ISPO Munich/10/10/2022

Outdoorbrands: Inclusion and diversity are writ large

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There is movement in the market, and even more so in the outdoor market: New target groups for outdoor brands, declining purchasing power on the consumer side, dealing with the climate and environmental crisis - there are many major issues affecting the industry. Brands, workshops and programme highlights at ISPO Munich also reflected this.

Inclusion, diversity and new target groups

Outdoor is not an exclusive space. Outdoor is for everyone, or at least should be. What was a small trend in the industry before the Corona pandemic has accelerated through the Covid era. Getting out, being in nature, whether on a hike, a walk with the dog or a gravel bike ride is the order of the day. And that's also reflected in customers' buying behavior. The "outdoor" target group has expanded significantly and to keep it that way, many exhibitors at ISPO Munich 2022 showed more inclusive product lines. This applies to the cut, as well as the choice of colours, the performance of the products, but also the brand/marketing campaigns

Health megatrend reflected in design

Examples of this are exhibitors Rab, Vaude, Lowe Alpine, Sasta and Schöffel. Lead designer at Schöffel Irmgard Beck says: "What is new is that movement in nature serves to preserve or restore mental health and has thus gained in importance far beyond classic sports motifs." One therefore picks up in the fall/winter collection 23/24 in the design of the megatrend "health" reinforced by the pandemic. Beck: "In the collection, we reinterpret health, movement and well-being. Thus, we rely on new technologies, creative ways of thinking and a bold and daring collection design. The design language is also becoming clearer and more focused."

The marketing campaigns also not only feature extreme expeditions, but celebrate the beauty in the everyday. In addition to Schöffel, exhibitors such as Jack Wolfskin and Vaude stand for this. The share of versatile outdoor clothing also continues to increase. Also from a sustainability point of view, it no longer necessarily needs to be the special hiking jacket and the extra jacket for graveling; good performance also means that outdoor products are versatile. In the collection of exhibitor Houdini Sportswear, for example, this has always been the basic idea.

Patagonia Worn Wear Tour
"Repair instead of throwing away!" - The Patagonia Repair Truck repairs old clothing
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Repair options are taken into account

The issue of sustainability and dealing with the climate crisis have long been part of the outdoor industry. The challenges are manifold: climate neutrality, fair and social working conditions along the entire supply chain, fair business models, but also the establishment of circular product cycles. This topic also includes, for example, the issue of repairability and repair.

Patagonia, for example, will be bringing along its Repair Truck. Everybody visitor can bring their cleaned outdoor apparel and the Patagonia team will repair it.
Bergans will be showing product lines that are designed to be easily repaired. For exhibitors such as Vaude, Houdini or Deuter, the topic of repair is also a central component for more longevity of their products. The retailers were important partners here, just as they were on the subject of taking back/recycling products, and the exchange at ISPO Munich was a valuable source of inspiration. There was also a panel on this topic by outdoor retailer Bergzeit, recycling and take-back expert Soex and Sneaker Rescue.

Maloja with A "Historic Stadl" Stand

Maloja's very durable and thus resource-saving trade fair construction is almost legendary. The Bavarian outdoor brand is already using its stand for the 33rd time and before the wooden house became a trade fair permanent fixture, it served as a wooden stadl on the farm of an employee. "Honouring the old, shaping the new, going your own way" is then also appropriately the Maloja slogan.

Maloja booth at ISPO Munich 2019
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Vibi Sefland with exciting lecture

Vibeke "Vibi" Sefland speaks as brand ambassador of the exhibitor Aclima in the conference program. The mountaineer brings together the two topics of inclusivity and CSR and talks about her own projects, in which she has made it her goal to always provide expeditions with a social component. Thanks to her help, an Afghan woman climbed Afghanistan's highest mountain for the first time.

Real jury-tested innovations are exhibited, for example, by Jack Wolfskin, Fidlock, Bergans with Safeback and Halti. All exhibitors have recently won an ISPO Award.

You can find details here. And in the joint stands of the Scandinavian Outdoor Group and in the Outdoor Sports Valley of the French outdoor brands, you will find many manufacturers in one place.