Currently at the OR Snow Show in Denver Colorado. Everyone looks the same. The gear is super cool. The topic of sustainability is always at hand. Yet seeing the excess of 'things' here, one can't help but feel at odds with the intention of the whole.
Yes the items presented encourage engagement with the outdoors, and yes they're done in ever-improving ways. But the biggest radical change won't come in a new material or a clever design, but a broad sweeping change of the way we engage with outdoor products. Most outdoor products have very specific uses, and large price points to accommodate the complexity, development, and manufacturing that goes into bringing things to market. This makes a high cost, low use object- in the case of most consumers.
To reduce the barrier to entry for consumers and reduce the quantity of things being produced, while raising the margins for producers- seems to me the best way is to shift the market model. But how do you do this? Likely through leveraging technology. Applying algorithms to flexibly respond to data insights.
It'll happen, and it will solve some huge problems, but it will be scary for the first participants. Kudos to those brave enough to try.