Outdoor Industry Association: Podcast Ep. 2 Recap

We were thrilled to have had an opportunity to spend time with key leaders of the critical sustainability initiatives at the Outdoor Industry Association, Nikki Hodgson and Beth Jensen during their forums the 2018 Summer Outdoor Retailer in Denver.

Both women are incredibly affable, driven and astute.  

We are clearly the students in the room with these two consummate professionals who have been fighting the good fight for many years, and we're good with that. We're here to learn (and help others understand) after all!

The Outdoor Industry Association is the preeminent trade organization for the outdoor industry. 

We were pretty stoked to see the updated 2018 statistics around the impact that the Outdoor Industry has on the national economy - they are impressive. Outdoor recreation based businesses represent more than 2% of GDP - yes - $887 Billion (yes, with a B) in consumer spending. That's amazing!

In collaboration with their 1,300 manufacturer, supplier, sales, and retailer members, they are a force for the industry in recreation and trade policy, sustainable business innovation, and increasing outdoor participation. Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., OIA is the title sponsor of the massive Outdoor Retailer Expo and Conference that recently moved to Denver.

Beth oversees the potent Sustainability Working Group (SWG): 200+ outdoor industry brands, retailers, suppliers, and other stakeholders collaborating to develop and implement sustainability standards and best practices throughout the shared global value chains of outdoor apparel, footwear, and gear. These folks are the engine behind the changes we all want to see for the better in apparel and gear.

The OIA SWG drives change via a three-pronged approach: Assessment, via the Higg Index (which we discuss at length) and other key industry tools --> Action, via shared implementation projects --> Innovation, via connecting with academic institutions, research organizations, innovators/startups, and other stakeholders to address the industry's shared challenges.

For more about OIA check out this video and be sure to engage with the tools to get started in sustainable gear and apparel that they've made available on their site here.

We're excited for you to check out this engaging and info-packed interview with Beth and Nikki.

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