TREW hail from Oregon in the United States, a place with a rich outdoor culture and strong history when it comes to sports and outdoor design and production. They first appeared on the scene nearly a decade ago with a fresh looking take on ski and snowboard wear. By their own admission, TREW try to blend technical detail with a stylish aesthetic. Their products use high end, contemporary materials and construction methods yet have a laid back, rootsy Pacific North West vibe about them.
TREW have just gone live with their new winter 2015 / 2016 line and it’s looking great – new fabrics and technologies (including the very interesting looking Nuyarn) and the usual great colour palettes and details. The line is tight and coordinated and by the look of it there are no fillers, nothing there just to make up the numbers. Although I’m surprised they’ve taken synthetic insulation out of the range – no doubt to make way for their down range made using Toray produced water resistant Quixdown.
The big deal this season though is that TREW have moved away from selling through retailers completely and will now just sell directly to the consumer through their own website. They cite cost and frustration as the primary reasons to move towards a direct to the consumer approach – check out the video above for the full low down.
The traditional retail model is broken. – Tripp Frey, TREW founder and director.
The 2016 Powfunk Jacket is a classic TREW style
It’s a pretty bold decision and certainly a progressive one. TREW’s branding really is strong though and they project a clear message within their market. As far as I can see they also have a solid connection to their customers and a loyal following among the backcountry ski and snowboard community. The TREW guys can regularly be found asking questions of their customers and doing market research on forums and social media. They have a strong link to the TREW community and I guess they believe that going direct will only strengthen that bond. They obviously also believe that the increased freedom will enable them to produce better products. Time will tell if it’s the right decision.
It leaves me wondering if this kind of move will become commonplace in the coming years. Will we see similar brands to TREW also pull out of conventional retail? I’m guessing if it does happen it will be newer brands with less of their history already invested in traditional retail. Or new brands, like TREW, who already have a strong and direct connection to their customers. Will we ever see one of the really big companies in our industry do it? I’m guessing that’s a way off, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see some brands adopting a phased approach, starting in certain markets, then rolling out from there.
A quick note on the aforementioned Nuyarn technology – Nuyarn represents what inventors Levana claim is a new way of making fibres. They are a Merino manufacturer based out of a small town in New Zealand who have developed the technique of wrapping Merino fibres around nylon instead of using traditional ringspun methods of production. Straight Merino fibres are wrapped around the very fine nylon core – this gives the fabric way more stretch than classic Merino fibres. They claim it also increases durability (not surprisingly), warmth, dry time and overall comfort. It’s a pretty big claim but I reckon this is definitely one to keep an eye on. The market is primed for a fresh, innovative and performance driven take on Merino and Nuyarn could provide just that.
The TREW Nuyarn Merino Chill Top
Check out the new TREW line at trewgear.com.
Read more about Nuyarn technology over at nuyarn.co.nz.