Having recently returned from our yearly pilgrimage to Munich for ISPO 2020, here’s our view on key trends that are shaping the industry.

The democratisation of outdoor

People connect to the outdoors industry because of the lifestyle and community that it provides. Outdoor is a tribe and within outdoor there are multiple tribes that connect, because it represents the individuals belief system and communicates it to the wider world.

Authenticity in the outdoor industry is no longer confined to the elite or the top of the mountain and brands are now embracing this change for the better.

The influence of outdoor

Fashion brands are increasingly looking to the outdoor industry for innovation that can be applied to everyday wear. Veilance has long been a proponent of taking the most innovative textiles and creating everyday garments and now brands such as Houdini and Peak Performance are taking this concept forward and connecting the dots between performance and fashion.

The expectation is for the trend of fashion collaborations such as Junya Watanabe x TNF, Moncler Genius, or Acronym x Gore-Tex to continue. In the UK this blurring of the worlds of outdoor and fashion is being pioneered in retail as shown through the Outsiders Store concept by Ellis Brigham.

The irony of connectivity

The more the world becomes connected, the more we need disconnection from our digital lives and the fast pace of modernity. This juxtaposition is creating an interesting conundrum for the outdoor industry.

Connected technology is being integrated more and more into outdoor products, but ultimately with the purpose of enabling users to disconnect from the digital world. It will be interesting to see how brands use this technology whilst maintaining their position of immersion in nature.

The problem with sustainability

It was positive to see sustainability become the key industry driver not only in marketing but throughout the supply chain including production techniques and sourcing. At FreshBritain we call this the Say versus Do protocol.

Ultimately manufacturing will always have an impact on the environment but with proper planning and a concerted effort that impact can be minimised and sustainability is now a basic requirement for any brand, with transparency key to achieving this.

Brands such as Patagonia and Fjällräven have long held positions of sustainability in the market but special mentions go to Grangers for their use of Ocean Waste Plastic and Lagoped, the up-and-coming French brand, minimising their carbon footprint by committing to manufacturing in Europe.