Outdoor brands’ apparel sizes don’t match customer demand, study showsOUTSIDE BUSINESS JOURNAL

A new study published by the subscription-box service Cairn shows that outdoor brands are producing apparel that’s too small, on average, for consumer demand.

Cairn, which is owned by Outside Inc. (Outside Business Journal’s parent company), analyzed seven years of data from nearly 70,000 of its own customers. The study was a part of the brand’s desire to understand sizing preferences across diverse subscribers and an even more diverse readership.

The Cairn team then looked at production-run distributions at four undisclosed outdoor brands and found that, in general, production runs smaller than what customers want out of their outdoor gear.

Jared Peterson, senior manager of commerce at Outside, explained the motivations behind the project. “Our hope was that we could use our demographic data from subscribers and marry that with industry data to shine a light on the issue.”

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Toilet paper really is terrible for the planet. Bamboo alternatives like No. 2 can help – FAST COMPANY

With our focus squarely (see what we did there?) on supply chain woes, who can forget what will likely be the quintessential consumable shortage of 2020 & the pandemic; toilet paper. At that time, it had less to do with the ability of big brands to manufacture and distribute, and more to do with a strange paranoia among consumers. Not to put too fine a point on it, but for many Americans, the idea of going without TP was downright frightening. So much so, stockpiling every variety of ply became a top priority, and at stores all across America, there was not a square to be had!

We got through it. Thankfully. And for a time, it looked like we could breathe easy as Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern once again piled high on the shelves at every retailer, from the big box stores to the bodegas. Then, what feels like very suddenly, inventory in the toiletries section of grocery stores and even wholesale clubs started looking a little thinner. At this moment, we find ourselves on the brink of another toilet paper shortage – this time due to the same inadvertent trade embargo creating delays in so many other product categories.

But why just on the brink? Because there is no infrastructural issue so great that toilet paper companies become genuinely hamstrung in their ability to supply at scale, regardless of demand. The potential for a true shortage is fully contingent on the consumer.

In a recent article on the wood pulp export delays affecting the TP supply chain, Supply Chain Drive notes some of the ways in which retailers are working to proactively prevent customers from hoarding and creating another demand-induced shortage.

“Stores like Costco are being proactive,” said Ronalds Gonzalez, co-director of the Tissue Pack Innovation Lab at North Carolina State University. “But there’s no reason for shortages to happen as long as shoppers don’t buy more than they need.”

The tissue supply chain has historically been stable and predictable, said Gonzalez. But wild swings in demand have now left retailers and producers scrambling to keep up. And the consequence of that scrambling may prove far greater than even the worst possible post-apocalyptic, TP rationing scenario.

Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and Georgia-Pacific sell an estimated 80% of the toilet paper in the United States.  Their brands, which include Charmin, Cottonelle, Scott, and Angel Soft, fill shelves where consumers, along with their weekly grocery haul, are most likely to pick up their TP.

A September 17th article from Fast Company highlights the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) scorecard for grading the near 100 toilet paper brands on the market based on their carbon footprint and impact on forests. The purpose of the criteria is to give climate-conscious consumers a clear path to sustainable shopping. The big three manufacturers mentioned above all got Fs, as did Amazon Basics and Costco’s Kirkland brand.

Shelley Vinyard, the author of the report, says they got the lowest score because they source their products from forests, rather than using post-consumer recycled paper or bamboo. Even more devastatingly, many of these companies are destroying the Canadian boreal forest, which stores the carbon equivalent of twice the world’s oil reserves.

All this to say, there are a handful of really wonderful, mission-driven toilet paper manufacturers offering sustainable alternatives to those mentioned above. Take No. 2 for example.

Here is what Founder, Samira Far has to say as per gono2.com: Toilet paper consumes A LOT of trees (27,000. trees daily to be specific). Global toilet paper production is devastating forests. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing, strongest, and most useful plants on the planet. With the ability to grow more than a meter a day, bamboo is a renewable resource that reaches maturity in 4-6 years or less; in sharp contrast, trees require decades (20 to 50 years) to recover from harvesting. No.2 toilet paper is also plastic-free, wrapped in recycled paper and Responsible Forestry Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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From Jamber, grip strength training  – not merely in preparation for those peak season-sized coffees, but as an indication of longevity…

According to the Jamber Blog, grip strength can be a better indicator of“longevity, cardiovascular health, and overall quality of life than blood pressure or physical activity level.  

FROM THE ARTICLE: This may come as a surprise, but research has shown that the stronger your handgrip strength is, the less likely you are to be affected by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other terminal diseases. And this is just the start of grip strength benefits.  It’s no wonder that people are rushing to strengthen their grip!  Click here to access the Jamber Blog page for 5 simple exercises that you can do every day or any day to improve your grip strength. 

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MUD/WTR ft. in What VICE Readers Bought This Month: Massagers, Trippy Lights, and Fancy Earplugs – VICE

MUD/WTR is a favorite among VICE readers, and especially those who never took to coffee, but are still seeking a little boost in the morning. According to the article, the caffeine-full, coffee alternative is sort of achieving cult status at the moment. month over month.

FROM THE ARTICLE: As fun as it is to spend our days looking like that psychotic GIF of an overstimulated Sylvester the cat, a whole lot of us are ready to mix up our bev routine to be free of meltdowns, and MUD\WTR is getting rave reviews all around for its super-tasty PSL-like flavor—and its ability to offer a panic-attack-free energy kick. 

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FULL CIRCLE HOMES: Plympton Couple Starring In New HGTV Show On Repairing Historic Homes – CBS BOSTON

A Plympton couple is set to star in a brand new HGTV series, Houses With History. The series follows Jenny Macdonald, Mike Lemieux, and carpenter Rich Soares, owners and operators of Full Circle Homes, a construction and design firm specializing in restoration, refinishing, reality, mercantile, etc. Basically, they’re Joanna and Chip Gaines in New England.

And like Chip and Jo, the team at Full Circle will star in an all-new twist on Fixer-Upper alongside 6 dilapidated antique homes on the South Shore. The six-episode series was filmed during the pandemic, which proved to be as big a challenge as some of the homes featured on the show. Houses with History premiered on 9/29 and will air each Wednesday at 9 PM on both HGTV and Discovery Plus.