For the past two years, CITYPAK has been handing out backpacks designed by High Sierra to assist the homeless population across the nation. Keeping belongings like food and clothing safe and dry is a major challenge for homeless individuals, and the CITYPAK backpacks have several key design details that address these challenges.
Boulder, Colo. – The Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition (OIWC) has added three new board members for 2014: Karen Bliss, Bobbie Parisi, and Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin. They'll be stepping in to fill slots vacated by retired board members Eryn Althouse, Megan Cunningham, Heather Eusebio, and Sarah Harper-Burke.
Seattle – Stanley, a PMI brand, has hired Kelly Kraus as its new vice president. Kraus is a veteran of the industry with over thirty years of experience in product, sales and marketing management. She joins PMI most recently from REI where she was director of private brand management in all product categories. Before REI, Kraus served as director of sales and marketing at Werner Paddles and held leadership roles with Cascade Designs. She also has served on the board of Big City Mountaineers—the non-profit organization helping underprivileged youth through outdoor experiences—for five years.
Emeryville, Calif. – The Clif Builder's Protein Bar is to be the official protein bar for the 2014 U.S. Spartan Race. The event is at the intersection of endurance and fitness, where the company hopes to strengthen its brand. Clif Bar messaging is typically centered around its commitment to organic ingredients, nutrition and physical activity, which is what sealed the deal, according to Joe De Sena CEO and Founder of Spartan Race.
Seattle – With 26 solar electric systems, REI now buys certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) as part of its strategy to green the energy that powers more than 130 stores, two distribution centers and its headquarters.
A REC is created for each megawatt-hour of renewable energy delivered to the power grid. It represents the environmental benefits associated with the generation of renewable energy. REI purchases RECs from San Francisco-based 3Degrees a provider of renewable energy marketing services, RECs, and carbon offsets.
While the company grew nearly six percent in 2013 over 2012, REI increased its energy consumption by just 0.1 percent and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 39.5 percent. The national retailer claims its annual REC purchases have the same greenhouse gas reduction benefits of removing nearly 8,000 cars from the road or switching more than 990,000 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents.
Seattle – Mountain Plus, an outdoor specialty retailer in the Seattle area, has added Bitcoin as a method of digital payment for online customers. It claims to be the first business in the outdoor industry to do so.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system introduced as an open source software. The digital currency isn't controlled by a central bank or nation, for better or for worse. Users send and receive bitcoins using wallet software on a personal computer, mobile device or a web application.
Mountain Plus's decision to accept Bitcoin payments is only going to appeal to a niche group of tech saavy customers, but it is an interesting move as more and more retail businesses explore ways to get the most out of web sales, especially as competition heats up.
Wilmington, Delaware – A former W.L. Gore & Associates chemical was arrested for the attempted theft of trade secrets, according to an article from the Daily News Journal.
Carbondale, Colo. – Casey Sheahan, former president and CEO of Patagonia, has stepped into the newly-created role of senior adviser at Backbone Media. He left Patagonia in February after eight years as a leader there.