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Exploring innovation at the Outdoor Retailer Show

The outdoor show continues to thrive on the innovations of the up and coming brands. They break through with ideas, technologies and advancements that can change our relationship with brands, products and most importantly, the outdoors.

Here are a few of the fascinating innovations we discovered at Outdoor Retailer.

One

Try on boots without squeezing your foot into that size five you believe to be your fit. Palladium Boots is utilizing AR technology to seamlessly pair with your smartphone to try on any pair of boots. Allowing shoppers to virtually self-model a variety of shoes in a matter of seconds.

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Wool made from the sea? Well, yes, from discarded oyster shells we find SeaWool. A sustainable yarn from the ocean of remnant oyster shell material. The final material is a blend of recycled PET bottles and recycled oyster shells that went through calcination and nano-grinding treatments. Quickly brings about a “sally and her seashells” story.

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Three

Cleaning up the ocean was a prevalent theme with GOT Bag as an iconic example. Using Ocean Impact Plastics harvested from the clean up efforts this brand has a compelling, beautiful and impactful mission. The product is designed to attract anyone with a sense of fashion and it feels like this brand will be huge in the next five years.

If they could only shed the anchor of a confusing name with associations to a 90s milk ad campaign, this brand could spread its mission with even more effective notoriety than it already does.

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Four

Who wouldn’t want to track down the exact alpaca that was the source of warmth in your favorite coat? The PAKA brand uses what one would hope to be a blockchain approach to finding the source of your fiber -- but the idea still works, even if it is in a gargantuan Google sheet. Who knows, someday you might even make a trip to the Andes to meet your alpaca.

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Five

The decimation of milkweed has had an extraordinary impact on the Monarch butterfly -- as the leaves are their food and they do a lot of flying (Mexico to Minnesota, as one migration). But, the pods make for a great fiber and harvesting / growing more is a wonderful example of butterfly economics. Monarch Flyway is building a network of suppliers along the migration paths to help create more food sources and more fiber to keep you warm between the office and your car (small smirk). Please reach out and help.

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Six

A hangtag innovation, who would give a rat’s asterisk? Well, oddly enough, we do a lot of hang tags for clients like Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Osprey and Sitka. So, this little hang tag is built into a zipper by YKK (the largest zipper company in the universe, check your jeans right now, it is likely a YKK). This innovation allows you to hold your phone near the zipper (ideally not your pants zipper) and get a download on all the reasons you should buy this jacket -- including perhaps how it would make you feel. Congrats to Artilect Studio for this very interesting experiment.

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