Charles Ross

Charles Ross

Charles Ross is a textile specialist based at the Royal College of Art in London; he has taught Performance Sportswear Design to the next generation of Outdoor Industry designers for over two decades. His mantra is “Sustainability through Longevity.”

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    Opinion: A Rab solution for the non-perfect world of CSR impact ratings?


    Rab (the U.K. outdoor brand owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies) has announced it is introducing an agnostic rating system on its product in the hope that it will persuade others to use something similar so that the public image of the industry is more consistent with what the public wants ...

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    The place to be for fabric geeks: Performance Days (and the Functional Fabric Fair)


    With ISPO moving forward to the slot in the calendar that the ingredient-sourcing exhibitions of the outdoor and sports industries had, those shows have come forward too. Last week was the Functional Fabric Fair (FFF; the U.S. version), and at the end of this week will be the original show: ...


    Opinion: DeGrowth is not about the companies – it is the user


    A report inspired by both the European Outdoor Summit in Annecy and the Blue Earth Summit in Bristol.

  • Less Is More

    Our future post COP 26


    Strong in the memory is Cop 26, the gathering of the great and the good in taking on the Climate Crisis emergency. The event in Glasgow in November 2021 built on the previous work. It especially concentrated on creating better finance (specifically getting investments out of fossil fuel-associated industries in favor of renewables). November sees COP 27, hosted in Egypt, and then there is COP 15 a month later.

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    Opening up the Outdoors: A report from the Outdoor Industries Association’s annual gathering


    The British trade body’s Annual General Meeting has been a great indicator of its national waymarks: it marked the speech from the Prime Minister about putting the country into lockdown, it was the first gathering I attended post lockdown, while this week, it marked the death of the monarch – ...

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    Sponsorship: Perhaps this is how it can be most effective?


    Sponsorship can take place in a wide variety of forms, but should usually pay off in terms of marketing targets. Charles Ross shares what he sees as missed sponsorship opportunities in the Outdoor industry, and which have had unexpected success.  He also illustrates that doing the right thing can be all that matters.

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    Opinion: Is it all just Greenwashing? Criticism of sustainability data threatens industry improvement


    Last month the Norwegian Consumer Authority (NCA) challenged Norrøna regarding “misleading environmental claims” as a result of the brand’s use of outfacing information from one of the modules included in the Higg Index. The challenge was based on the fact that the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) had included older data ...

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    Opinion: What place do trade shows have in the future of the Outdoor community?


    As the debrief from the re-connection of the industry at OutDoor by ISPO continues, those responsible for the marketing budgets are debating whether the gatherings are still the best investment of resources. For those who did not make it to the Munich Order Center – you missed the energy and ...

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    Earth Day 2022: Just for hippies or is it mainstream?


    At the end of this week, it would be easy to overlook Earth Day on April 22, but it is an opportunity for Outdoor brands to cash in on an increasingly popular event. Whereas Earth Hour on the last Saturday of last month did not get as well supported (asking ...

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    The Journey to Carbon Neutrality: The detail of the future for outdoor industry ingredients


    Exhibitions need something to get people to turn up in person now that we have all lived in the virtual world of Zoom and Teams; fortunately, the Outdoor Industry is focused on apparel, and there is nothing stronger than getting to handle the garment / see the finish / try ...

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    Is being waterproof the most important part of our apparel?


    The outdoor industry has been characterized by the hero product made from Gore-tex (other shell materials are available). Is this really the focus of design thinking that should be championed? One of the great marketing case stories of the last 30 years is that those seeking to equip themselves now ...

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    Review: Slide/OTS Winter trade show 2022


    The British Snowsport Tradeshow happened in central England last week, on the Welsh border, to allow relatively easy travel for everyone to reach the event. Building on previous events, the exhibition had also combined with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), so those outdoor brands had a chance to demonstrate their ...

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    Black Friday – is this the guilty secret of fashion, but a wonderful opportunity for the outdoor Industry?


    The origin of Black Friday was the clearing of dead stock so that the new product, which would reach premium price in the lead up to Christmas present, had room to be displayed. Every product line is meant to sell out, but nothing ever runs that perfectly. Some lines do ...

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    Review: Performance Days / Functional Fabric Fair Fabric Forum Jury


    …or in other words: what will be seen in a year’s time! Quite a mouthful, but having seen over 1,000 samples of curated fabric swatches over the second half of a week – the Outdoor & Sports industry should be proud that lockdown did not stop the development of fabric. ...

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    Review (and general observations) of British OIA AGM


    This last week saw the British Outdoor Industry (OIA) have their annual gathering (to go through the financial reporting on their trade body) and bring together their membership – based on the principle that if the trade works together, more can be achieved. It was at the same event in ...

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    Opinion: Sustainability - Have we all got the wrong approach?


    There is not a single outdoor brand I know that does not have a sustainability policy – if anything, the term sustainability has been used for such a wide range of applications even I end up confused as to what it really means. There are two common definitions:

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    Opinion: Outdoor by ISPO webinar, co-hosted by the EOG


    At the end of last month, there was a webinar about the show in October, which will happen outside the regular buying window for brands selling to retailers. The European Outdoor Group (EOG) had already spoken to their membership and would host up to 100 shell-scheme stands supporting the event. ...

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    Opinion: Outdoor by ISPO – See you there!


    There is much debate around the new date of the Munich show as it seems to make no sense to have a gathering after the forward order books close. However, I think those who leap to this conclusion should have retired with the dinosaurs. Last week I was fortunate enough ...

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    Review: Outdoor Trade Show (OTS) 2021


    From Tuesday to Thursday, retail buyers came to browse the assortments of more than 120 brands, from big players like Mammut to perennial market players like Helinox and new ventures like Dirtbags.

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    Digital is here - but what is it missing for the Ingredient Sourcing Industry?


    The one positive thing agreed is that Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation to digital. It has offered more than a stop-gap solution, but has it provided a complete solution? If this question had been asked 18 months ago, everyone had made plans for a digital version this decade, but not ...

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