With impressive growth in the last three years Hydro Flask has joined Inc. Magazine’s top 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. In doing so it joins a handful of other companies focussed on the outdoor industry on the list. However, the Bend, Ore., water bottle manufacturer is likely the outdoor industry-focussed, non-electronics manufacturer that made the magazine’s 2014 list.
Slacklining originated in the climbing world and has since evolved into an acrobatic sport and crosstraining activity. This summer Canaima announced an exchange of distribution from Gibbons to Slacklines Industries (SI). Following the change, SI has recruited an all-new pro team roster, which includes Felix Carreira, Justin Wagers, Martin Hernandez and several others. Canaima will also continue its relationship with 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist David Wise in developing new products targeting the adventure sports consumer.
Optic 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.
Peaks 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.
Athletic 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.
In 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.
California clothing company Purnell is inviting retailers to help it choose which type of project to support with a $5,000 donation to Engineers Without Borders USA. The company is asking retailers to help it support community-driven small-scale infrastructure projects, like those undertaken by the volunteer organization Engineers Without Borders.
Outdoor 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.