Ignite Active Panelists at Ignite share their expertise. 

Ignite Active…An informal gathering where folks share ideas in short bursts. Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City kicked off last night with this inspirational forum that brought together leaders from the industry to share concepts about branding, industry culture, trends and the future of media.

They say it’s like “TED on caffeine” and this is exactly what it felt like. After four engaging 5-minute presentations from “thought leaders” who have been in the outdoor industry for decades, the panel answered questions from the audience for the rest of the time.

The candid discussion that ensued was entertaining, informative and motivating. Although the panelists came from varied backgrounds, the concepts emphasized were consistent: how to create culture and community, the need for company transparency and strategies for increasing relevance to a wider range of consumers.

There was also a huge focus on the shifting values of consumers and the growth of “LOHAS” consumerism (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability). More and more people are choosing what they buy based on their belief systems and values. LOHAS companies design products and services that are environmentally conscious, sustainable, socially responsible, and/or healthier—both for people and the planet.

This term – LOHAS – was new to me, but the concept is something that’s increasing in popularity. If you ever go to the store or shop online you see this everywhere – from food to bicycles to clothes and backpacks – the same buzzwords apply: recycled, natural, organic, and local.

While this may have seemed like just a hip movement at first, it seems from last night that this “trend” is here to stay – at least for as long as consumers, from pro athletes to weekend warriors, decide to prioritize the planet and health in their buying choices. I’m off to the show to see what other cool stuff and inspiration I can find.