Shortly after Outdoor Retailer Winter, the largest B2B trade event serving the outdoor industry, we were all told to stay inside and quarantine from COVID-19. Prior to these extenuating circumstances, it was rumored that only 99% of the innovations shown at the event ever made it to the destination intended…mountaintops, trails that turned to ice, avalanches…you get the picture. You see, the outdoorsy lifestyle is trendier than ever. The equipment and accessories are selling, however they are hardly being used exclusively by a hardcore audience. Instead, soft-core enthusiasts are becoming the more lucrative consumer, looking to dip their toes in the great outdoors.
According to New York magazine’s popular Strategist column, hammock sales in the city are on the rise, as people are desperate to bring the outdoors in. Trampolines are also making their way indoors. That’s because for many, outdoors is synonymous with active lifestyle. Movement boosts immunity and positivity and people are experimenting and seeking ways to re-create recreation.
Outdoor apparel, recovery products, and activities can also be used indoors.
Here are a few items we discovered and have been enjoying:
What to wear
Starting with the base: “The base-layer segment is witnessing exceptional growth as the number of consumers incorporating a base-layer for their leisure and outdoor activities continues to rise,” said Adrian Cory, Commercial Manager at Odlo. As the number one performance base-layer brand in a number of key European territories, and the original pioneer of functional sports underwear since 1946, Odlo has been introducing new styles into U.S. retail that are in response to new trends and demands from American consumers.
The Performance Blackcomb is an outstanding performance synthetic base-layer that has responded to the underwear/outerwear trend through functional design. Women, in particular, demand the first layer to be versatile enough to be worn as an outer piece when relaxing around the ski lodge or going out. The style is all important, but Blackcomb still offers all the functional attributes needed for skiing, running, working out at the gym, etc.
Odlo’s commitment to sustainability will further be witnessed when the fall/winter ranges hit stores. Odlo’s Performance Warm ECO and Active Warm ECO ranges will all be produced using recycled plastic, which, more importantly, is reclaimed plastic from the oceans. In total, 68% of Odlo’s fall/winter range will be recycled or sustainable in some fashion.
Be Aware of What You Wear is the campaign message for 2020 and beyond as Odlo strives for 100% sustainability across its entire inventory.
Kari Traa is another base layer brand for women only, founded by a Norwegian Olympics medalist. It started when Kari customized her own gear, adding color and lots of unique style and function. “We saw the trend of using nature both for activity and for mental recreation,” said Brianna Dean, Senior Marketing Coordinator, Active Brands North America. “We believe this is being reinforced now in these times. We have created a feminine collection for women who want to enjoy the great outdoors, whether it’s camping in the woods or skiing in the mountains.”
More than ever, it is important to take women in real-life and make clothing that is suitable for the shapes and expressions that are unique to us. There is a great need for feminine base-layers that don’t compromise design, color, and fit.
“Autumn/Winter ‘20 is all about mixing things up and doing the unexpected: having fun,” said Dean. “The colors, cuts and graphics are set to inspire women towards outdoor activities. Old classics are preserved, inherited material is resumed and twisted into a modern and outdoorsy expression. There is a goal in the industry to make long-lasting garments. We can preserve Mother Earth by being conscious when creating our clothes, both in design and choice of material. There is also a long-awaited need for female super-heroes who can inspire and give girls an extra voice in society. Here we have our own super woman in our founder, Kari Traa.”
Terramar, a base layer brand with 40 years of history has products with competitive features and prices, is ideal for people seeking micro adventures. More people will want to be get out and move more. That means base layers will be necessary in all seasons, and people will be seeking out the best possible price on product they aren’t assured they need until they try it.
Keeping warm, dry and comfortable: Hot Chillys continues to engineer advanced performance base-layers, socks and patented face masks for skiing that can be used for other sports after the snow melts.The company’s iconic “Original” is the first body fit base layer – a blend of wool and polypropylene and packaged in a bright yellow can.
Down with fashion: There’s a big movement of sustainability that has become a number-one priority, and outerwear needs to be light and warm. Furlux is a women’s luxury fashion company specializing in outwear and winter accessories. It brings fashion, fit and style to the outwear and winter world allowing you to express yourself no matter the weather. “Outerwear needs to be light and warm,” said Valery Geoffroy, Founder of Furlux. “Women don’t need to wear big heavy coats anymore to be stylish, they can have down that is ultra-warm and ultra-light.” And very fashionable!
A century of Merino wool: Minus33 Merino Wool Clothing is superior in quality and performance. It is a 5th generation family company that has over 104 years of history in the wool industry. They believe everyone should feel welcome, comfortable, and safe no matter the activity. That is why they create quality products that can be worn in all different weather and seasons. The sheep their wool comes from has had more time to evolve than engineered fabrics, which may be why it is more antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, is flame- and fire-resistant, softer, stays dry and captures scent.
Warm wearables: We may be cooped up inside ,but after a long day of working from home you may want to go for a walk to move your legs. Yet, it is still chilly outside in some areas, and we need some gear to ensure we stay warm and bundled. Gobi Heat is the perfect heated companion to keep you staying warm whether you’re venturing outside for some fresh air or need some extra warmth while you’re staying isolated inside. Whether it’s in their jackets, vests, pants, hats, socks or gloves, you will feel the heat in less than 30 seconds using their current technology and manufacturing processes, Gobi Heat continues to offer warmth, comfort, durable, trendy apparel for all your outdoor and everyday needs.
Weather-proof: People who want to bike, run, hike or climb will do so despite the elements. Companies such as Showerpass make apparel and gear to make it easier to withstand the elements. The 22-year-old brand is known for its waterproof, breathable and functional rain gear and continues to broaden its line with sustainability in mind.
Avoid chafing: If you experience any pain from skin-to-skin or skin-to-clothes contact, including chafing from protective facial masks, applying Body Glide Anti-Chafe balm before you move, will prevent redness, irritation, and chafing. Body Glide Body Balm is a glide-easy balm that protects skin from chafing by creating an invisible barrier on the skin. The balm does not leave any grease or mess – and is completely stain-free, leaving no mark on clothes and shoes.
Roll yourself well: Back pain is trending up and people like being able to take care of themselves at home. The two combined are upping the demand for simple pain relief from home. “Most people ride it out and hope their back or neck or hips just heal themselves,” said Tate Stock, creator of The Chirp Wheel.
The Chirp Wheel is designed to fit perfectly between your shoulder blades, targeting the muscles that go up and down your spine. It features a comfy mat design with a spinal canal to massage your muscles, relaxing your back and relieve pain. “Chirp’s goal is to be 100x better of an experience than going to a doctor’s office, waiting in the lobby forever, and then getting a bill a few weeks later for an amount you can never accurately estimate,” explained Stock.
What to take with you
Care how you carry: Rigwa is the most versatile bowl that is perfect for lunches, work, on the go, traveling, outdoors, etc. It keeps both hot and cold food fresh with its innovative design. It is vacuum insulated stainless steel, has a two-finger open design, BPA-Free insulated lid, double-walled food grade stainless steel and is spill proof. RIGWA Life was created to help reduce the use of single-use plastics, help you live a more sustainable life and eat healthier food how you want it, when you want it.
Things to do
The lightest step: Northern Lites is said to be the world’s lightest snowshoe, up to 75% lighter than competing snowshoes while still remaining durable as proven with a lifetime warranty. Northern Lites makes snowshoeing easy no matter your athletic ability, the weight makes it easy for beginners to succeed and allows pro’s to be able to increase speed. Northern Lites allows you to get outdoors in snow and explore nature.
Mining for profits: Minelab’s broad range of metal detectors finds metal materials on all kinds of terrain and through magnetic minerals, iron rich soil and deep water and provides purpose for a walk and encouraging family fun.
Expect to see more outdoor apparel, gear and activities for delivery online and more innovation on the market in 2021. Stay tuned to outdoorretailer.com for show updates.
Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and editors of WholeFoods Magazine.