Mountain Shades Rebrands as Optic Nerve Eyewear With Launch of ONE Brand

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Bill CottonsOptic Nerve Eyewear was the winner as the founders of Mountain Shades, Inc. rebranded the company under a unified corporate voice. “We realized it’s time to evolve,” said Co-Founder Bill Cotton. By rebranding under the Optic Nerve umbrella it allows the company to embrace a wider platform.

At the same time the company is launching its new ONE (Optic Nerve for Everyone) line of sunglasses at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The ONE line of entry-level eyewear will have retail prices between $19 and $39. That’s largely in the price range of the company’s legacy line of Mountain Shades sunglasses.

Flowfold Accessories Made-in-USA

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FlowfoldPeaks Island, Maine – The vast majority of outdoor goods are manufactured overseas. But on a tiny island off the coast of Portland, Maine, three surfers are producing weatherproof accessories by hand. Flowfold builds a line of carrying gear using reclaimed boat sail fabric. They use factory

scraps of racing sails, which allows products to be thin, durable and very lightweight. Flowfold accessories can be found in over 300 specialty retailers, online and internationally through distributors with some traction in Japan according to Nick Power, sales manager. The brand will exhibit at Outdoor Retailer in SLC, Utah this August at booth PV2319.

Technical Performance Meets Streetwear

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AthleticReconAthletic Recon is a relatively new brand combining street fashion and technical athletic apparel for everyone from endurance athletes to city gym dwellers. Founder Ryan Heuser was unsatisfied with conventional products, feeling that they either lacked functionality or style, so he set out to do it better himself. Athletic Recon's product offerings include tops and bottoms, training shorts, technical outerwear and pre and post workout pieces. The brand sells to boutiques, high-end street and skate shops, independent running stores, gyms that specialize in training gear and outdoor specialty retailers.

Itochu to Launch Gramicci Footwear in Japan

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Gramicci Footwear ItochuIn January 2015 Itochu Corp. will launch a line of Gramicci footwear in Japan through a sublicensing agreement with the California-based outdoor apparel brand. The new Japanese footwear collection will include urban-designed shoes that can cross over into the outdoors and are targeted toward men and women in their 20s and 30s.
The shoes will feature Vibram EcoStep soles that contain up to 30 percent scrap materials that were produced in the manufacturing process. The shoe cases will also use recycled raw materials.

Northside Steps Up With Growth

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Jack WolfinOutdoor footwear brand Northside, owned by Triple T Trading, is seeing strong growth across all its product lines, including successful trail and sports offerings. The company said that its sales grew more than 50 percent in 2014 and that it experienced similar growth last year, too. Looking ahead the company is projecting slower but continual growth in 2015, anticipating 30 percent more sales in 2015.

Tabar, Fownes Brothers Shake Hands, Merging Glove Companies

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Tabar and FownesTabar, Inc., and  Fownes Brothers & Co., Inc., announced late last month that they would merge under the name Tabar, Inc. with Tabar becoming a wholly-owned division of the Fownes Performance Group. The merged entity will serve both the technical outdoor and fashion sides of the glove and accessory business.

Tabar provides private-label gloves for numerous industry segments including the outdoor, hunt/fish, cycling, industrial and tactical markets. It has designed and manufactured gloves for other manufacturers as well as EMS, REI, Eddie Bauer, and MEC.

Arc’teryx Puts Its Best Foot Forward With New Line of Shoes

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Arcteryx alpha-2Arc’teryx has introduced a new line of shoes for Spring 2015. The Arc’teryx Technical Performance Footwear line will consist of eight shoes, each with removable liners, with the inner liners serving as removable booties. In entering the market Arc’teryx follows a long list of other large outdoor manufacturers like The North Face that have expanded beyond hard goods and apparel and into the footwear market.

However, the company’s approach is relatively unique. It will be interesting to see how the new shoes fair in a crowded market.

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