ICYMI: What's Happening Around the Industry

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy outdoorsy headlines. We’ve combed the social networks and scoured the news outlets to curate some of the most relevant and most intriguing stories out there. Read. Enjoy. Share.

March 1, 2017

February 23—March 1, 2017

Will The Real Environmental Advocates Please Stand Up?

Some people lament they’ve been handed lemons. Others make lemonade. Like Darby Communications, which is showing up as a Force for positive impact with their newly launched Stand Up Initiative.

Public relations is kind of their thing, so “as our country is embarking on a political shift with the livelihood of [environmental nonprofits] in question, now more than ever, we need to show our support,” says Darby’s website. To that end, Darby will provide four nonprofits with 25–30 dedicated hours of “PR-related services that include media and consumer outreach, event planning and promotion, social media campaigns and digital ads.” That’s so fetch, Darby.

See You In Salt Lake

In case you were adventuring off the grid for the past couple months—luuuuuuucky—here’s what you missed: Outdoor Retailer is leaving Utah. It’s a reluctant departure–you can catch up in last week’s ICYMI–but we’re resolute in our decision to do what’s best for the industry. Many have eloquently opined on the move, including Outdoor Research’s Dan Nordstrom who shared his thoughts on the brand’s Verticulture blog. Not only reminding us about the vitality of our collective force, but also that “it’s critical to realize the fight in Utah over Bears Ears and Escalante represents just an early skirmish in a MUCH bigger battle.”

We’re here for you, Utah. The tradeshow may be packing up–in what OIA member Ashley Korenblat writing for Adventure Journal calls a symbolic act–but we’re just beginning to unload our efforts to protect public lands and the health of the outdoor economy in the Beehive State. In the meantime, Colorado is hoping to pick up the tradeshow slack. Colorado’s politically divided leadership has unified to support the effort, and they aren’t the only ones vying to host Outdoor Retailer–Oregon is eagerly courting the tradeshow, too.

Still have questions for Outdoor Retailer? Show Director Marisa Nicholson has answers.

We’ll Show You Ours, If You Show Us Yours

What do REI and MEC have in common besides being their respective country’s largest specialty outdoor retailer? They’re revealing their supply chain secrets. The retailers recognize that openly exchanging supply chain challenges and best practices is the key to moving our entire industry toward a more sustainable future–and they’re encouraging their top suppliers to do the same.

Didn’t make it to the Higg Index lunch session at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017? You can watch the panel recording here. Craving more from the world of outdoor sustainability news? Check out this week’s Sustainability Snapshot.

You Can’t Sit With Us, Mining Leases

At the close of 2016, outdoorists were dealt a victory in the form of extended protection for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The fight isn’t over though. As the bad guys rally to overturn our win, outdoor businesses are joining forces to ensure that industrial mining keeps its grubby hands off our Minnesota public lands. Meet the Boundary Waters Business Coalition.

Ambreen Tariq Wants All Outdoorists to Know, You can Sit With Us

Founder of Brown People Camping Ambreen Tariq has a simple message to share: The outdoor lunch table has seats for everyone. In an interview with SNEWS, Tariq shares her experience as a woman of color in the outdoors, and how she envisions the future of a more inclusive industry.

“The writing is on the wall: People of color are a growing segment of the American population. Everybody has a role to play, from retailers to brands to consumers to politicians, to think about what it means to make people feel comfortable in the outdoors.”

What’s Happening in West Virginia?

Whitewater rafting is experiencing a drought in West Virginia–and we’re not talking about dropping river levels. Despite steady paddle sports participation numbers nationwide, rafting tourism has significantly dropped in West Virginia over the past two decades. Whether due to weak tourism marketing or generational changes, it remains to be seen if WV will pull itself out of this whitewater slump to foster the potential for a stronger outdoor economy.

You Go, ALLIED Feather & Down.

Recognized as a leader in global down feather supply, ALLIED Feather & Down achieved a milestone in becoming the first major supplier to reach 100-percent cruelty-free down. Adhering to the strictest supply chain traceability and animal welfare standards, ALLIED is raising the bar for the industry–and Four Paws, an animal-rights advocacy organization, is giving them a standing ovation. We are proud to have them as an OIA Together We Are A Force collaboration.


Want more from the industry? Check out last week’s ICYMI and tweet us with your finds for the top outdoor stories for next week’s edition.