WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE
The Heroes We Need
PHOTOS BY CAVEMAN COLLECTIVE
Mountain Hardwear launches a campaign to highlight how individuals are protecting the playground—and inspiring others to do the same.
HE INDUSTRY NEEDS a new kind of hero. That was the message Dennis Randall, Mountain Hardwear’s interim general manager and VP of marketing, sent on Monday night when he unveiled the brand’s Impact Initiative. Inside a cozy yurt at Solitude, Randall shared his vision for an unconventional brand ambassador campaign with an unabashedly ambitious goal: Save the world. “The time is now,” said Randall. “If we wait any longer, it will be too late.” Like many people inspired to action, Randall wasn’t just moved by climate change statistics. He was jolted by the very real possibility of losing the playground he loves—and that the industry relies on. When Randall’s favorite pond hockey tournament had to relocate to a shallower lake for lack of ice, he was struck by how quickly things are changing. “I want my kids to play pond hockey when they grow up,” he said. Randall isn’t the only one to have such an epiphany in recent years. The show floor is full of brands and people trying to improve sustainability. But with this campaign, Randall wants to elevate the issue by telling the stories of the people making an impact right now—the true heroes of our time. Who are these people? Four of them came to Solitude to talk about their initiatives. Topher White, a physicist, figured out how to turn recycled cell phones into an early warning system for illegal logging (by detecting the sound of chain saws in real time; see “The Real Deal,” Day 1). Through the advocacy group Rainforest Connection, White is helping locals from Indonesia to the Amazon stop illegal logging, which he says accounts for 90 percent of all logging worldwide. “This is the quickest way to stop climate change,” says White, since deforestation is worse than all transportation combined when it comes to carbon impact. The Impact Initiative takes a broad approach to protecting the playground. Other ambassadors for the campaign include Steve and Chris Boyes, a pair of South Africans who are working to document and protect the Okavango River Basin in Africa. Sonya Iverson brings a social element to the initiative with her Crossing Lines projects, in which she uses highlining to bridge cultural divides (her first effort was in Iran). And Charles Post is using his training as an ecologist to bring high-impact stories to life. Will the Impact Initiative make, well, an impact? Only time will tell. But Randall and Mountain Hardwear are clearly sending a message: Failure would be not trying at all. –Dennis Lewon
ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE
a Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario will headline the Camber Outdoors Thought-Leader Keynote speaker series (7 am in Marriot Downtown City Creek Salon F-1 on Day 3) to talk about how workplace culture drives both a company’s success and its engine for doing good. Why Marcario? “As a leader, she has contributed to the advancement
The News in Brief of Patagonia and our industry as a whole,” says Camber Outdoors Executive Director Deanne Buck. In her keynote, Marcario will trace that trajectory back to the heart of the company and the culture it promotes.
POLARTEC LAUNCHES MTNLOGIC APPAREL LINE a Polartec announced the launch of MtnLogic and unveiled the new alpine
workwear line on Tuesday at Winter Market. MtnLogic represents the newest venture of Pete Whittaker, who launched Eddie Bauer’s now-shuttered First Ascent line. The brand uses Polartec fabrics to develop apparel for mountain guides in 19 styles; it’s Polartec’s first apparel line. RMI Expeditions guides helped direct the development of the new equipment. –Corey Buhay
JANUARY 11, 2017 DAY 2