A brilliant and inspiring few days at the Outdoor Industries Association conference in Windermere.

Stand-out passion and dedication from Andrew Denton. Great wake-up call from Frank Hugelmeyer’s ‘intervention’ and really informative talk about Fluorocarbons and social responsibility from Mark Held.

A big theme was the increasing relevance of social media. Which makes me wonder if we are in the midst of a fundamental shift of how outdoor brands should be talking to consumers.

Perhaps a few quick words from an unpaid and independent source is more powerful than pages of clever, self promotion?

This may be particularly relevant to outdoor brands who traditionally fall back on heritage and pedigree as an easy short-cut to trust.

Working on McNair shirts recently it felt strangely right to ditch the carefully crafted ‘what we are all about’ section from the home page and replace it with the Instagram feed. It intuitively felt more vibrant, alive and relevant.

More than ever, what they say matters more than what we say.

And best freebie of the conference was great light over Windermere before the long drive home.


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