There are very few opportunities that offer a visual overview of used outdoor clothing history, longevity and style. Gift Your Gear The BIG Sort offers all that and more. Many thousands of outdoor garments from hundreds of brands made over the last 40 + years offers a rare insight for anyone interested in outdoor gear.
After the dust from The Big Sort has settles I do try and look back at the highlights and record a just few observations.
The number of labels/brand/logos producing mountain like garments is now extensive. Fleece in particular, every weight but very obvious on the lighter weight fleece garments. Styled just like mountain fleece but produced by fashion labels. Whilst the quality of fleece, in most cases, is not the same as a fully specified mountain fleece, the look is near. The same applies to filled insulated jackets. This trend has grown over the last 6 -12 months.
I have observed in the past there are worrying trends around fittings, zips in particular. They are getting lighter and lighter and the fusion of waterproof zips to the waterproof jackets made me look twice.
Gift Your Gear is now handling lots of donated boots and rucksacks, which is great. Observations can now be extended to both important categories. General ongoing care of leather walking boots is neglected. It is rare to see a pair of old but well maintained leather boots. Canvas boots show their years.
I think, after a few more years, we will be in a better position to be more sure of a suspicion around longevity. I suspect it is falling. In garments because of weight reduction, in boots because of maintenance. But I may be wrong!
A selection of past reflections…
March 2013 – A Rare Insight into Outdoor Gear Function and Form
March 2016 – Bags don’t die, they just fade away