Just got home from the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City Utah. While there were lots of way cool promos for outerwear, outdoor toys (gibbon slacklines!) and equipment we were there to look at fabrics. Between fabric appointments we did have fun ogling. I think the product we most admired for design, personality and social positioning was Alchemy goods, a bag company from Seattle using a variety of recycled materials (lots of bike tires) – for men AND women.
I had so many conversations with vendors, fabric suppliers, and retailers of outerwear and more, and they are finding that US made is becoming an enormous theme and that consumers are becoming more educated about materials and processes which is not easy. Across the board the made in America businesses were really nice and shared information eagerly and freely, great crowd.
An irritating theme however, were those that are touting US “designed” in the hope that people will confuse that with U.S. produced…whatever. On the upside, there were lots of companies returning production or partial production to the U.S.
While at the OR we visited with Kurt Gray from SIMPLY GRAY DESIGN. He is wise, encouraging and nice enough to talk to no names like us, which makes him our new BFF. For progressive views and ideas on the textile world see his column “Out of Context” in Textile Insight. Thanks Kurt.