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.
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:
Outdoor wear: Oboz (Bozeman, Montana)
Camp/travel: Osprey (Cortez, Colorado)
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.”