We’re searching high and low to bring you some great companies that are making strides in conservation and sustainability.
This week’s episode of #KnowYourBrand features a company who is upcycling retired sails in order to make lightweight, durable packs for outdoorsmen, and utilizing factory scraps in some innovative ways. We are excited to bring you Trew.
Trew’s Humble Beginnings in Hood River
Combining his love of the mountains with a passion to bring outerwear into this century, founder Tripp Frey set out to launch a brand that would deliver high quality outerwear to the market. Trew’s roots are in Hood River, Oregon, where Tripp and his good friends Chris and John Pew began making colorful, high-quality bibs, pants, and jackets. Outdoorsmen making high-quality gear for outdoorsmen, that’s what Trew is all about.
When they began selling the brand, they were met the challenge of getting their name out. In order to get the Trew story (aka Trewth) out to the outdoorsmen, they needed to go where the action was. That meant getting an RV, wrapping it in Trew colors and the good ol’ Thumbs Up, filling it with Trew gear, and heading to the mountains. The RV worked as advertisement as well as a mobile showroom to get their outerwear where it needed to be: in the hands of outdoorsmen. As we visited with Trew, we were intrigued to learn how their business has evolved over the years, and how it continues to evolve today. While they are now based out of Portland, the innovation and drive behind the brand is still well rooted in the backcountry of Hood River.
Truce Packs Sail into Production
Trew’s line of Truce packs are a really special product that we are stoked to tell you all about! The Truce line represents upcycling at its finest. Each pack is made with an upcycled sailcloth that has been reincarnated from its sailing days. Those sails, although no longer fit to power a boat, are still in great shape for a pack. Sailcloth is lightweight and durable, which means they are perfect for a unique pack for any adventure. Each sail can make around 60-70 packs, which keeps the sails out of landfills much longer.
Each Truce pack is going to be slightly different, and you’ll never see a production of thousands of the same pack. Each one has its own unique personality to it. This is not something that is going to ever be mass-produced; they are all hand made in Portland by the Trew team. So, if you see a Truce pack that you like, act fast because it may not be there much longer!
Using Factory Scraps for Amazing Products
You thought that retired sails were an awesome upcycle? Well, let’s add to the endless awesomeness of the Truce packs. Even the interior liners of the packs are upcycled materials from drysuits. Heavy duty nylon fabric is sourced from drysuit manufacturers from their scrap. Since drysuits must be cut very specifically and all in one piece, there is a lot of scrap fabric that is waste. Trew utilizes this scrap fabric for liners, as the cuts needed there are much smaller. Using scrap fabrics from other factories keeps those materials out of landfills and creates high quality gear.
The Trew Chop Shop Jacket is another awesome product made with the goal of utilizing as much scrap material as possible to make a high-quality piece of outerwear. The Chop Shop Jacket is made from factory scraps that were otherwise going to be tossed in the trash. Trew takes these scraps and adds a little bit of their creative pizzazz to bring you a sick looking jacket that’s truly one of a kind! Creating high-quality outerwear with a mission to lessen waste in the landfill; that’s a mission that we can stand behind.
Turning Retail on its Head
We have learned that Trew is trewly (see what I did there?) a one of a kind company. From their creative use of scrap material and upcycled sails to their openness to let us in and hang out with them for the day, we saw something very different in this company. One other way Trew stands out from its competitors is through their retail model. You won’t find Trew in stores. Here’s why:
Once Trew’s name got out using their mobile RV showroom, they began to sell to big retail chains. However, they quickly learned that the traditional retail model severely limits the innovation and design development of a brand. Essentially, when REI places their annual order, they order once for the entire year to last them one year. If a new design comes out halfway through the season, Trew wouldn’t be able to get it onto the shelves of traditional retail stores. Remember those Truce packs that are one of a kind? That wouldn’t exactly fly in a traditional retail model.
Rather than sacrificing their innovative character, Trew decided to pull their products out of those stores and sell directly to their customers. So when you purchase a Trew Chop Shop Jacket or a Truce Pack, you are purchasing directly from the source. That makes them stand out as manufacturers and allows you as the customer to go straight to the source. Their first retail shop will be opening in Portland soon, but everyone else can still order online.
Okay, so that retail model is very different than traditional retail models. But how does this relate to conservation? Well, flexibility is key here. Trew is able to produce as many, or as few, items of a particular product as they can and sell them on their website. That means if they have a Chop Shop Jacket in blue, but they only have enough blue material to make five of them, then that’s what they make and sell. They aren’t limited by minimums of retail purchasers. It gives them the ability to utilize their creativity and reduce their waste of materials greatly.
The Whole Trewth
Maybe it was their RVing roots that spoke to us, maybe it was the Thumbs Up logo that resembles the Gig ‘Em of our Aggies, maybe it was their creative conservationism that kept us interested in Trew. Regardless of which reason we were drawn to them, Trew proved to be a class act of a company. This is definitely one company that is making waves in the outdoors community, and we’ll be sure to keep them on our radar. Check out the Truce Packs HERE and let us know what you think. You’ll be glad you did because you now #KnowYourBrand!
And don’t forget to subscribe below to stay up to date on all of our adventures and more great companies from the #KnowYourBrand Campaign. Until next time, Live Vicariously!
NOTE: We were NOT paid or compensated in any form for this review of Trew Gear. All opinions stated are our own and all facts stated are to the best of our knowledge. We do not make any guarantees on behalf of Trew Gear.
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