New Products & Initiatives in the Spotlight
Turtle Fur: Branching Out
Known as an accessory staple for cold-weather activities, VT-base brand Turtle Fur is branching out with its first spring/summer collection. Since creating its first fleece neck warmer in 1982, the brand has expanded its offerings to include multifunctional headwear, beanies, balaclavas and more. This spring, Turtle Fur launched its first spring and summer collection, featuring two new lightweight and breathable fabrics, both offering UPF50+ sun protection: Comfort Shell Lite Supersoft and Comfort Shell Lite Sport. These new fabrics offer moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties, soft touch and cooling technology. The new line includes both neck tubes and headbands.
“Our Spring and Summer fabrics were designed with living life outside in mind. We wanted to give our customers fabrics that would protect them from the sun and elements, while also keeping them comfortable and dry,” says Turtle Fur’s head of design Meghan Ksiazek.
Timberland has essentially built a regenerative leather supply chain from the ground up to source the material for offerings such as its GreenStride Solar Wave EK+ footwear, which also features GreenStride comfort soles made from sugar cane and natural rubber. “Sourcing traceable leather from regenerative cattle ranches was not a simple task,” Zack Angelini, Timberland’s senior manager of environmental stewardship says. Smaller scale regenerative leather suppliers are very decentralized. Timberland leaned on partners including Other Half Processing SBC, Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed and Savory Institute for guidance. “By working in harmony with nature, regenerative cattle ranching helps draw carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the soil where it belongs,” Angelini notes. By 2030, the brand aims to design 100 percent of its natural materials from regenerative agriculture. In efforts to build the world’s first regenerative rubber supply chain for the footwear industry, Timberland is also partnering with Terra Genesis International. A pilot of Timberland’s first product line with regenerative rubber is slated for 2023.
Sanuk: Nature Calls
Consumers want to know what natural materials are going into their shoes and how it impacts the greater global well-being. Sanuk’s recently launched edition of its Grateful Dead capsule collection features tie-dye colorways and the band’s iconic lightning bolt logo. Using natural materials like hemp, jute and responsibly-sourced leather saved millions of liters of water in the manufacturing process. “Like the Dead, we love planet earth and we know that every material choice has an impact,” commented Katie Pruitt, product director at Sanuk.
Every material, in each shoe, must be suitable for its intended use. “Hemp and jute have great durability properties,” said Pruitt. Bloom foam, which delivers “cushion, high rebound bounce and support” is made with repurposed algae to lower carbon emissions and clean fresh water sources. The collection’s soft top foam midsoles are made with 20 percent Bloom foam.
CEP: Going Hiking
CEP has launched its first Outdoor Collection of socks. The line features Hiking Merino and Light Merino socks, available in tall, mid-cut and low-cut options. The socks are engineered to provide targeted compression to improve circulation and blood flow where it’s needed the most. They also have breathable padding, moisture-wicking properties and joint stabilizing technology that helps hikers stay comfortable, according to the brand.
“Any hiker will tell you that socks are one of the most important yet sometimes overlooked pieces of equipment,” said Jared Finney, head of sales, CEP Compression. “We developed our Outdoor Collection to push the limits of innovation knowing the importance of footwear, combining years of research and development in graduated compression with the latest technology advancements to ensure that hikers don’t have to settle when they step out into the great outdoors.”
Tecnica: Simple Returns
In an effort to move the ski industry closer to a circular economy, the Italian brand Tecnica has launched a recycling pilot program to help keep used ski boots out of landfills or burnt in waste-to-energy plants. The project, called Recycle Your Boots, will start this Fall in the Alps region.
“The idea is pretty simple,” explained Maurizio Priano, marketing and brand manager Blizzard Tecnica. “We will make it possible for skiers to return their old ski boots of any brand to partner retailers, and then recycle them through a transparent and sustainable process.”
The old ski boots will be collected by retailers and transported in small batches to reduce emissions. The Italian company Fecam will remove the liners and dismantle each boot to separate the plastic and metal components. All parts will then be transported to the nearby Laprima Plastics plant and transformed into secondary raw materials, such as plastic granules and recovered alumi¬num, ready to be recast and reused in industrial production. In addition, the liners will be shredded to make new padding.
Beginning in autumn 2021, Recycle Your Boots will commence at select retailers across the Alps, in Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The plan is for Sweden, Norway and Spain to hopefully join the program soon after. The hope is to extend the project to North America if and when the right partners and processes can be put in place.
Quiksilver: Made Better
Quiksilver has developed a long-term strategy based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) put forth by the United Nations. The company showcases this effort in its Made Better range of apparel that avoided 254,280,089 tons of CO2 emissions by using recycled polyester in the majority of Quiksilver’s products. The debut Men’s collection features recycled fleece throughout the offering. Currently 100 percent of Quiksilver’s boardshorts and 97 percent of Quiksilver’s mountainwear are made with recycled materials.
Twisted X: Reinvention
Twisted X CEO Prasad Reddy’s respect for the earth traces back to his childhood. So, in 2012, when he read “Plastic Ocean” by Charles Moore, about plastic being strewn into the ocean, it lit a fuse. “Six years ago, I found this gentleman who was making blankets out or recycled plastic water bottles and donating them to third world countries. I reached out to him and eventually started to do it for Twisted X,” he commented.
Each pair of shoes made from its ecoTWX upper material removes about 13 plastic water bottles from landfills and oceans. According to Reddy, ecoTWX is about equal in performance to other textiles traditionally used in footwear. Cotton is added in with the recycled content to provide strength.
An independent interlocking, double-stitching system allows for no glue construction in Twisted X’s new Zero-X collection. Bamboo laces are created from safely harvested bamboo. Rice husk outsoles are created with an agricultural rice husk blend. The new BioSole midsoles are made from biofuels (castor bean oil), sourced from a chemical manufacturer that Reddy has had a longstanding relationship with. While COVID-19 did cause some challenges for Twisted X, as it did for other footwear firms, the brand was never forced to stop production due to lack of materials.
mountainFLOW: Plant-Based for Bikes
After shaking up the ski wax industry with its line of eco-friendly products, CO-based brand mountainFLOW is expanding its reach with a new collection of plant-based bike products that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and rival all other petroleum-based competitors on the market, according to the brand.
The new line includes four different lubes, a grease and a wash/degreaser —made for riding in three different weather conditions — wet, moderate and dry. The line also includes waterproof bike grease for lubrication and waterproofness, and a bike wash/degreaser that works on all parts of the bike, including the drive train.
“We are stoked to launch our new line of plant-based bike products,” says mountainFLOW founder and CEO Peter Arlein. “Holding true to our ‘No Compromises’ ethos, we have developed high-performance and eco-friendly products that are as good or better than the petroleum-based competition while being completely non-toxic and biodegradable.”
Each of mountainFLOW’s new products are made from plant-based oils, waxes or cleaners, with no petroleum products included. The packaging for the bike lube products is made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled material, and the bottle used for the bike wash/degreaser is made from recycled paper and plastic, containing 70 percent less plastic than the typical bottle.
Cotopaxi + NEMO + REI: Trading In
Cotopaxi and NEMO announced the launch of a new trade-in recommerce program with Trove and REI to give customers more Used Gear options. This collaboration and resale program aims to allow Cotopaxi and NEMO to quickly enter the resale market, Trove to further its mission to create a world with less waste through a more circular economy, and REI to continue growing its high-quality used gear assortment.
REI will sell Cotopaxi’s and NEMO’s preowned merchandise through its existing Used Gear resale site. Through this partnership, Cotopaxi, NEMO and REI will be prolonging the lifecycle of their products, offering customers sustainable design and product integrity, while engaging conscious consumers and driving a more sustainable and circular retail economy.
Customers can trade in their Cotopaxi and NEMO items in exchange for a gift card by mailing in their gently used gear and apparel. The items are sent to Trove, which assesses each product, assigns a condition grade, and cleans and/or repairs the item prior to approving it for photography and placement for sale on REI’s Used Gear site.
All partners worked closely to build out this unique trade-in program to give customers more options. Customers who want to trade in a preowned product can choose whether to use REI’s mail-in trade-in program or go directly through Cotopaxi or NEMO. The value of each product will be the same no matter which option the customer chooses. Customers who initiate trade-ins through REI’s program will receive an REI gift card and those who initiate trade-ins through each brand’s program will receive a gift card for that brand’s website.
Rab: Getting into Packs
British apparel brand Rab is making its entry into the pack market in Spring 2022. Rab is a sister brand to pack brand Lowe Alpine — both are owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies. Rab’s new pack line is part of Equip’s strategic initiative to build upon each of its brands’ strengths, offering more opportunities for customers, according to the company.
New pack ranges from both Lowe Alpine and Rab for Spring/Summer ’22 are built based on Lowe Alpine’s expertise rom more than 50 years of pack innovation and design.
Tim Fish, product director at Rab & Lowe Alpine, explains: “This step offers a fantastic opportunity to drive future product innovation and development, strengthen both brands, and expand the visibility of our depth of knowledge, expertise, and rich heritage in pack design.”
Rab’s brand new pack collection focuses on the fast, light and vertical. The Aeon franchise is a series of three pack ranges that are tough, technical and built from 50% recycled fabrics. Equipped for the mountain, the Aeon is positioned as “multi-tool” of packs, with models and sizes to suit a wide variety of mountain activities such as mountaineering, fast hiking, trail running, scrambling and via ferrata.
For climbers, there is a new range of packs launched under Rab’s new ONE80 climbing collection. Built for life at the crag, they are constructed from ballistic nylons and with a detailed climbing feature set. From larger volume packs for long approaches and heavy racks, to smaller, lighter packs for trips to the climbing gym, there’s something in the range for every climber.
Meanwhile, Lowe Alpine is launching the Sirac series of multi-day adventure packs, as well as updates to its popular Airzone and Cerro Torre ranges. The Sirac is built around the new Air Contour X carry system, featuring an injection-molded back panel and a CNC wire space frame to provide a torsional lattice structure cushioned with soft, high recovery foam for comfort. With reduced weight and body-mapped flex, this carry system enables dynamic movement and a comfortable, secure carry across varied terrain. The Sirac series consists of packs for men and women, ranging in size between 40L and 65L.
Tifosi: On the Run
Two new sunglass styles from Tifosi Optics bring a chic flair to its performance running offerings. The new sunglass “couple,” Shirley and Salvo, have shatterproof lenses that provide 100% UV protection. The frames are made with lightweight Grilamid TR-90, for strength and comfort. The Shirley boasts cat-eye styling, while Salvo features a brow bar.
Shirley comes in five color options: Crystal Ultra Violet, Gloss Black, Matte Blue Tortoise, Crystal Peach Blush, and Crystal Brown/ Onyx. They are $25, with the exception of the polarized Crystal Peach Blush, $49.95.
Salvo also provides choices. Blackout, Crimson/ Onyx, and Crystal Smoke retail at $25. There is a polarized version in Matte Tortoise for $49.95. And a Matte Black Salvo has a Fototec lens, also $49.95. Tifosi Fototec technology adjusts the shade of the lens with changing lighting conditions.
Gordini: bluesign Approved
The upcoming Fall 2021 glove collection from Gordini is the most sustainable in the brand’s history. The brand’s new Front Line series was developed in collaboration with Gordini Team Athlete and splitboarder Rafael Pease and is constructed with 100 percent bluesign-approved materials, while the Gordini Cirque series (pictured), made with responsibly-sourced leather, was designed with the help of Gordini Team Athlete and freeskier Julian Carr. Cirque series gloves have bluesign-approved linings and insulation, as well as a genuine goatskin shell and accents.
Gordini’s new Front Line series of gloves is designed and tested for rugged backcountry conditions. Hanna Reichel, Gordini strategy coordinator, states, “We believe we are providing the first glove offering to the market in which every single element, from the shell to the hardware, is bluesign approved.”
The Front Line GTX and the Front Line LT gloves and mitts can be worn separately or as a system, both featuring a minimal seam design to reduce areas of wear and tear, PrimaLoft Gold insulation, moisture-wicking linings, and Schoeller Keprotec on the palm and wrap caps utilizing Kevlar fibers for ultimate durability and grip.
Dometic: Doing Drinks
Focused in on expanding its offerings for the mobile outdoor lifestyle, Dometic has launched a new drinkware series. Made with stainless-steel, the new drinkware items are dishwasher safe, easy to clean and can be used for both hot and cold drinks.
The Dometic drinkware series, with prices ranging from $20-$40, consists of five models: the Thermo Tumbler which comes in 20 oz and 10 oz; the Thermo Bottle which comes in 22 oz and 16 oz; and a 4 pack of stackable stainless 16 oz Cups. All come in three different colors.
Dometic’s insulated vacuum sealed bottles/tumblers ensure cold or hot drinks maintain their temperature while on the move; and both styles are leak-proof, dishwasher safe and BPA Free.