Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show 2018 Recap
At the end of last month, the DuPont™ Sorona® team joined thousands of outdoor professionals and leaders from brands, retailers and suppliers at the industry’s premier event, the Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show 2018. The annual whirlwind, four-day conference was jam-packed with collaborative networking, informative panels and provocative thought-leadership.
When we weren’t admiring the latest product innovations on the exhibition floor and attending speaker sessions, we were highlighting our own forward-thinking collaborations with Repreve® and Cordura® + Susterra® at our booth and demonstrating Sorona® in action.
While no two Outdoor Retailer shows are the same, one of the biggest changes this year was the location. After two decades of calling Salt Lake City, Utah home, Outdoor Retailer moved to Denver, Colorado. The decision came on the heels of disagreements in government over Utah’s public lands – specifically the shrinking of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.
In a show of solidarity with the outdoor industry and the officials in Colorado who preserve and protect the public lands in their state, the Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show will be held in Denver for the next five years – a decision that could not have been met with more approval from brands and attendees alike.
As a result, the energy at the show was palpable. Show attendees, even competitors, were thrilled to be standing hand-in-hand to support the outdoor industry, and more importantly, the outdoors itself! Unity was a theme that transcended the entire event.
Transparency was also a major discussion point throughout this year’s Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show. Today’s consumers want more visibility into brands’ processes, systems, and supply chains, and companies need to take note. As one thought leader at Icebreaker, a Merino wool company, put it, “transparency and traceability is the foundation of global stewardship,” and we could not agree more. The onus falls on us, as an industry, to deliver complete transparency to the public about how their products are made.
Also top-of-mind for attendees at this year’s show was versatility in clothing. Consumers want pieces that endure season to season and therefore the lines between outdoor and active wear have blurred. To meet this demand, there’s been an industry move towards using performance fabrics in everyday wear, something Sorona® can offer brands by giving them the ability to create long-lasting, high-performance pieces for any occasion.
In addition to versatility, discussions at the show made it clearer than ever that consumers want to know their apparel is ethically produced. People are paying much more attention to where their clothes are coming from and the impact that they’ll have on the environment. There’s been a major shift towards thinking globally and acting locally – something we strive for at Sorona®. While performance is paramount, the sustainable nature of our fiber is something we can offer environmentally-minded brands as well.
The Outdoor Retailer Shows are some of our favorite events each year. Didn’t catch us in January? Sorona® will be back in Denver exhibiting at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market from July 23-26. Be sure to send us a note if you would like to schedule a meeting or simply stop by our booth in the exhibit hall to introduce yourself!