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  • Where It All Comes Together...
  • Will Watters
  • ApparelIndustryNew ProductOutdoor RetailerUpdate

Where It All Comes Together...

Western Rise Outdoor Retailer

 

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:

 

 Goals:
Find new, innovative fabrics for the Western Rise 2018 line of apparel.
Improve performance or cost of core fabrics from 2017 line.
Find the most durable, functional buttons and trims available. 
Garner inspiration via innovative new fabrics and technologies

       Primary Activities:
      32 various fabric and trim meetings in 3 days
      Face time and networking with brand partners and colleagues
      Host a party and share a few beers with our friends and industry leaders.
         
        Key Meetings:
         Our friends at Schoeller.  Schoeller is the industry leader in 4-way stretch woven fabrics.
         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.
          Outcomes
          Our favorite fabric innovations:
          A luxuriously soft 15.5 micron single jersey merino knit fabric from Gostwyck Farm.
          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.
            Some of our favorite fabrics from the show:
                                -Merino/Organic Cotton Woven         -Hemp Blend Woven 
             -Nylon/Cotton/Elastane Woven         -Nylon/Elastane Double-woven
            -Nylon/Elastane Canvas
            Fabric/industry Trends:
            Waterproof breathable membranes are changing due to the changes of PFC’s.
            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.
              Overall, Outdoor Retailer is our favorite show.  We watch an industry move forward, innovate within our own product line, and hang out with friends from around the world.  We attend the show twice a year with an open mind and a never-ending quest for knowledge.
              Thanks for following along,
              Will Watters
              Founder

               

               

              • Will Watters
              • ApparelIndustryNew ProductOutdoor RetailerUpdate

              Comments on this post ( 1 )

              • Feb 06, 2017

                Thanks for sharing, working in the Fire/Rescue PPE industry we see fabrics come and go every year. It’s interesting to see the fabric trends along the years and the hybrid woven’s that continue on the up-slope. Super Rad!

                — David Lindley

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