If you have never been to Outdoor Retailer, it is one big, incredible production. It’s also an amazing community that gathers twice a year to share inspirations, stories, and new product innovations. The show floor is littered with booth after booth of 3-Layer shells, down jackets, outdoor bags (in every color imaginable), and loads of innovative outdoor gear. While most booths are focused on selling finished products for late 2018 to their retailer network, we spend our Outdoor Retailer a little differently.
Due to our vertical, direct-to-consumer sales model at Western Rise our focus at the show is on sourcing and networking. We spend most of our time knee-deep behind the scenes, in back rooms and upper floors, where we are sourcing the newest fabrics and trims for use in our upcoming products later this year and early next year. Fabric suppliers from all over the world, from Europe to Asia to domestic, come to show the newest in performance technology and we get to see all of these fabric innovations in one place.
Here is a quick re-cap of how we spent our time at Outdoor Retailer this year:
Find the most durable, functional buttons and trims available.
Garner inspiration via innovative new fabrics and technologies
Face time and networking with brand partners and colleagues
Host a party and share a few beers with our friends and industry leaders.
Our favorite ultrafine micron wool supplier Global Merino.
Discussing advancements in technical outerwear with our friends at Toray.
Seeing the incredible innovation coming from some of the smaller European and Asian fabric mills.
The Western Rise x Huckberry x Rumpl party sponsored by Uinta Brewing at Beer Bar.
Amazing cotton-hand lightweight woven Nylon 66/Cotton/Elastane shirting fabrics.
Woven twill Merino fabric with stretch.
Toray’s lightest weight 3DEFX stretch insulation.
Innovative yarn-wrapping techniques to bolster durability in natural fibers.
Impressive advancements in C0 PFC DWR treatments.
Fidlock’s expanding range of magno-mechanical fasteners.
Magnetic zipper replacements.
Large material companies aren’t innovating at a fast enough rate, or adapting to new sales models.
Large brands are focusing more on urban and commuter.