The 2012 Outdoor Show - Christine Schams, Friedrichshafen.
More colour, even lighter materials, and increasing social and environmental awareness are the main trends of the outdoor industry. PlanetSKI reports from the most important Trade Show of them all.
Sunday July 15, 2012 - Email this article to a friend
It is taking place at Friedrichshafen in Germany.
800 exhibitors from 40 countries, including all the leading brands, are here displaying their wares and showcasing what outdoor sports enthusiasts will be wearing over the coming 12 months.
Making items lightweight seems to be the order of the day. The lighter the better.
Japanese company Montbell wins an Industry award for the lightest windbreaker, weighing just 45g and no larger than a chocolate bar when packed.
While recycled polyester and nylon are becoming increasingly used in garments.
Odlo, for example, has produced a seamless base layer, made entirely from recycled polyester, called greentec.
Hopefully we will be able to test this during the next winter season to see if it lives up to the claims.
The bright colours of outdoor clothing have been applied to footwear by many brands, from trail running shoes to mountaineering boots.
Swedish brand Haglöfs and UK brands Mountain Equipment, Ronhill, Hilly and Sprayway (all owned by OSC) have just joined the FairWear foundation which works to improve labour conditions in the garment industry.
Adidas is the only brand at the show working towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals following the Greenpeace Detox campaign.
The aim is to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the whole production chain. But the pressure is on for other brands to join.
International animal charity Four Paws demonstrates at the OutDoor trade fair against unethical use of feathers for down filled outdoor gear. The main issues are the live plucking and force feeding of geese.
Although the protestors are banned from the show two big brands are confronted at their stands.
UK brand Mountain Equipment are ahead of the game with their Down Codex.
The sleeping bags and down jackets are labeled and guarantee that the down has been produced responsibly, certified by a third party.
Now what abut that all important piece of ski clothing? Socks.
The merino socks market is getting more crowded. Bridgedale, still in top two sock brands in UK, has been using merino wool for a long time but has just remarketed one range as MerinoFusion.
The relative newcomer Teko claims to have the only ski socks with "100% merino wool next to your skin".
The company takes great care in environmentally responsible sourcing and production of their socks.
Established player SmartWool picks up an award for its new ReliaWool socks. By using a new fibre technology it claims to make their merino socks much more durable.
Expect to see two new players in the merino base layer market next year:
Newcomer Rewoolution will bring Italian style to the UK, while Norwegian company Devold 's wide range of men's, women's, and children's merino base layers are the only ones that can be tumble dried.
All in all, fantastic attractive gear for any outdoor activity.
Just as well one cannot actually buy anything at this trade fair, otherwise I would now be extremely poor!
For further details see here.
Photos C/O, Messe Friedrichshafen/OutDoor Show
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