Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 21

CASE STUDY

Dave Maslen, general manager of markets
and sustainability at the New Zealand Merino
Company, says the company is seeing the normal variations in wool quality season over season. But because climate is becoming far more
variable-and the highs are higher, the lows
are lower-it's helping growers implement
systems and processes to protect their pastures and flocks during unpredictable weather
events. These efforts align with some recent
studies pointing to how warmer climates
might threaten sheep wool in the future. One
report from 2017 by the Central Sheep and
Wool Research Institute says, " Cyclones,
droughts, heavy rainfall, unpredictable climate, and diseases are other factors that will
affect the sheep husbandry. "
Similarly, the quality of down is less reliant
on climate, yet the industry has seen a slight
shift in availability of certain materials. Allied
Feather + Down didn't collect any 1,000-fill
this year, says Creative Director Matthew
Betcher. You wouldn't know it by how many
1,000-fill jackets are on shelves ahead of winter, he says, but that's because the company

ONE REPORT FROM 2017 BY THE CENTRAL SHEEP AND
WOOL RESEARCH INSTITUTE SAYS, " CYCLONES,
DROUGHTS, HEAVY RAINFALL, UNPREDICTABLE
CLIMATE, AND DISEASES ARE OTHER FACTORS
THAT WILL AFFECT THE SHEEP HUSBANDRY. "
collected enough from the past few years to
make up for the recent scarcity.
The perfect conditions for producing bigger and fluffier feathers are when old birds
are living in continuous cold weather. Once
those birds are done breeding, they're sent
to slaughter. Therefore, sourcing is already
complicated because animal-welfare programs frequently target those types of farms.
Betcher adds, " Then you throw in maybe the
fact that over the three-year life, they haven't
seen a really cold winter; they're not going to
grow that giant down cluster. " He says that
ducks will always be in demand for their
meat-down is simply a byproduct-and
therefore the fill powers below 1,000 aren't
going away any time soon.

Another kind of material that has become
sought after in the outdoor industry is alpaca
wool. Appalachian Gear Company sources
its fibers from Peru, where the animals have
free range at elevations near 11,000 feet. It's
still cool and arid there, and, so far, the grade
of alpaca wool has not changed. But John
Gage, the North Carolina-based company's
co-founder, says warmer temperatures definitely affect the quality. He can't source fibers
domestically because, while alpacas are plentiful as pets and livestock, the U.S. climate
is too humid and warm for them to grow the
hair he needs to produce his signature hoodies. " The reason they have this type of wool is
because the climate requires it, " Gage says.
" It's evolution. "

Jo Ann MacAurthur/Unsplash

BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CLIMATE
changes and animals no longer need the fine
wool these companies desire? So far, Kora
is the case study, albeit involuntarily. The
brand's new Hima-Layer Neema fabric-a
160-gram rib knit with 40% Coolmax polyester, 40% merino, and 20% yak wool-is
the outcome of its trials earlier this year and
launches in early 2021. Another yak and merino blended fabric will eventually replace
the 100% yak wool line. Kleinwort is excited
about the opportunity to enhance the yak
wool's natural properties and performance.
" It opens many doors that previously we didn't
know were there, " he says. One of those is lowered prices-obviously not a good trade-off for
a warming planet, but, for Kleinwort, the innovation is one silver lining. O.R.

SHELTERED FLOCK
Growers must find new
systems to deal with the
effects of unpredictable
weather on their sheep.

-Amelia Arvesen is a journalist based in in
Flagstaff, Arizona. She started as a breaking
news reporter for newspapers and is honing
her craft in outdoor and travel writing. You
can also find her work in Via, Backpacker,
Outside, and at ameliaarvesen.com.

December 2020/ OUTDOOR RETAILER 21


http://www.ameliaarvesen.com

Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MARKETING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADERS
THE OR CHAT
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
NATURE AS MEDICINE
FREERIDESTAN!
BREAD + BUTTER
BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#SHOPLIFE
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 12
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 16
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THOUGHT LEADERS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE OR CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - NATURE AS MEDICINE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FREERIDESTAN!
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 52
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 66
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #SHOPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 72
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKSTORY
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