DENVER – Each day, leading outdoor retailer REI offers top gear and apparel from thousands of established and up-and-coming outdoor brands. During the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show this week, REI recognized vendor partners who have made a significant impact to the co-op’s mission with its Vendor Partner of the Year awards. This year, the co-op also recognized the second winner of the REI Root award, which celebrates industry-leading sustainable product design.
REI Vendor Partner of the Year Awards
NEMO Equipment, headquartered in Dover, New Hampshire, received the co-op’s overarching Vendor Partner of the Year award. “With products like the Stargaze™ Recliner, NEMO continues to bring innovative product design to the outdoor industry,” said Susan Viscon, REI senior vice president, merchandising. “Not only did NEMO have one of the most popular products on the shelf in 2017, they kept up with increased customer demand and showed amazing leadership throughout our partnership.”
The following vendor partners were also named divisional winners for the year:
- Action sports: NRS (Moscow, Idaho)
- Outdoor wear: Oboz (Bozeman, Montana)
- Camp/travel: Osprey (Cortez, Colorado)
The Vendor Partner of the Year awards program was established by REI in 1993. Each year, companies are nominated by the co-op’s three merchandising divisions – camp/climb, Action sports and outdoor wear – for partnering with REI to meet customer needs, raise the bar for product quality and drive sustainable business practices.
REI Root Award
The co-op’s Root Award was created in 2016 to celebrate the gritty, below-the-surface determination that drives sustainability innovation in the outdoor industry.This year, REI recognized the La Sportiva Mythos Eco climbing shoe for its use of 95 percent pre-and post-consumer recycled materials (including the sole, laces and webbing) and its reduced impacts in manufacturing (including metal-free leather tanning and water-based adhesives). In addition, the Mythos Eco can be re-soled, allowing customers to use them for an extended period of time.
“The Root Award honors outdoor products that break down barriers and move the industry toward more sustainable ways of making gear,” says Alex Thompson, REI brand stewardship and impact vice president. “La Sportiva has shown it’s possible to make a climbing shoe almost entirely of recycled materials, and to use a lower-impact process for manufacturing leather, all while maintaining excellent performance and durability.”
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/rei-garage.com or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
NEMO is a New Hampshire-based outdoor gear design company that is known for continuously creating award-winning products that are built to last, comfortable and fun to use. In 2017, Founder and CEO Cam Brensinger was named one of the outdoor industry’s Best & Brightest – 26 people setting the outdoor industry on fire by Outdoor Retailer Daily, and the brand’s Helio™ LX Pressure Shower was awarded the International OutDoor Industry Award. NEMO’s reputation for design innovation across its product lines—tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, hammocks, and furniture—is an outgrowth of their design philosophy to never bring anything to market that doesn’t offer a meaningfully better experience. Their team of designers and engineers are motivated by a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainability. For more information, please contact Kate Ketschek, firstname.lastname@example.org.