Sparta, Tenn. — Jackson Kayak is investing $6.5 million into a new manufacturing facility near its current one in Sparta, Tenn. The 300,000-square-foot facility will mostly be used for manufacturing the brand's new line of high-performance coolers, which it debuted last year. The facility will also be used for research and development and for warehouse space.
Rockford, Mich. — Todd Gordon has been promoted to VP of Sales at Chaco, after playing a key role in record year-over-year growth as director of sales for the footwear brand. In his new role, Gordon will further develop the brand's US wholesale strategy and enrich its presence across retail partners.
Maine/North Carolina — Apple, in an effort to get 100 percent of its paper packaging from renewable resources, straight-up bought 36,000 acres of private forest land across two sites, one in Maine and one in North Carolina. It will occasionally harvest the land for packaging materials in a sustainable manner, aiming to keep the forest alive and healthy for future use.
Aspen, Colo. — New North American distributor, ZG Collective, has announced plans to distribute international brands within the US, as well as create or purchase additional brands. The company was co-founded in late 2014 by CEO Jarka Duba, who as North American managing director for POC oversaw the helmet brand's growth into a market leader. So far, the company hasn't specified which brands it will bring on for 2015.
Angels Camp, Calif. — Chaco is the new official footwear sponsor for river outfitter/adventure company O.A.R.S., meaning it will be providing footwear for the outfitter's 300-plus guides. Chaco will also have exclusive access to the guides' input for future product testing and development. The partnership will also include a digital marketing component featuring stories, interviews, videos and opportunities to win free stuff from O.A.R.S. and Chaco.
Warren, Penn. — Allegheny Outfitters has been named as a finalist in the Governor's Impact Awards, a program that highlights businesses that have contributed in various ways to the state of Pennsylvania. Allegheny Outfitters was nominated in the “community” category, which is granted to a company that “exemplifies the tenet of doing well by doing good” according to the Impact Awards website. Winners will be announced in May.