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In the Studio

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If you have an innovative product idea, now is the time to take advantage of industry opportunities. Cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Brooklyn and Austin all have fashion incubators. Retailer Moosejaw has an accelerator program and REI allows local brands to apply online to have their products sold at the REI Co-Op through the Greenlight project. The Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards recognize the best new gear of the year. Having combed through them all, here are three up and comers that have sparked our interest. 

Got Bag

Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award

Matthias Paisdzior, head of North America, Got Bag

Hero Product: Rolltop Bag. “It’s the perfect travel bag and fits well under the front seat on an airplane. It’s also a great hiking bag since it’s incredibly lightweight (2.49 lbs). I use the Rolltop when I go snowboarding because it’s waterproof and extremely durable. It’s also the perfect commuter bag since it is so easy to carry and open with the rolltop closure. As a dad, I also have to say it’s a perfect diaper bag.” 

Competitive Advantage: “The Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award has further positioned us to help retailers in their sincere desire to sell products that are not only cool, stylish, functional, durable, etc.; but make an actual difference. The Ocean Impact Plastic used for all Got Bag’s products is collected in Indonesia by the team’s own clean-up program. About 9.9 lbs of Ocean Impact Plastic is removed from the ocean and near-shore areas for every bag made. In-house, we process the plastic trash into pellets, which we transform into yarn and then our fabric. We ensure that the plastics that cannot be used are recycled appropriately.”

Lume Six

Moosejaw Outdoor Accelerator

Margaux Jo Elliott, founder, Lume Six Sports Bras

Hero Product: Cirra High Impact Sports Bra. “It’s the first sports bra I have ever worn while running that relieved the pain I have experienced my whole life. Sports bras that provided the support I needed often felt restricting, over-built, or like big, strange contraptions. To have something that is supportive, lightweight, and comfortable has completely changed how I feel during and after exercise. The Alleviate Straps are designed to lay flat consistently through movement. This allows for an even distribution of weight and maximum comfort, with a little built-in cushion. My background is in product development and I have spent years developing fit in cycling and snow sports. Fit for a next-to-skin compression garment is very different and so unique and individual.”

Competitive Advantage: “Our focus is on combining the most technical and performance-oriented textiles with unique features to optimize comfort and compression. We use woven fabrics instead of knits for dimensional stability, durability and a second-skin feeling. Our DreamSupport jacquard structure promotes wicking and quick drying time. The mill we work with in Italy (owned by a triathlete) has developed advanced yarns that can stretch within the woven structure. If you look at a conventional knit vs. woven structure, you will notice that there are more overlapping areas — those can house bacteria and cause garments to smell bad. Due to the woven structure and premium nature of our yarns and fabric, this is less of a concern. More odor control equals less washing equals being better for the environment. We use recycled polyester/elastane blends for our fabrics, not nylon.”

Lexi Miller

Fashion Incubator San Francisco

Alexis Ring, founder, Lexi Miller Women’s Cycling Apparel

Hero Product: Wrapture Cycling Jersey. “This is the first zipper-less jersey that really took off and made it clear that there is room in the cycling industry to do things differently. Cycling apparel calls for textiles that breathe, do not pill, and retain their elasticity. We source from Italian mills that specialize in performance textiles. In addition, we use high quality zippers, and source chamois from the industry leader.”

Competitive Advantage: “Lexi Miller is made by women, for women, who ride.  We find inspiration in fashion, which we meld with the functional requirements of cycling apparel. Whereas many brands simply white label a factory’s stock kit, we start from scratch. We put seams and piping where no one else does in order to create a beautiful, feminine silhouette. We compiled a list of pain points and solved them with our designs. I came to apparel design as a frustrated interior designer who spent her free time cycling. Once I realized that the workflow for building an apparel line had many parallels to building a house, it was less intimidating. Your pattern maker is your architect. The factory is the contractor. And the textiles are your construction materials.” 

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Jun 3, 2022

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