garments, they intuitively understand

the primary function

and inherent benefits. That’s not

always the case when the benefits

are increased circulation, the

release of anti-cellulite cream or

the transformation on impact from

shirt to protective padding.

“You can’t just put this stuff on

a shelf and expect it to walk out the

door,” says Jaimie Fuller, Skins CEO.

“Part of our challenge,” says Fuller,

“is when you hold our product up and

look at it through the naked eye, you

can’t see it doing anything. It’s not until you

Skins’ gradient compression tights put it on that you feel

increase circulation to specified body it.”

parts to provide a range of performance In other words,

and therapeutic benefits.

retailers looking to

embrace the health

and wellness sub-category must be prepared to make a commitment,

both in terms of floor space for proper merchandising

and display as well as product knowledge and staff training, so

sales personnel can communicate the benefits in an intelligent

and authoritative manner.

In many ways, selling apparel such as compression garments,

says Fuller, is more akin to the consultative selling typical of technical

footwear and equipment rather than the ordinary apparel

purchase, which often consists of just color and size issues.

“We have made a very significant investment in store clinics,

training and working with our retail partners to recognize that

it is not like normal apparel,” says Fuller.

The differences are so apparent that some Skins dealers have

pulled their Skins inventory out of apparel sections and into

other parts of the stores, such as by the dietary supplements or

energy food. Such a strategy, says Fuller, not only establishes

the product as different from “ordinary apparel,” but it also

specifically targets the type of consumer who might be tuned

into the healthy benefits.

Likewise, seeing how this of group therapeutic garments

are differentiated primarily on their “health benefits,” the subcategory

also can push outdoor retailers toward a more fitnessfocused

consumer base, and according to recent research from

Hanson Dodge, the fitness-oriented active consumer and the

outdoor-oriented active consumer represent two distinct shopping

mindsets.

Whereas outdoor-oriented consumers tend to seek product

advice from family and friends and are more likely to respond

to “common folk” testimonial and word of mouth marketing,

fitness-oriented consumers tend to respond to intellectual appeals,

such as product reviews and recommendations of “experts,”

say Hanson Dodge researchers. And while everyone

scraps the Internet for product information, fitness consumers

are more likely to seek out third-party reviews and information

from online retailers, say the findings

Again, that seems to emphasize the importance of presenting

research-based, clinical product information on the sales

floor and online, as well as a deep staff knowledge of the mechanisms

at work.

On the other hand, attracting customers from the fringes of

the outdoor market is usually a good thing, and in addition to

hikers, bikers, trail runners, high-endurance athletes and the

like, health and wellness fabrications also are being actively

marketed to a wide cross-section of consumers – from golfers

and other mainstream sports participants to travelers to the elderly

to folks with circulation and other medical issues.

There are other more operational-type advantages, as well.

Often, apparel items sold on their health and wellness benefits

are not seasonal and have little or no connection to the whims

of fashion, so “there are no closeouts,” says Fuller, and no need

to gamble on color, trends or weather patterns.

“I have no idea how retailers forecast how many long sleeve

tops they are going to need in six-months time,” says Fuller.

“They don’t have to with us.”

What retailers must do, however, is understand that in the

near term extra investment and attention is required in order

for consumers to understand why they should pay $115 for a

pair of tights when a $50 pair is on a nearby shelf.

The good new is, it’ll likely be some time before the health

and wellness apparel category starts appearing in the aisles

of big box retailers. And since this sub-category tends to involve

premium-priced product, says Fuller, “it warrants that

extra attention.”

34 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Betting on

a Better World

Product designers face challenges working with

eco-friendly materials

by Martin Vilaboy

The sourcing of eco-friendly materials

and development of more sustainable

products are proving to be daunting

challenges for a goodly percentage of

businesses that have made the commitment

to move toward green products

and processes, suggest an Aberdeen Group survey

of a cross section of consumer and commercial product

suppliers from around the globe. And it’s much more

than high cost and low availability of cleaner components

and technology that are frustrating efforts.

A full one-third to half of the firms taking green

steps struggle to meet product launch dates and/

or keep within development budgets. And right up

there behind material costs and initial capex concerns,

struggles within an uncertain regulatory and compliance

environment is the number two challenge, say

survey respondents.

Indeed, the attempt to optimize products for environmental

impact rather that just to meet government

requirements, say Aberdeen analysts, “can present

unfamiliar obstacles for engineers traditionally tasked

with assessing product form, fit and function.”

The reality of developing eco-friendly products “often

requires product development teams to contemplate

factors, materials and approaches that they traditionally

would not have considered,” they continue.

Not that it’s keeping executives from feeling

quite green, at least not for now. More than half

of companies have deployed some form of a design

for a greener products strategy, according to

a 2008 survey of engineer executives. All told, a

whopping 96 percent of companies surveyed currently

are pursuing at least one design for a green

strategy. What’s more, the call to arms is coming

from the top down, Aberdeen analysts argue, as

36 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


push for change often generates from corporate and board

level executives.

To define “green” within this discussion, respondents were

following three basic paths: products from or for recycled or

reclaimed materials plus friendly disposal, reducing/eliminating

natural resource consumption and emissions, and reducing

packaging and logistics costs.

In some ways, those higher-level executives feel as if they

don’t have much choice but to move in these directions. The way

things are viewed, you gotta give customers what they want.

“Essentially, no executive can publically say no to a green

initiative without public scrutiny of eco-friendly watch organizations,”

Aberdeen analysts find.

When asked about the drivers of greener

product development, respondents listed

corporate responsibility, conscientious customers

and demand for better use of natural

resources all among the top five, while

a “corporate responsibility initiative” was

named as a top driver by 74 percent of respondents

in another recent survey.

That’s not all good news, as it points

to what’s arguably the biggest challenge

so far with eco product initiatives: it’s difficult

to measure the top and bottom line

impact of growing social pressure to act

responsibly. While there may be enormous

pressure to go green, “it’s hard to

quantify the advantage,” Aberdeen analysts

point out.

Traditional product development strategies

can be measured directly, Aberdeen

analyst argue, either in terms of dollars

saved in a budget or a shortened cycle,

but business benefits tied to improved

branding and differentiation “are harder

to measure and an order of magnitude

removed, particularly with the product

development organization.”

And make no mistake, sales managers

and financial officer types will need to

hear about more than “soft” benefits and

proper public perception, much less the

altruism of doing the right thing, in order

to embrace the movement. For them,

eco means an opportunity for growth, a

means to differentiate what they see as a

“commodity” product, findings suggest.

In other words, it’s the desire for the proverbial

“new and improved” product.

The problems is, that won’t likely work

for everyone. Certainly, there is heavy social

pressure on corporations to lessen their

environmental impact, and consumers like

to think of themselves as doing their part

to fight climate change. It still remains to be

seen, however, whether or not consumers

are willing to walk the walk with their wallets and pay the premium

that’s still present most of the time.

Surveys of retailers from both RSR Research and Retail Forward

from earlier this year, for example, both cited little or no

demand from consumers as a top barrier to introducing more

green products into stores. More recently, a July 2008 survey of

more than 2,800 U.S. consumers age 16 years and older by Yankelovich

suggests that Americans who are strongly concerned

about the environment still represents a “niche opportunity,”

says Walker Smith, Yankelovich president.

“While (consumers) are highly aware of environmental issues

due to the glut of media attention, the simple fact is that

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 37


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Top Five Challenges for Developing Green Products

Challenge

High expense associated with developing new technologies that are green or

compliant

43%

Regulations differ widely according to regions and countries around the world 30%

Difficulty measuring unconventional ROI on green products 25%

Difficulty in understanding applicable regulations due to exemptions and

shortages of knowledgeable employees

24%

Greener materials and technologies require new and large capital

manufacturing investments

24%

Source: Aberdeen Group

% of All Respondents

DEALERS WANTED

Top Five Pressures Driving Green Product Development

Pressure

Developing green products part of corporate social responsibility initiative 37%

Green products offer greater competitive product differentiation 35%

Conscientious customers demand products that are more eco-friendly 28%

Compliance to green related regulations required for market entry 26%

Customers demand for products that use natural resources more efficiently 23%

Source: Aberdeen Group

% of All Respondents

‘going green’ in their everyday life is simply

not a big concern or a high priority,”

says Smith.

A mere 13 percent of those surveyed

by Yankelovich, says Smith, are “strongly

concerned” about the environment, while

less than a quarter believe they can make

a difference.

And while Al Gore’s An Inconvenient

Truth received widespread acclaim from

the media and members of the scientific

community, less than 20 percent of consumers

saw the movie or read the book,

say Yankelovich findings.

Some may argue that the current economic

crisis is distracting consumers from

just about every other issue under the sun,

including the environment. But no matter

the reasons, such results already are raising

questions about the potential bottomline

benefits that can be derived from

investing in socially responsible product

development. Unless consumers begin to

change their tune, one has to wonder how

much patience American manufactures

will show toward green investments outside

of regulatory-driven necessities.

Not that all hope is lost, by any means.

In its sixth annual report on the carbon

footprints of Global 500 companies, the

Carbon Disclosure Project, a not-for-profit

organization that acts as an intermediary

between shareholders and corporations on

climate change-related issues, argues that

some companies confirmed billions of dollars

in savings as a result of sustainability

efforts in operations and packaging.

Even within the seemingly pessimistic

Yankelovich study, Smith makes the point

that despite “most consumers’ lukewarm

attitudes toward green,” companies that

successfully convey the benefits of green

attributes in a product can make those attributes

a key feature in the buying decision

of consumers who are just moderately

concerned about climate change and the

environment. That could include all but

the 29 percent of consumers described by

Yankelovich as “Greenless,” or unmoved

by environmental issues and alarms.

Possibly most encouraging of all, Aberdeen

researchers found a direct correlation

between the length of time a company

has been pursuing a green strategy and

the level of success in generating a positive

return from it. So companies that have

had the opportunity to figure out what

does and does not work well earlier than

their manufacturer peers are dramatically

more likely to hit launch dates, stick within

budgets and minimize price increases.

That seems to suggest that if manufacturers

continue to push on, the premium

price paid for greener products eventually

goes away. And at that point, the need

to change consumer behavior becomes

much less of a factor.

In the long term, eco-friendly product

development could have a bright future.

But that’s assuming manufacturers of all

types can be persuaded to show patience,

seeing how, in the nearer term, as we

have said before, things likely get harder

before they get easier.

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Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 39


Klymit Pumps the Gas

Top Sources of Shrink

It’s probably not surprising that someone decided

Employee theft of merchandise to investigate storesthe possibilities of using noble gases

the chambers when needed via small gas canisters

(dubbed “hotshots” by the company) that are sold

along with the garment. Each canister can refill a

as an alternate form of insulation within outdoor garment about seven to 10 times, Information says Klymit, Sources: and the Outdoor versu

Customers stealing merchandise

garments and gear. After all, noble gases (in this company plans to sell replacement Fitness canisters Consumers through

Employee theft of cash

(voids, case post-voids, argon, etc) xenon and krypton) can be as much as its retail partners. Prices have yet to be finalized, but

five times Paper shrink more efficient in terms of heat transfer, Klymit expects a replacement set of canisters 57% to cost

60

(missed markdowns, according incorrect to PO) researchers at Klymit, which introduced consumers about $20.

50%

Fitness

its Fraudelent gas insulation returns technology to the outdoor market at Since a very little amount of gas 50is required to keep

Outdoor

Organized the recent crime OR ringsSummer Market.

a user warm – a garment at full 40capacity would be

33%

What’s more, argon, xenon and krypton are under less than 1 pound of pressure per square inch,

Register under-rings (sweethearting)

actually lighter than the air we breathe, providing says Nick Sorensen, director of business 30

25% 2

development

Employee theft of

sufficient levels of insulation in incredibly slim for Klymit – garments will be highly compressible. 16%

merchandise in distribution

20

And

13%

Lost

profiles.

or stolen shipments

The possibilities, says Klymit, include sleek if the gas is fully removed, a cold-weather garment

dress style pants that can double on the ski slopes can be squished down to a very small

10

size in order to

Fraudulent credit or card windbreakers transactions that can handle temperatures at high minimize packing space. 0

Web sites TV shows Product

Saleable merchandise elevations. used as supplies Meanwhile, a Klymit glove could be heat There’s also a green element to the story. The noble review sites

welded to allow for seamless finger tips along with gases used by Klymit, after all, are naturally present

Fraudulent check transactions

minimal volume, thereby increasing hand dexterity. in the atmosphere and are extracted Source: by Hanson the Dodge company Creative

With the Klymit 0% 10% system, 20% wearers 30% 40% control 50% 60% the 70% directly 80% from the air we breathe, so the processes

regulation of temperature though an integrated required to produce synthetic fill is eliminated.

Source: RSR Research

dial that controls the amount of gas held within Likewise, “you will never see our insulation in a

the chamber system that’s built into the product.

The dial also acts as a valve by which users refill

landfill,” says Sorensen.

As for the downsides, gas cannot be contained

within fabric for extended periods of time, so a winter

jacket sitting in the closet for the entire off season

Comparison of Heat Transfer, Gas vs. Fiber Insulation

will lose its “loft,” so to speak. Along those lines, a

jacket that requires gas canisters, valves and dials

to function, as well as the possible purchase of refill

6

Fiber Insulations

canisters down the road, may be a bit cumbersome

Ar

on the sales floor and inevitably Percent will lead Playing to some Games While Campi

5

Kr Klymit gases skepticism from consumers.

4

3

Xe

*

On the other hand, Klymit envisions the earliest

Card games

adopters being high-end, ski resort visitors who love

Pen and paper puzzles

to have the latest technology and gadgetry.

40%

Of course, Klymit is at the very earliest Dice games stages with 25%

its gas insulation technology, primarily Checkers/chess focused, up to 18%

2

*

this point, on prototyping and getting the Scrabble attention of

16%

vendors’ research and development teams. So enduse

products likely won’t be hitting retail sales floors

1

Monopoly 14%

*

* Backgammon

The thicker the insulation, the less heat is lost

*

8%

any time soon.

0

That said, it’s worth keeping an eye 0% on this 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

2.5 4.5 6.5 8.5 10.5 12.5 14.5 emerging technology, if for no other reason than the

Thickness (mm)

dominate resources required Source: in this KOA case are cheap

Source: Klymit

and plentiful.

Heat Transfer (W)

On-Spec and

In-Stock

Outdoor Component Swatches and Shorts

40 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Optimer, 180’s Settle

Infringement Case

Optimer Performance Fibers has settled with 180’s

concerning a patent and trademark infringement upon

its Dri-release with FreshGuard product. The original

complaint identified work wear shirts sold online by

180’s under its Gorgonz label as far back as 2005 that,

although marked with the Dri-release with FreshGuard

patent number, did not contain Dri-release yarn. It also

identified 180’s ear warmers also not made of Drirelease

that were sold bearing the Dri-release with

FreshGuard logo.

“Dri-release is well known in many markets as a

highly effective moisture management technology

brand. This action is critical to protect our patent

as well as the integrity of Dri-release products sold

to trusting consumers,” says Beth Moore, Optimer

director of operations.

Green Springs across

the Supply Chain

As most would expect, the recent OR Summer

Market was awash in new eco-friendly offerings and

sustainability stories, with news and new materials

generated from up and down the supply chain.

Among the bigger stories, buyers of nylon 6.6 now

have a new alternative, as both Toray Industries and

Unifi separately announced nylon yarns made from

recycled material.

Both options utilize pre-consumer nylon fiber

waste, or “off-spec” yarn, that is collected during

the production of traditional virgin nylon fiber and

converted to the recycled nylon. While this process

doesn’t take plastic bottles out of landfills, as Unifi’s

Repreve recycled polyester does, Repreve Nylon

conserves the equivalent of 6 million gallons of

Making Virgin Nylon Versus Making Repreve

Virgin Nylon 6.6 Process

Crude oil wellhead

Crude oil refinery

Benzene

Cyclohexane

Hexamethylene & adipic acid

Nylon salt

Polymerization

Extrusion

Texturing

Source: Unifi

Repreve Nylon 6.6 Process

Process eliminated

Process eliminated

Process eliminated

Process eliminated

Process eliminated

Process eliminated

Repreve chip production

Extrusion

Texturing

gasoline annually compared to the production of

virgin nylon or polyester, says the company. In other

words, for every pound of Repreve nylon yarn, 77,000

BTUs are conserved, or the equivalent of 0.6 gallons

of gasoline.

Meanwhile, Toray’s new ecodream requires only

15 percent of the energy consumption required to

produce virgin nylon, say Toray sources, while the

greenhouse gas emissions are only 20 percent of

virgin nylon production.

Unifi has partnered with Burlington Worldwide and

United Knitting in the development of new woven and

knit fabrics using Repreve nylon. Burlington will feature

Repreve nylon under the Generations Collection,

targeting technical sportswear. United Knitting will

introduce Repreve nylon in a series of new eco-friendly

knit fabrics for activewear.

And speaking of Unifi, Polartec has fully embraced

Repreve recycled polyester for many of its offerings.

The company says it will save 38 million pounds of

CO2 annually by using recycled yarns, and by 2009

expects 20 percent of all Polartec products to contain

at least 50 percent recycled material.

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 41


Likewise, Primaloft continues to emphasize its

Eco Yarn blend of 50 percent virgin Primaloft and 50

percent recycled fibers made from plastic bottles.

Continuing in the performance synthetics category,

Invista also made some noise with the introduction

of its COOLMAX EcoTech for legwear, which delivers

the same high-performance, quick-dry benefits and

comfort level as the current COOLMAX fabric with the

added boost of being made from recycled resources,

namely post-consumer PET bottles. In development

since May 2007, EcoTech fiber will be available in two

levels: Everyday and Extreme Performance.

Tests for absorbency, wicking, hand, durability

and abrasion resistance showed COOLMAX EcoTech

fibers to be equivalent to existing COOLMAX fabric

standards. EcoTech fibers also demonstrated superior

results over current COOLMAX when tested for

whiteness and piling, say Invista sources.

Performance sock companies DeFeet and Injinji are

among the earliest adopters to incorporate EcoTech

into their lines.

Elsewhere, Nüwa Textiles made its initial splash

at the OR show and is hoping the ripples grow into

a massive wave. For Nuwa, keeping plastic bottles

out of landfills and building the market for recycled

materials is just the beginning. Ultimately, the weaver

wants textile executives to reconsider their entire

production processes.

“We look to deliver design innovation and a strong

commitment to the environment that is unmatched

in textile manufacturing,” said company president

Michael Shih.

To that end, the company’s facilities employ

advanced energy production, efficient energy use,

water-conserving dyeing machinery, emissions

recycling and effluent treatment, while at the same

time delivering eco-friendly fabrics to manufacturers

worldwide. The weaving mills, which produce more

than 20 million yards of fabric each month, are ISO

9001, 14001 and 18001 certified, while Nüwa’s dyeing

and finishing plant is Oeko-Tex certified and is in the

process of certification by bluesign. In fact, a bluesign

staff member informed the company that the 101

liters of water per kilo of fabric it dyed was far below

the 150 liters used by companies employing industry

best practices.

“We are continually changing

our machines and refining our

processes, filtering our waste

and rethinking our transport,”

says Shih.

“We are continually changing our machines

and refining our processes, filtering our waste and

rethinking our transport,” says Shih.

What’s more, the company insists that all of the

factories in its supply chain recycle and reduce their

water usage, control their air emissions and implement

fair labor practices, says Shih.

Honmuye Enterprises, for example, a weaving

company in the Nüwa alliance, recycles 70 percent

of the water used by its machines, while alliance

member Sunny Dyeing and Finishing, owned by Shih’s

father, eliminates open air emissions through a new

coal gasification system and recycles water in its own

water-treatment plant.

“We are simply putting one foot in front of the

other, to create a future where pollution and waste

do not dominate, where chemistry is benign and

transparency in business is a given,” says Shih.

A similar philosophy is at work at German/

Chinese leather producer ISA Tan Tec. While much

still must be done to reduce the impact of effluents

discharged from tanneries, ISA Tan Tec is taking

steps in the right direction with news that ground

has been broken on a new “ecologically friendly

model factory” in Saigon, Vietnam. For starters, the

plant will emit 35 percent less CO2 than conventional

production facilities.

“The demand from clients such as Timberland,

New Balance, Keen, and Hush Puppies for

ecologically friendly leather is increasing rapidly,”

said Thomas Schneider, ISA Tan Tec founder and

CEO. “That’s why, in addition to our new ecological

factory in China, we’re building a second factory

where our environmental concept will be even more

thoroughly implemented.”

Within the new facility, the hot water needed for

the tanning process will be heated via solar modules,

which also serve as roofing for the company parking

lot, while ground water is pumped out by windmills.

ISA Tan Tec also makes use of excess heat generated

during production. The water heated while cooling

hydraulic machinery, for instance, is channeled into

the hot water tank. In addition, the company saves

energy by using state-of-the-art tanning drums and

infinitely variable air compressors. For its waste water

treatment, ISA Tan Tec employs solid-liquid separation

and continual waste water recycling to reduce the

quantity of waste water treated, further decreasing

energy consumption.

“This is the only factory in the industry of this

size that is pursuing such an ambitious environmental

plan,” said Schneider.

The new tannery will start operations in June

of 2009 with 280 employees expected to produce 2

million square meters of leather each year.

42 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Vibram Stands

Out with 2CM

Performance quality does not have

to be boring, argues Vibram, so the

sole maker has applied it extensive

know-how in molding techniques to

create an “Urban” range of high-tech

soles that sport a unique look and

leave a fun footprint. Vibram’s 2CM

(two color molding) is the result of

an exclusive process to manufacture

high-precision multi-color rubber

soles, thus making possible a wide

array of creative ideas.

For its 2CM, Vibram has developed

a technique that eliminates the groove

typically found between colors or

different types of rubber, thus making

possible seamless shifts in color

without producing “empty zones.”

Originally developed with the

snowboarding market in mind, Vibram

expects to apply its 2CM technology

to skateboarding, travel and street

sport markets, as well.

“With 2CM, the sole becomes a

creative element, almost a work of

art, and a means of expression for

the wearer,” says Vibram.

Vibram also released its IdroGrip,

which the company describes as “the

new reference for grip in a modable

rubber compound.” Designed for use

in treads with large contact surfaces

and a wide vartiety of wet and dry

activities, IdroGrip “was perceiveably

stickier than the competition on wet

and dry rock and matted grass,” says

the company.

Vibram is bringing IdroGrip to

market with leading brands for spring

2009 including Chaco, Cloudveil,

Shimano and Vasque.

Cotton Gets

Picked for

Performance

No doubt related to the

intuitive connection between

“sustainability” and “natural

products,” cotton has been

getting some increased

attention of late, and it’s more

than just the increasing potential

for organic cotton. There’s also

some new opportunities for

performance applications.

Leading the way, Cotton

Incorporated recently unveiled its

TransDRy moisture management

technology, a system that

enables the production of quickdrying,

engineered fabrics for

performance apparel. Cotton fabrics

made with TransDRY offer cotton’s

familiar comfort and softness

while staying dry since they are

engineered to transfer moisture in

one direction, away from the skin

to the outside of the fabric, where

moisture can evaporate.



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“With 2CM, the sole becomes a creative

element, almost a work of art, and a means

of expression for the wearer,” says Vibram.

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 43


”Many synthetic fabrics in the market claim to

have the ability to move moisture away from the body

to the outside of the fabric,” says David Earley, Cotton

Incorporated’s director of supply chain marketing. “But

most do nothing more than absorb perspiration into

the fabric, staying as wet on the inside of the garment

as they are on the outside.”

According to Earley, Cotton Incorporated spent

the past year conducting moisture management

testing to gauge the performance advantage of

TransDRY technology, utilizing testing equipment,

called the MMT Tester, from SDL Atlas in the United

Kingdom. Originally developed by Hong Kong

Polytechnic University, the MMT Tester has the ability

to measure the differential wetness of both sides of a

performance fabric and calculate a one-way moisture

transfer index.

“Fabrics engineered to have one-way transfer

performance beat any synthetic product we’ve tested

in head-to-head comparisons – it’s not even close,” says

Earley. “We think this is an incredible breakthrough for

cotton in the world of performance apparel that will

help us compete head-to-head with synthetics.”

Longworth Industries, an American manufacturer

of high-tech performance apparel and base layer

garments, will be the first to bring a TransDRY product

to market under its new PolarMax Naturals brand.

Longworth has been field testing prototype garments

with branches of the military to gauge performance

and acceptability of the TransDRY technology. The

consumer market will be next up, says Trey Harris,

Longworth’s senior director of business development

“At the end of the day, people just like wearing

cotton, and with the moisture-management factor of

TransDRY, there’s a real advantage,” he says, pointing

to the company’s cotton double-knit. “With untreated

cotton on the outside of the fabric and treated cotton

against the skin, moisture finds its way through better

than our synthetics.”

The concept of TransDRY and cotton “is

phenomenal for Longworth,” Harris says. “The cotton

is sustainably grown in the U.S., and it addresses

a core consciousness among consumers against

petroleum-based products.”

“We think this is an incredible

breakthrough for cotton in the

world of performance apparel

that will help us compete

head-to-head with synthetics.”

At the same time, instead of applying chemistry

to the entire fabric, Cotton Incorporated uses it

selectively in lower amounts on certain areas of fabrics

to engineer to the right level of performance. The

result is responsible and more sustainable production,

says Cotton Incorporated, a program funded by U.S.

growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton

and cotton textile products designed and operated to

improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.

Spectrum Yarns, Inc., and Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.

initially will be the providers in the Western hemisphere

of cotton yarn treated with the TransDRY technology.

Spectrum and Buhler have aligned themselves with

several knitting mills and full-package garment makers

to provide performance fabrics and yarns.

“TransDRY will forever change the way consumers

view cotton,” says Mike Carter, director of business

development for Spectrum Yarns. “The superior

wicking performance of TransDRY will further launch

the fiber into fabrics for performance apparel.”

From the surface to the interior, this summer

PrimaLoft added to its yarn offerings with the announcement

of PrimaLoft Cotton Blend, a combination of 50

percent PrimaLoft fiber and 50 percent cotton.

The end result is a yarn that offers high abrasion

resistance and dries faster and absorbs less moisture

than standard cotton, making it a solid choice for

outdoor garments such as socks, hats, sweaters, base

layers and linings.

“Since last year’s introduction of PrimaLoft yarn,

we’ve been developing new yarns with different

blends,” says Ronald L. Comer, director of international

sales, PrimaLoft Yarn Division. “By blending PrimaLoft

fibers with cotton, we were able to create a yarn that

provides softness, comfort, durability and a faster

drying rate than an all-cotton product.”

The PrimaLoft Cotton Blend yarn also is easy to

care for, as it is machine washable and dryable, and

dries faster than 100 percent cotton, says Comer.

Elsewhere, there’s also development in the world

of washable waxed cotton. Historic U.K. supplier British

Milleran is on top of a trend toward light waxed cotton

fabrics and easy care finishes. The company’s new

Driden is made with special synthetic wax that has the

look, feel and function of the original waxed cotton but

is fully washable. Typically, waxes must be re-applied

to the finished garment from time to time in order to

maintain its look and weather resistance. Cleaning is

done by wiping the surface with a damp cloth.

The Driden finish, on the other hand, is permanently

infused into the fabric, not only making it washable but

also applicable to lighter weight fabrics and even to

synthetics, lending itself to a wider array of product

categories that require water and wind resistance but

need a traditional look.

44 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Available in a variety of widths for innumerable applications, Lunabrite changes the game

in terms of piping possibilities.

“We have customers that wouldn’t even look at the

original waxes simply because of the care factor,” says

Chris Parkes, national sales manager at Concept III Textiles,

through which British Millerain products are available in

North America. “Now we have several sampling Driden

for new outerwear projects including everything from

sportswear-styled outerwear to wind shirts.”

Though the new Driden washable wax finish can be

applied to a wide range of fabrics, Concept III believes

strongly in three stock cotton versions: Driden Kato,

a twill; Driden Sahara, a cambric; and Driden Sahara

Sun, a 50/50 hemp and cotton canvas.

Pied Piping

What do you get when you have reflective piping

that doesn’t require an immediate light source to

emit a reflection? The answer is all kinds of design

possibilities that go beyond safety and extend into

aesthetic and applications for apparel, marine, outdoor

gear and even decks and patios.

In actuality, Lunabrite is not a “reflective” piping

technology at all but serves many of the same

purposes. A sewable trim piping, Lunabrite is a

photo luminescent flexible light tube technology that

regenerates with sun or lamp light.

Along with the obvious emergency and public

safety applications, Lunabrite can be customized to

attach to virtually any product, says Peter Tarlton,

Lunabrite co-founder and inventor. Hence, “we are

seeing it’s relevance in other industries such as

architectural, marine, apparel, footwear and a wide

range of outdoor equipment.”

Imagine, for instance, a tent illuminated with

Lunabrite trim in order to help campers find their way

home after a late-night visit to the pit toilet, or tire

spokes and tennis shoes tricked out with Lunabrite to

enhance both the safety and aesthetic appeal of the

product, while providing a point of differentiation.

Activated within five minutes of exposure to a

light source, Lunabrite achieves maximum brightness

in about 30 minutes and can be seen as far as 100

yards away, say company sources. The brightest light

is emitted during the initial three to four hours after

exposure, but the perceptible glow can be visible up

to a maximum of 12 hours.

Lunabrite Light Technology is available in two

colors (blue and green) and in diameters ranging from

5/16 inch to 1/2 inch with a 1/4 inch selvage edge

for mechanical attachment or with custom profiles.

It is machine washable, non-toxic, weather and UV

resistant and antimicrobial.

Fall 2008 | InsideOutdoor | 45


Back Office

TO CATCH A THIEF

Solving the worst kind of shrink

by James W. Bassett

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce

research study conducted in 1975, one-third of all

small business failures are caused by employee theft.

Despite improvements in alarms, surveillance cameras

and other security hardware, employee theft still takes

the same toll on small business today. But you’re

primary interest is in your store and the employee

theft problem you may have now or may confront in

the future.

Some people wonder why employees steal.

Is it always “need” or “greed” as many textbooks

claim? In reality, it’s not that simple. Employees

steal because they see themselves as victims

enabling them to blame their stealing on someone or

something else. Employees who steal believe “I am

owed, but I haven’t received. So I will make things

even by taking what is owed to me.” The thief can

blame society, prejudice, low pay, under appreciation,

overwork, poverty, bad luck, parental neglect, parental

overindulgence, etc., etc.

Once employee theft occurs in a location, it can

quickly spread like a disease among employees. The

antidote is to confront thievery quickly and decisively.

If other employees observe a co-worker fired or

prosecuted for stealing, they are far less likely to

steal. Conversely, ignoring employee theft sends the

message that management is either indifferent to

employee theft or powerless to stop it.

The busy holiday season and the chaos it often

brings to retailers is a perfect storm for employee

theft. It is nearly impossible for outdoor retailers to

continually conduct inventories during this hectic

period. Most employee theft committed during

November and December is not discovered until

January. Additionally, many small stores hire temporary

workers who know their jobs will be gone by New

Year’s Day. The shorter the employee’s tenure, the

more likely she will steal from her employer.

This year may be a banner year for employee

theft. Recent events in our country have spawned

millions of American workers who see themselves

as victims. Some truly are victims who face financial

disaster. Devastating hurricanes, rapidly increasing

prices, home mortgage foreclosures, stock markets

losses, rampant inflation, a general recession and

expensive gasoline are just some of the factors

threatening to make this holiday season an employee

theft record breaker.

Once an employee starts stealing, he continues

stealing in progressively larger amounts until he is

caught or strongly fears he is going to be caught.

Stealing employees often quit when a theft investigation

is announced. Others quit during the

investigation. The thief believes that once he has left

your company, he can’t be prosecuted.

When you experience an employee theft, you want

to report it to the police right away. A uniformed officer

usually will come to your store and take a report. He

will hand your case over to a detective who will then

come out and interview you. But this may be the last

you hear from the detective. Most police agencies

don’t like employee theft cases because they are

difficult to investigate. Most employee theft cases

yield no eye witnesses and no physical evidence. Even

when stealing employees are caught, most employers

choose not to prosecute. This leaves the detective

feeling like he’s wasted his time. Metropolitan police

departments consider employee theft cases a low

priority. Their first priority is crimes against persons

rather than property. This means your employee theft

case will probably be pushed to the back burner.

How do you solve your employee theft case? The

best way to find out which employee(s) are stealing

from you is to ask the people who can probably tell you

– your honest employees. We have found that better

than 80 percent of the time, employees who were not

involved in the theft strongly suspect which co-worker(s)

committed the theft. Sometimes they know for sure

which co-worker is the culprit.

There are two ways of asking your employees what

they know about a theft. First, you can individually interview

each of your employees and ask them what they know

about the theft, who they think stole what is missing,

and why they think so. However, most store owners feel

uncomfortable assuming the role of interrogator. They fear

damaging rapport with their employees and fear company

morale might be affected. Others simply don’t have the

time or the inclination to investigate a theft in their stores.

However, there is an alternative.

The alternative is a theft investigation questionnaire

administered to all employees who had access to

what was stolen. The theft investigation questionnaire

is a pen and paper investigative tool – a written theft

interview you administer to your employees in a group

like a written test in school. The theft investigation

questionnaire can be ordered from the author’s Web

46 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


Back Office

Top Sources of Shrink

Employee theft of merchandise in stores

Customers stealing merchandise

Employee theft of cash

(voids, post-voids, etc)

Paper shrink

(missed markdowns, incorrect PO)

Source: RSR Research

site, www.TheftStopper.com. It will be sent to you

promptly via email with complete instructions for

Comparison administration. of Heat Once Transfer, the Gas theft vs. questionnaires Fiber Insulation are

completed, you can overnight them to a professional

investigator for analysis. A detailed report with results

6 for each employee is emailed back to you within

Fiber Insulations

two business days, depending upon the number of

Ar

5 questionnaires to be analyzed.

Kr Klymit gases

The theft investigation report divides the

Xe

4 suspects into two groups: employees * who might

have committed the theft or employees who almost

3 certainly did not commit the theft. Next, the report

determines which employees are qualified to take

2 polygraph examinations in compliance with federal

* polygraph law – the Employee Polygraph Protection

1 Act of 1988 (EPPA). Finally, the report ranks the

*

employees qualified for polygraph * tests in order of

The thicker the insulation, the less heat is lost

*

0 the likelihood that each committed the theft. This

enables you to ask your most likely suspect(s) to take

2.5 4.5 6.5 8.5 10.5 12.5 14.5

the polygraph test first. Thickness (mm)

The investigator will also prepare the required

Source: Klymit

forms for you to submit to your polygraph-qualified

employees for their signatures. The forms explain

to the employees why they qualify as “reasonable

suspects” to take polygraph examinations and their

right to refuse polygraph examinations. The forms

also explain your legal right as an employer to fire

them if they refuse to take the polygraph test or they

take the test and “flunk” it.

Heat Transfer (W)

Fraudelent returns

Organized crime rings

Register under-rings (sweethearting)

Employee theft of

merchandise in distribution

Lost or stolen shipments

Fraudulent credit card transactions

Saleable merchandise used as supplies

Fraudulent check transactions

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

Typically, innocent employees

agree to take the polygraph

examination, pass it,

Information

are thanked

Sources: Outdoor ve

for their cooperation

Fitness

and return

Consumers

to

work. Guilty employees usually quit

57%

their jobs on the spot 60after

saying

50%

Fitn

something like, “Since you don’t

50

trust me, I quit!” Sometimes the

Out

perpetrator will confess, 40 hoping 33%

you will give him a second

30

chance

25%

or a neutral reference he can use to

16%

obtain another job. 20

13

Employee theft 10 investigation

questionnaires identify the

guilty employee(s) more 0 than Web sites 80 TV shows Product

review sites

percent of the time. When used

together with polygraph testing,

Source: Hanson Dodge Creative

the success rate in identifying

employee theft perpetrators is

better than 95 percent.

Theft investigation questionnaires

can provide you with other

benefits, as well. Once the questionnaires are

administered, employee theft usually stops cold.

Innocent suspects are quickly exonerated and

returned to work. The thief can be identified quickly

and verified by polygraph testing, if necessary. You

will often identify the thief without polygraph testing.

And once you catch an employee thief and remove

him from your payroll, you establish a deterrent

for other employees who might be thinking about

stealing from you. The theft questionnaire method Card gamesof

investigation is quick, effective, non-confrontational

Pen and paper puzzles

4

and relatively inexpensive.

Dice games

25%

Theft investigation questionnaires can help you

solve almost every employee theft case you Checkers/chess experience

18%

and help you prevent employee theft from recurring. Scrabble

16%

For more information, visit www.TheftStopper.com Monopoly 14%

or read Solving Employee Theft: New Insights, Backgammon New 8%

Tactics, available on the Web site.

0% 10% 20% 30% 40%

James W. Bassett has been

a professional theft investigator Source: KOA

and polygraph examiner for more

than 30 years. His book, Solving

Employee Theft: New Insights, New

Tactics is available from Booksurge.

com, Amazon.com or the author

himself. You can contact the author through his Web

Percent Playing Games While Ca

Transactional Emails Are Opened

site, www.TheftStopper.com, or by calling him at

(352) 277-6222.

60%

54%

Transactional email

Fall 2008 | 50% InsideOutdoor Typical | 47opt-in mess


Back Office

Minding Your Own Business

by Bill Taylor

How many times have you heard someone say “mind your

own business”? If you are the owner of a retail business,

that may just be a reason to say, “Thank you – Come again!”

We have seen many retail business owners get so wrapped

up “in the business,” stocking shelves, contacting vendors,

scheduling employees, etc., that they never seem to spend

any time working “on the business,” often leading to missed

opportunities or disastrous results.

While it is easy to get caught up in the daily ins and outs

of the retail business, especially in smaller stores, finding a

good balance is key. That is not to say you shouldn’t focus your

energies toward finding and selling customers, implementing

inventory and financial systems and providing excellent

customer service and product support, but a single-minded

approach toward always working “in the business” may be

holding your business back and keeping your profits down. We

believe successful retailers, especially those who also happen

to own the business, must make the time each and every

month to work “on the business.”

What do we actually mean when we say work “on the

business?” This includes changing your perspective by taking a

bird’s eye view and really looking objectively at all key areas of your

business – from how you sell to customers, market your products,

manage people and layout your aisles to a complete financial

review. It includes looking beyond today to allow you to plan for

growth, analyze trends, evaluate new products and product lines,

develop deeper vendor relationships and so much more that could

easily get missed while you’re redecorating your windows for the

holiday season or handling a customer complaint.

Getting Started

A great way to get started working “on the business” is

by developing a basic business plan. Your initial business plan

does not need to be deeply thought through or encyclopedic

in nature. In fact, if you’re just starting out, or if this is your

first time putting together a business plan, less is more when it

comes to developing the plan. A few pages, with a maximum of

five, should probably do it. Your business plan needs to include

what products you plan to sell and who your key suppliers will

be; markets you intend to reach; primary target customers; how

you will reach your customers; methods to recruit, hire and train

employees; customer support programs and procedures; and

most importantly your financial plan, including a projected profit

and loss (P&L). Creating key performance indicators (KPIs) is

another excellent way to establish metrics for your business.

The next requirement is to make time available every

month. We recommend that you spend at least a minimum of

eight hours every month working on your business. Another

good idea is to pre-schedule your calendar to block out this time

each and every month for this work. Employees and suppliers

requesting time to meet with you should be told that you have

a prior commitment and you’ll gladly meet with them at another

time. If finding a full day to dedicate to your business is difficult,

try scheduling two half days or maybe two hours a week, if that

works better for you. The importance lies in making the time

investment each and every month, not whether it is done in a

few short time periods or one long one.

Weekly meetings or conference calls with staff also are a

good way to work on the business. This can be a challenge in a

retail environment where employee schedules are often diverse

and flexible, so you need to be aware of when you can gather

a majority of your people for these sessions, either in person

or by phone, whichever works best. A good idea is to schedule

meeting times in advance, preferably the same day and time

each week, if possible, when you know you’ll have uninterrupted

time with your key employees to discuss the business. Develop

an agenda to be sure you cover the important items and metrics

in every meeting. Timeliness is important, so be ready at the

appointed time and don’t allow others to miss your meeting or

be late. During your sessions review your business objectives

and measure progress against the targets. Ask questions and

challenge the answers you receive.

Mind Your Numbers

Discussing the financial elements is critical. Not every

business person is financially savvy, but every smart business

person needs to learn and understand the basic financials of

successfully running their business. If necessary, ask for outside

help in this critical area. If you don’t have a financial person on

staff, look to a trusted business advisor, or your accountant/CPA

to explain the numbers and the information they provide. Have

them work with you to spot trends and patterns for your store

and for the product lines in your store and ask questions about

profits, margins and expenses. Learn how to read your P&L data

and be able to tell what is going on in your business every month.

It is also important to create an annual expense budget for your

business at the beginning of the year and then stick to it!

Don’t let the issues or problems of the day suck you in and

become your single focus. While you must be involved in building

and running the business, it shouldn’t be the only thing you do.

Minding your own business is not only a great idea, it is essential,

and you should thank everyone that reminds you to do so. After

all, if you don’t mind your own business – who else will?

Bill Taylor is the founder and president of Corporate Ladders,

(www.corporateladders.com) specializing in management,

sales and business development consulting and coaching

for businesses and individuals that want to get to the top.

Bill can be reached at wbtaylor@corporateladders.com or at

201.825.8296.

48 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


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50 | InsideOutdoor | Fall 2008


ADAPTIVE COMFORT


LEADING THE WAY

FOR 35 YEARS.

For 35 years, you have trusted POLARGUARD ®

Insulation to help you navigate the outdoors.

Whether exploring a local park, trekking in the

mountains of Patagonia or scaling Everest,

POLARGUARD ® has gone the distance with you.

Thank you for making POLARGUARD ® Insulation part

of your adventures. We look forward to joining you

on all the journeys to come. For more information

visit www.polarguard.com or call 1-704-586-7512.

35TH

ANNIVERSARY

©INVISTA 2008. All rights reserved.

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