Industry Stuff

Have you ever wondered how fleece became the dominant fabric in the outdoor industry over the past 20 years? Don’t lie, I know you have. To answer your fleecy history questions, Gizmodo recently published a great article outlining the extensive background of this wonder fabric. Plastics solved many problems in the 20th century. Why not the wool dilemma? Enter Malden Mills Industries, which got its start in 1906 with wool bathing suits (yep) and sweaters. During World War II, they won military contracts to produce uniforms. But after the war was over, they saw a shift in the fabric landscape. Polyesters were incorporated into everything from tires to carpets to clothing. Nylon, which was invented in the ‘30s by DuPont, became an instant hit. Spandex, which we may or may not be thankful for, was invented in the '50s. New high-tech fabrics were popping up all over the place, and Malden Mills wanted in on the action. They set out to make a plastic sheep-replacer to help them climb to the top of their industry. They started by spinning plastics into yarn. Weaving the yarn into fabric with tiny loops on one side created a thin fabric—but when brushed, the yarn broke down into individual fibers and the loops puffed up, improving the fabric's texture, thickness and insulation without increasing the weight. The innovation happened in the factory, not the lab, partly becausePatagoniawas pushing for new fabrics. Doug Hoschek, who marketed the new textile, knew it would have an huge impact in the outdoor community, so Malden Mills worked aggressively to get that crowd on board. The full history is pretty amazing but you might be asking about how fleece it’s actually made and why it actually works so well. To answer those questions public radio station WNYC, posted an interview with Sean Cormier, assistant professor in the Textile Design and Marketing Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Jill Dumain, Director of Environmental Strategy atPatagonia. In under 30 minutes you will get the complete lowdown on the fuzzy stuff. (function(){var s=function(){__flash__removeCallback=function(i,n){if(i)i[n]=null;};window.setTimeout(s,10);};s();})(); Photo credit: Methinks that's not your fleece Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs…
Monday, 02 January 2012

Jackson Kayak Rolls out JKTV

Jackson Kayak has launched JKTV. The premier episode is a pretty ambitious 25 minutes and covers a trip report from the Costa de Oro; Team Spotlight with Damon Bungard; Misadventures with Indiana James; Tech Tip- How to Backloop; Gear Review- GoPro Hero2 and the Shot of the Month. You can subscribe via YouTube here.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Michael Duffy Joins the Rapid Media Team

Almost lost in the shuffle over the holidays I found out the gang at Rapid Media announced that Michael Duffy is taking over as Director of Sales. Before joining the Rapid Media team, Michael Duffy worked for 11 years in sales, marketing and product development at Kokatat Watersports Wear so this is a pretty big coup. “I’m coming at an exciting time at Rapid Media-partnerships with the ACA and Paddle Canada, the Paddling Buyer’s Guide and a growing film festival. While at Kokatat, I was a big supporter of Scott, the Rapid team and their potential in the paddling world.” said Duffy. Michael Duffy will head up Rapid Media’s new US advertising and circulation sales office near the coast in northern California. More info:
  After keeping it under my hat for four months (a record for me), I’m finally able to announce that after 30+ years, Paddle Canada has decided to get out of the magazine publishing industry and shut down Kanawa magazine. Instead, Paddle Canada has decided to partner with Rapid Media and offer their collection of magazines to its members. Rapid Media puts out Rapid, Canoeroots, Adventure Kayak and Kayak Angler. I think that this is a fantastic partnership for a couple of reasons. Firstly it allows Paddle Canada to finally dump Kanawa magazine which I have not been a huge fan of for quite a while. To me it has been limping along on life-support for several years. Of course it goes without saying that it’s always sad to see any magazine die, especially a magazine that has been around for 30 years. But not to worry; they are going to publish Kanawa as a quarterly newsletter that will come inserted in the Rapid Media magazine of your choice. This partnership is also a win for both organizations because for the first time they are no longer in direct competition with each other. Fir the first time they can work together on projects for the betterment of paddling in Canada. The brainstorming has already started I have heard rumours of several future projects that have awesome potential but we can chat about them on another day. Rapid Media is no stranger to partnering with other paddling organizations. Right around this time last year they announced a very similar partnership when the American Canoe Association decided to stop publication of their 20-year-old magazine, Paddler. Full disclosure, I’m quite involved with both groups so I’m completely biased but had no say in any decisions. I sit as chair of the Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Program Development Committee and do some web design for Rapid Media.
If you are looking for a job teaching people about the outdoors and the environment and you have a best friend willing to put up with you then consider applying to be a Travelling Trainer with Leave No Trace for their upcoming e-tour. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is looking to hire two teams to travel across the US running programs and activities specifically for kids in schools, retail stores, summer camps and other events. The tour is sponsored by Coleman, The North Face and Subaru. The pay probably isn’t huge but all your food and lodging expenses are included with the monthly salary. Also the job descriptions says that, “team members will be outfitted with apparel, equipment and supplies necessary for teaching and camping, as well as communicating electronically.” You need to have at least two years teaching experience, exceptional communication and presentation skills as well as Leave No Trace Training (Master Educator preferred). Oh yes, you need to apply with a partner who you know as only teams of two are accepted as applicants. They won’t be matching single people into teams. The gig goes from February 2012 through to July 2012 with possibility of it being extended to the end of 2012 if they get the funding. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig to me. If you are interested you can get all the info here.

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