Featured Brands & Their Stories
MADE IN THE USA
Celebrating American-made gear
There are a growing number of gear makers producing products and apparel in the U.S.A. according to Outside Magazine writer Tom Vanderbilt. In his story he explores the new economics of insourcing, and here at the store we’re proud to support the American-made brands we sell:
Princeton Tec has been pioneering new technologies and building lights for more than three decades. They make their gear close-by in New Jersey. We love Princeton Tec’s Fuel headlamp – designed to meet the widest range of applications while remaining small, lightweight and robust. Available in hues suited for everyone in the family.
Wigwam Mills, Inc. proudly knits its Wigwam socks in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. And they support wool producers in our country by sourcing wool almost exclusively from American yarn spinners who buy from American wool growers. Their All-Terrain Hiker repels moisture, prevents blisters and cushions your foot. Hike on.
Throughout its 35-year history, Croakies has remained a small company with a big heart. They create eyewear retainers and accessories that provide comfort, durability and functionality for active people of all ages, and use only the highest quality materials available. Nowadays ninety percent of Croakies revenue comes from products that are proudly made in the USA. Pick up your pair today.
SmartWool believes that a thoughtful approach to living extends beyond the walls of their office and the boundaries of their industry. Along with giving back to the community through many advocacy programs, SmartWool knits their PhD socks right here in the U.S. The PhD Running Light Micro Sock is the perfect sock for reducing shock and abrasion in your high density impact zones. Gotta love happy feet.
Three friends created Cascade Designs after collaborating to produce Therm-a-Rest pads, the worldwide standard for outdoor sleeping comfort. Now, almost 4 decades later, Cascade Designs remains a private, family-owned company that still builds the vast majority of products in their Seattle, Wa., facilities. Next time you hit the trail, consider taking the Trail Scout mattress, perfect for light backpacking, car camping and adding essential warmth to cots. Sweet dreams.
It’s no secret that Patagonia promotes environmentalism through many of the organizations they support, and that every product Patagonia makes is created by causing the least amount of harm to the environment. But did you know that many of their T-shirts are made in America including this women’s Live Simply Guitar T, made from super soft and comfy 100% organic cotton? It’s life unplugged.
MORE FEATURED BRANDS
Collect one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold. Make T-shirts from 100% organic cotton. Get the community involved. These are just a few of the things we love about Philly-based United by Blue.
WHAT WE LOVE: The fit, the feel and the attitude. Oh yeah, we love the soft, comfy Tees, but we also have a thing for UBB’s dedication to preserving and protecting our oceans and waterways by collecting trash to make a difference. In fact, since launching in 2010, UBB has organized over 60 volunteer clean-ups and weighed in more than 83,000 pounds of trash. Check it out: Trail Creek and UBB summer clean ups. Contact us to get involved! (We’re at it again this summer.)
WHY YOU’LL LOVE UBB: You can’t resist the super soft, organic cotton slub jersey that is handcut/handsewn and stonewashed for vintage, sea-loving style. Just as awesome: every Tee is packed in banana-fiber paper topped off with a biodegradable hangtag. Why? Because UBB believes that individually wrapped plastic products are a wasteful and unnecessary step, so they just don’t do it. This way the packaging has a lower environmental impact, plus it’s really very cool.
An added bonus: hangtags are made of elephant dung embedded with flower seeds. Compost your package and plant the seeds. Very cool indeed.
Merrell Barefoot (Trail and Pace Glove) named Best Debut by Runner’s World Magazine, April 2011.
RUNNER’S WORLD BEST DEBUT:
Long before Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run hit bookstores in May, 2009, runners experimented with barefoot running.
Maybe the most famous account is Abebe Bikila’s 1960 Olympic gold medal victory when the African runner set a new world-record running shoeless.
In a Wired Magazine article (July, 2009) Daniel Liberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says: “People have been running barefoot for millions of years and it has only been since 1972 that people have been wearing shoes with thick, synthetic heels.”
Liberman’s researched showed that barefoot runners tend to land on their fore-foot rather than landing heel first like runners in sports shoes. The result of a fore-foot approach is less impact shock for runners.
Still, there’s no doubt that McDougall’s blend of science, adventure, and “get back to nature” upped the interest in barefoot running and pushed the fever of the sport to take root. Curious racers wanted to lighten up their weighty footwear and unleash their feet onto bare ground. If the Tarahumara Indian tribe mastered barefoot running centuries ago, it was time for interested readers to give the sport a try.
Naturally, footwear manufacturers took notice too. Two years after Born to Run, barefoot gear is offered by just about every athletic shoe company, but only a few brands stand out.
Merrell’s Trail Glove and Vibram FiveFinger’s Bikila (name sound familiar?) are top-of-the-line running-specific models that offer the greatest barefoot-like reality. More and more athletes are wearing the minimalist footwear models, and many runners are fired up about simply cross-training with them.
When you transition gradually into the minimalist shoe, you can run more naturally and, in time, reduce your impact while strengthening lower leg and foot muscles.
Stop in and slip on a pair of this performance footwear and see what you think. Then check out Merrell’s training video by clicking here.
Patagonia’s Mission Statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Just a few reasons we love Patagonia.
WHAT WE LOVE: Thirty-plus years ago Patagonia began as a small company making tools for climbers, and evolved into creating outdoor apparel for what Patagonia refers to as the “silent sports:” climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. Why specialize in outfitting the quiet work-out/hobby? Because Patagonia believes “reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.” And this love of nature and environmentalism is at the core of Patagonia’s values. Each year the company supports numerous environmental groups nationwide and promotes campaigns such as the Common Threads Initiative, bluesign Standard and the Footprint Chronicles. They also donate their time and 1% of their sales to eco-friendly organizations. Check it out: 1% for the Planet.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE PATAGONIA: Comfort, style and durability make up every article of clothing and piece of gear Patagonia offers. The details you’ll notice are as simple as chafe-proof inseams, contoured waistbands and lightweight, quick-drying fabric. Want 100% organic cotton? They’ve got that too, along with adventurous patterns and versatile clothing that can be adapted to your mood, whatever that may be (think skirt that doubles as a halter top.) Patagonia’s collections include baby and kids and casual designs you can slip on in case you get a chance to slip out into your chosen “silent sport” later in the day.
See for yourself: Get the details on the Nine Trails Skirt: Click HERE
See for yourself: Get the details on the Board Shorts: Click HERE
TOMS One for One Movement
(There really is no “Tom,” TOMS is short for Shoes for Tomorrow.)
Along with making stylish, comfortable footwear, TOMS gives shoes to children in need. Here’s how it works: For every pair of TOMS you purchase, TOMS donates a pair to a child in an underdeveloped country where families can’t afford to buy shoes.
It’s as a sole for a soul sort of thing.
In fact, since 2006, TOMS One for One movement has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children from poor villages around the world.
That’s a lot of giving.
TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, chose to donate shoes when he witnessed countless barefoot children while traveling in Argentina in 2006. He saw the risks the children took playing, doing chores or walking miles to school shoeless. Besides getting cuts and sores on their feet, the children expose themselves to soil-related diseases, and in many cases, aren’t permitted to attend school if they don’t wear shoes.
Blake wanted to help these children, so he began with an idea to create the Shoes for Tomorrow Project, which he later shortened to TOMS. Traditional, age-old Argentine shoes inspired his design.
From the very first shoe Blake sold, one shoe was donated. During year one, 10,000 canvas shoes made their way to Argentina where volunteers placed a shoe on a child’s foot, making the experience memorable for both wearer and giver.
Today, volunteers still hand-deliver shoes. And, for TOMS, it’s not just about helping kids in need, it’s about giving, and educating people from all over the world about the idea of giving.
Influenced by athletes and customers who help inspire designs. Motivated by quality products with purpose. Just a few of the things we love about prAna.
prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, and the term has guided this company’s actions since the day they opened their doors in 1992.
WHAT WE LOVE: prAna started out making clothes for climbing and yoga, but their stuff was so good they added more clothing for other passions too. Plus, the materials prAna uses are environmentally conscious, so they create products that reduce environmental harm and supports the people making it.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE prAna: Purpose-built designs, contemporary style and unique color palettes make prAna’s clothing look good and feel comfortable no matter where you take your adventure. With so many collections to choose from—from travel wear to yoga pieces—the bright and lively styles are made to perform, but meant to be noticed.
Adventurous pattern. High style. High performance. (Need we say more?)
In Italian neve means “snow,” but in the U.S. Neve Designs means European inspired ski and lifestyle apparel made with the finest, natural performance fibers.
WHAT WE LOVE: This Colorado-based company brings together rustic mountain village appeal and modern design to create original, high quality clothing made in a variety of styles to fit your active lifestyle.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE NEVE: There’s that lush Merino-silk blend topped off with a touch of spandex keeping you comfortable and warm. And, of course, there’s the alpine charm and performance fit taking you from slopes to Sunday paper, to a walk in the woods.
Come on in and try on a sweater, hoodie or crew neck, and get a little piece of Colorado right close to home.