Wild Things Gear Debuts Next Generation of Mass Customization - SNEWS

Wild Things Gear Debuts Next Generation of Mass Customization

Consumers Receive Personalized Products Produced in USA; Online Retailers Carry No Inventory and Offer Distinct Customer Experience

NEWPORT, R.I., (Nov. 13, 2012) – Wild Things, LLC, (www.wildthingsgear.com), a leading manufacturer of technical outerwear for the U.S. Military, law enforcement and consumer markets, today is unveiling the next generation of customization enabling consumers to design their own apparel, and receive their Made in America items that are produced in two weeks. Using a best-in-class visual configurator, outdoor devotees choose performance fabrics, insulation type and weight, color, detail trim, hood or no hood and pocket placement. Initially, garments will be available through Wild Things' website, www.wildthingsgear.com, and, through an exclusive sales and marketing agreement, on Moosejaw's website, www.moosejaw.com/wildthings, and in select Moosejaw stores.

“This is the first scalable mass customization initiative available in the outdoor category,” said Ed Schmults, CEO of Wild Things Gear. “Our outerwear is distinctive in that it provides personalization for individual customers at a mass production price. The outdoor consumer gets exactly what he or she wants quickly. Our customers can easily share their designs via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to validate or critique their decisions with friends. This viral marketing option will spread awareness of this new initiative. We couldn't think of a better partner than Moosejaw for this first phase, as they are progressive thinkers with a solid customer base that appreciates this option. In the end, this is about giving customers unmatched choice and value without having to hold finished goods inventory.”

Visitors to Wild Things' or Moosejaw's websites select from ten specific attributes including outer shell fabric, side panels, cuffs, chest pocket location, zipper pocket location, logo, insulation (PrimaLoft One, PrimaLoft Eco or PrimaLoft Sport) and color.
As the options are selected, the customization tool is instantly updated using 3-D with zoom, rotation, color and feature changes, resulting in a real life view of the end product.

Using the “Share Your Design” feature, shoppers immediately share their designs via text messages, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter directly from the site. At the present time, global brands and manufacturers use this on-demand product configurators from Fluid, Inc. (www.fluidretail.com). Customers can start designs from scratch, from saved creations or from a library of stored designs on the site.

Initially, customized styles for men and women will be available in three products: Wind Pro Jacket; Mountain Guide Jacket (Soft Shell); and the Insulight Jacket. The second phase, also for men and women, available in early 2013, will offer other products including the highly regarded Alpinist Jacket and Pants as well as packs.

“Once we heard what they were up to, we jumped at the chance to partner with Wild Things,” said Eoin Comerford, Moosejaw's president and CEO. “Active outdoor pursuits are all about personal expression, but until now, outdoor enthusiasts had to choose from mass-produced outerwear. With Wild Things, they can have their jackets built exactly how they want, with only the features that they need and in colors that match their favorite cravats.”

Manufacturing is presently done in the USA in two facilities. “Competing for bulk production against off-shore manufacturing is a difficult proposition for U.S. apparel manufacturers,” continued Schmults. “While wage inflation in China is making U.S. apparel manufacturers more competitive, the average U.S. factory needs to pursue a new business model focused on higher value-added products. We are using manufacturing processes pioneered by Toyota to enable us to scale with mass customization. Not only does this afford us the opportunity for forging closer relationships with our consumers, but also, our program is also environmentally smart and economic. It is a win-win for everyone.”

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