Learn. Connect. Innovate.
This is the framework that guided our conversations and collaborations at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City this June.
From learning about outdoor recreation participation trends, to innovating solutions for phasing out harmful chemicals in outdoor products, to connecting with industry peers and allies, we united a collective of catalysts for meaningful change.
Thank you to everyone who attended our education sessions and stopped by our booth to share ideas and forge connections. Together we will continue to tread a path towards climate positivity, increased outdoor inclusivity, and a healthy outdoor economy.
Read on for a recap of our Outdoor Retailer adventure.
Day Zero: OIA Member event at evo
We started Outdoor Retailer with a bang at our welcome party at evo Salt Lake. Attendees enjoyed a live DJ, food trucks, a rooftop bar, gear giveaway spoils, and friendly conversations with industry peers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
Day One: Celebrating Juneteenth, DEI, and a more diverse and young new participant base
We kicked off Day One with a community breakfast gathering where we heard from our President Kent Ebersole, COO Dr. Arlene Charles, and keynote speaker Will Akuna Robinson. In recognition of the day’s cultural and historical significance, our conversations centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and what that looks like in the context of the outdoors.
Receiving a standing ovation from attendees, Will Akuna Robinson, a Triple Crown Thru-Hiker and community advocate, inspired us and shared anecdotes of healing, discovery, and self-love from his time on the trail.
“This was about learning how to live again, learning how to socialize, learning how to be a part of a community. Two days in, and I had my trail family,” – Will Akuna Robinson.
We also unveiled our most anticipated research report of the year, our Annual Outdoor Participation Trends Report. Research Director Kelly Davis revealed key insights and narratives around who’s doing what, when, and how outdoors.
Day Two: Innovating Sustainable, Climate-Forward Solutions for the Outdoor Industry
One of the highlights of Day Two was our discussion on ‘forever chemicals’ and our new sustainability program, Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition, a comprehensive program, working group, and consulting service to provide OIA members with strategies, scalable action plans, and solutions for thoughtfully phasing out these harmful chemicals from their products and navigating sustainability regulations across the country. Our goal is to support members as they innovate on sustainability and build consumer trust in their favorite brands.
“For the outdoor industry, the path towards phasing out forever chemicals includes finding safer replacement materials that don’t sacrifice performance. Recently, many leading outdoor brands have become committed to phasing out PFAS, and members like REI, Keen, and Patagonia are already supporting the cause by screening products for PFAS and eradicating toxic materials from their own product lines.
With the new CCMC, OIA looks to catalyze even broader compliance by bringing the entirety of our industry to the forefront of this vital chemical phase-out.” — OIA President Kent Ebersole
Day Three: Exploring the Industry’s Foremost Challenges to Business Success
We wrapped up Day Three of Outdoor Retailer with sessions that delved into some of the most pressing challenges for outdoor businesses today, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, navigating supply chain obstacles, and avoiding potential patent infringement issues.
Through creative collaboration with industry peers and Q&As with industry experts, we generated solutions in real-time.
At Our Booth: Real-Time Data Collection, Real-Time Connection
We invited OR attendees to engage directly with our Outdoor Participation Trends data by selecting their top three favorite outdoor activities from our list of some of the sports with the highest growth rates in 2022. It came as no surprise that the Outdoor Retailer attendee base enjoys any and all outdoor fun (as evidenced by our stickered-out poster – see below).
Post-Outdoor Retailer: The Movement Continues
Thank you to everyone who attended our sessions, stopped by our booth, shared ideas with our team, and engaged in our work. Outdoor Retailer presented a wonderful opportunity for our industry to come together and collaborate, but our work doesn’t end here.
As a member-led collective serving as the outdoor industry’s catalyst for meaningful change, we at OIA are here to support the outdoor industry, people, and the planet year-round.
Tread the path with us. Join OIA today.