In The News: inov-8, Opalux, SFIA, Tecnica

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UK-based footwear brand inov-8 has donated £9,600 ($12,981) towards the planting of new trees and the restoration of peat habitats in the battle against climate change. The money was raised through a “Green Friday” sales initiative on its website and a donation was made to the non-profit Cumbria Wildlife Trust.


Opalux, a Toronto company that develops smart materials, including stimulus-responsive, color-changing materials and coatings is developing Chameleonix for the footwear market. Seen as providing the next level of custom aesthetics, Chameleonix is a thin film device that can be applied to most surfaces and is controlled by a tiny electric current that changes its color. Opalux says use of the material on a shoe will enable the wearer, via an app, to control color based on mood or an outfit. A demo of the technology, part of a broader global awareness campaign, can be seen at: http://opalux.com/chameleonix-for-brands/.


Retail imports in 2020 are now forecast to rise 0.8 percent from last year to 21.8 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU), according to Global Port Tracker. A month ago, the annual figure was projected to be down 3.4 percent year-over-year, but Nov. imports came in 22.4 percent higher than in 2019 and Dec. imports are forecast to rise 11 percent from their 2019 level. In a pandemic-impacted year, the retail inventory-to-sales ratio soared to 1.68 in April when many stores were closed before plummeting more than 25 percent to 1.22 in June, a proportion that has remained consistent since.


Tecnica Group has hired former 5.11 executive Rob Phillips as North American Business Unit Director for footwear where he will oversee the West Lebanon, NH firm’s commercial operations, product and marketing.


Sports & Fitness Industry Association re-elected Dan Arment, President and CEO of Riddell & BRG Sports, to a second one-year term. The trade group also elected two new directors — Jake Griffith, general manager for sports, fitness and outdoors for Walmart and April Lane, director and general manager of sports & outdoor for Amazon. Additionally, four directors — Mike Dowse, CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association; Jared Drinkwater, Chief Marketing Officer for BSN Sports; Kurt Tandan, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for Adidas and Mike Zlaket, President and CEO of Rawlings Sporting Goods — were elected for another three-year term.

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