Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '06 Update -- Fair labor toolkits, Marmite vs. Vegemite, and more

OK, so we lied. We told you last week that there would be no more Winter Market updates, but we received a slew of emails asking us for one more…so here it is. SNEWS® recommends the following events that we believe are really worth your time.

OK, so we lied. We told you last week that there would be no more Winter Market updates, but we received a slew of emails asking us for one more…so here it is. SNEWS® recommends the following events that we believe are really worth your time:

Fair labor, ethical sourcing and social responsibility -- a must attend for manufacturers!
On Saturday, Jan. 28, from noon to 1 p.m. (yes, we know this takes you off the show floor), head to the Marriott for a free seminar that will help you better your company and better the world. A personal invitation from Matt Hyde of REI says it better than we ever could:

It's clear that many companies in the outdoor industry have yet to actively cultivate meaningful fair labor codes, performance standards, and validation practices. If your company isn't actively pursuing progress in these areas, now is the time to look closer.

Over the course of the past two years, the Outdoor Industry Association and a number of manufacturers and retailers have collaborated to produce a toolkit to help us all do a better job of ensuring the ethical conditions under which our products are made. The vision of this group was to move the industry forward in the area of sourcing practices, making this a competency for us all, not just a few companies. This toolkit is a starting point from which each of us can continue to improve our sourcing efforts in ways that meet our expectations and those of our customers.  The toolkit not only defines minimum standards for fair labor compliance in clear language, it also provides a step-by-step checklist for conducting a factory audit and shares best practices. The best endorsement I can give for the effectiveness of this toolkit is from Kim Coupounas, founder and CEO of GoLite. GoLite was a beta tester of the toolkit, and Kim says 'it would have taken GoLite at least 10 years to replicate' what the toolkit has given her company.Toolkits will be given out free to all attendees at the seminar.

It's a necessity in the manufacturing world to understand the common language of corporate social responsibility, including ethical sourcing and fair labor practices. This is important to REI and it should be important to all of our suppliers. I sincerely hope you or your top sourcing staff will attend.

SNEWS® will see you there, right?

Crumpler throws down the gauntlet!
Buck's Fizz served every morning at the Crumpler booth! Relax on one of the company's beanbags and drift away on the crisp, clean bubbles of one of Australia's finest sparkling wines!! Then, if you're up for it, challenge Crumpler's Master of Ceremony's, "Big Bad Benny" Richards to a traditional game of Aussie "2-Up," played everyday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Crumpler is encouraging everyone to bring beer or chocolate to gamble with! Finally, on Sunday afternoon around 4ish, Crumpler will be serving iced cold Fosters and Coopers along with Australia's favorite bedtime snack…Vegemite. And remember, Marmite is for girls! Now to the Brit sensibilities of the SNEWS® team, those are fighting words. Gee, didn't the Marmite-eating nation do rather well in the last Rugby World Cup? How did those vege boys do…ahh, that's right. Not so well. Yeah, we'll be there on Sunday, and we're bringing our own tub of Marmite, thank you very much.

Kombi may be calling you with a ticket to travel
As a promotion for Kombi's new OTC glove, designed with the exclusive Cell Spot for easy one-hand access and safe storage of a cell phone, during the first three days of Winter Market, individuals can sign up for a chance to win a free round-trip airline ticket (Kombi never told us where the ticket went). You just have to leave your cell phone number at the Kombi booth 2613. Two cell phone numbers will be called each day; to be a winner you must answer your phone. Daily winners will have their names, and cell phone numbers, entered into a drawing for the grand prize airline ticket, which will be drawn on Monday. The winner of the airline ticket will be called on their cell phone -- to win, one must answer their phone. We wonder how many meetings will end up getting interrupted as a result?

Green Steps sustainability session with free books to first 50 attendees
On Sunday, Jan. 29, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Marriott, join Indigenous Designs, the Green Steps Association, and Organic Exchange, Indigenous Designs to learn how to weave sustainability into the fabric of your corporate structure. This event will be a panel discussion with special guests Dan Imhoff -- author of the book "Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World" (Watershed Media/Sierra Club Books 2005), and Todd Paglia, executive director of the Forest Ethics organization. The first 50 attendees of the sustainability session will receive a free copy of Dan Imhoff's book "Paper or Plastic."

Still wondering what Nordic walking is all about? Leki AM/OR is for you
Join Leki at 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 28-31 on the South Plaza outside the Salt Palace Convention Center. There, you'll get to Nordic walk with Leki staff and fitness professionals. A general warm-up session will begin at 6:30 a.m. with Nordic walks of different levels beginning 6:45 a.m. Poles will be provided and participants can stay in a group or Nordic walk one-on-one with a trainer. Participants will receive a swag bag provided by Leki AM/OR partners: Thorlo, Katadyn, Ibex, Aqua Clip, Aloe Up, LRI Photon, Loki USA and ProBar. Coffee and hot cocoa will be served to participants beginning at 6:15 a.m.