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Debra Cobb

Sustainability and policy top of mind at Outdoor Retailer

23 January 2017 | Debra Cobb

The outdoor industry is pausing to take a hard look at what it stands for, judging by the products and presentations at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. There was as much emphasis on politics, policies and sustainability issues as there was on product at the show, writes Debra Cobb.... read more

A resilient outdoor industry seeks to broaden its base

15 August 2016 | Debra Cobb

With 29,000 visitors and 1626 exhibitors, this year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, which took place earlier this month in Salt Lake City, had its usual upbeat vibe. But there were signs that the outdoor industry is feeling the effects of 2016's "winter of our discontent," along with several retail bankruptcies, stock market disruptions in China, and the Brexit uncertainty in Europe.... read more

Insulation innovators adapt as warm weather cools sales

29 February 2016 | Debra Cobb

Unseasonably mild winters are cooling off sales of traditional warm-weather clothing – prompting insulation innovators to adapt accordingly. Suppliers of traditional down insulation are working on variations that adapt to changing outdoor conditions and activity levels, while new materials and "smart" thermal technologies may eventually circumvent the need for insulation entirely.... read more

Outerwear faces up to the challenge of climate change

18 January 2016 | Debra Cobb

Faced with downward pressure on demand from unseasonably warm weather, the outdoor industry is broadening its appeal to work across multiple end-uses. New product introductions at the recent Outdoor Retailer trade show included innovations in outerwear, performance denim, and wool. ... read more

Behind the brand – innovation at Gore

30 October 2015 | Debra Cobb

Last week’s introduction of WL Gore & Associates’ new technologies for performance outerwear follows a long tradition of innovation based on the company’s manipulation of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), a polymer that is hydrophobic as well as slick. Debra Cobb finds our more during a tour of the Gore Capability Center.... read more

US outdoor industry ponders growth amidst change

17 August 2015 | Debra Cobb

With US outdoor specialty store sales up by 5.2% to US$3.8bn, and sales of outdoor apparel up 7.9% to $3.2bn (according to NPD Leisure Trends), the outdoor industry had reason to celebrate at the recent Outdoor Retailer (OR) Summer Market, held earlier this month in Salt Lake City. But despite the strong sales figures, the industry is facing an array of challenges brought on by changing demographics, new sales channels, and unprecedented growth, as Debra Cobb reports.... read more

An interactive insight into outdoor consumers

10 February 2015 | Debra Cobb

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has launched OIA ConsumerVue, an online and interactive research tool on the OIA website that will provide the organisation’s members with valuable insights into outdoor consumers’ desires, attitudes, and behaviours - and aid them in utilising those learnings to create business opportunities.... read more

Outdoor Retailer brands embrace technology and transparency

30 January 2015 | Debra Cobb

Leading outdoor brands exhibiting at the recent Outdoor Retailer show, held in Salt Lake City, are using technology, transparency, and authenticity in new ways to encourage emotional as well as functional participation by consumers.... read more

New scenarios driving sustainability in textiles

17 November 2014 | Debra Cobb

Driving meaningful change towards sustainability in textiles within organisations, within the industry, and with consumers topped the agenda at last week's Textile Exchange Conference.... read more

Outdoor industry's future must be more inclusive

17 October 2014 | Debra Cobb

"The outdoors is not just for the hardcore outdoorsman," declared NPD's chief industry analyst for sports and leisure trends, Marshal Cohen, at last week's Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Rendezvous, which took place in Asheville, North Carolina.... read more

Komafram apparel brand taps made-in-America trend

9 August 2013 | Debra Cobb

"Something new, something brilliant," is the tagline for Komafram, a sustainable line of base layer apparel launched at last week's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show by Daniel Feuerstein, son of Malden Mills former owner Aaron Feuerstein.... read more