Five Brands Spinning Old Products Into Fresh New Concepts
In today's ultra-competitive market, it can be difficult for companies, especially smaller ones, to stand out from the crowd. For smaller brands it can take time to build a solid reputation amongst consumers. One way to accelerate the process is with innovation.
Creating something new and unique can easily capture the eye of potential buyers everywhere. For a small company, this is a great route to success. Here are five companies that are spinning old ideas into fresh, new and exciting concepts that are helping to shape the future of their respective industries.
A small outdoor clothing company located in the small mountain town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado has made waves in the outdoor apparel industry in recent years. VOORMI specializes in merino wool, a highly versatile fabric with a number of excellent qualities. In comparison to other types of wool, it is more breathable, softer, and better suppresses odors. Merino wool is a material that has been used for clothing for years, but VOORMI has come up with a number of ways to help increase its benefits.
In order to maximize the performance of their garments, VOORMI uses a process called precision blending. Blending two different fabrics is not a new process, but VOORMI has created a proprietary system that allows them to weave synthetic fabrics into precise locations to create the perfect blend of performance and comfort designed to excel in conditions of all types. This is just one of the many new technologies that the company is using to help them create some of the best outdoor apparel on the market.
Founded in 2002 by Philip Curry, Astral Designs began as a small operation in Asheville, North Carolina that was initially focused on building personal flotation devices (PFDs) that met the needs of the world's best paddlers while using sustainably sourced materials. Over the years, they have grown dramatically and had a major impact on how PFDs are built. Traditionally, most companies used a PVC based foam that was very toxic to build their PFDs. Astral was able to find alternative buoyant materials, such as naturally occurring Kapok and PVC free Gaia foam to use instead, significantly lessening their overall impact. Other companies quickly caught on and PVC based foam has been almost entirely eliminated from the industry thanks to Astral's new ideas.
In the last few years, Astral has expanded into the footwear industry, with a ton of different shoe offerings. From flip flops to trail runners to water shoes, their line up continues to grow with each passing season. As with their PFD line, Astral continues to look for more sustainable materials, such as hemp, to utilize in the construction of their products. Many of the leftover fabrics are repurposed into new products, such as dog beds or limited edition life jackets.
Recent studies have shown that millennials are more willing than previous generations to spend their money with brands that focus on sustainability, ethical business standards and social causes. Rather than just looking at the cost of the product, millennial consumers look at what their money is supporting and many brands have started to adapt accordingly. Coalatree, an apparel company in Salt Lake City is one of them.
In addition to donating blankets to homeless residents of Salt Lake as well as working with local organizations to protect hiking and biking trails, the company has a strong passion for making products in the most sustainable way possible. By utilizing recycled plastics, fabrics and unconventional materials such as coffee, Coalatree is able to produce high quality and stylish outdoor apparel with minimal climate impact. The company's commitment to sustainability without sacrificing performance have helped them become one of the most interesting and exciting brands in the outdoor industry.
Their use of the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to help get new products off of the ground has helped to launch some of their most popular products such as the Kachula Blanket. They're now using the platform the help fund production of the Evolution Hoodie, a jacket made from recycled coffee grounds and plastic.
Producing clothing can be a very resource intensive process. Tentree, an apparel company founded in 2012, sought to cut down on the resources that they used while producing their casual and technical outdoor apparel line. In addition to using ethical manufacturing processes, the company is very transparent in regards to where their products are made. Though many of their goods are manufactured overseas, they are only made in factories that share their vision of a process that is low impact, fair, and beneficial to all parties involved.
In order to further reduce environmental impact, the company opts to use eco-friendly materials for as much of their product construction as possible. From coconut buttons to unique fibers such as modal and Tencell Lyocell, each of which come from trees that grow quickly and produce lots of the materials. For each product sold, the company plants 10 trees, hence their name. By 2030, they hope to have planted 30 million trees!
Go Fast Campers
Located at the foot of Montana's Bridger Mountain range, Go Fast Campers are changing how people travel and camp. Most truck campers on the market offer lots of space and amenities, but can cause a huge loss in versatility. A traditional slide in truck camper is bulky, cumbersome, difficult to remove, and heavy, making it less than ideal for daily driving. Enter the Go Fast Camper.
Starting at just over 250 pounds, this lightweight and stealthy camper fits a wide variety of trucks and offers lots of versatility. Two side doors make it very easy to load and unload gear, while the modular floor can be placed into a variety of different positions, offering standing room in the bed of the truck or sleeping for up to two adults. It's easy to add a roof rack for bikes, kayaks, skis or other gear, making this the perfect weekend getaway setup. Though the wait time on a new build is long, it goes to show how far their new spin on an old idea has gotten them.
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© 2019 Haley Kieser