Our favorite Summer drink

Our favorite Summer drink

Our favorite Summer drink

HOW-TO

best summer drink

It’s a big weekend!  Father’s day and the first day of Summer all in one! Summer officially begins on June 20th around 11pm in the Northern Hemisphere.  This marks the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year.  After June 20th, the amount of daylight slowly begins to decrease until we reach the shortest day of the year on December 21st.  So, enjoy the long days while you can!

In honor of the first day of Summer, we are sharing our favorite Summer inspired drink.  The crisp, natural flavors remind us of the outdoors, and it “hits the spot” when temperatures begin to soar.  It is a modern twist to a classic American beverage.  It is simple, yet totally overlooked.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 glass of fresh squeezed lemonade
  • 1/2 glass of home-brewed iced tea
  • 1 dram of Irish Whiskey or Kentucky Bourbon

PREPARATION:

For 1 Pitcher of Fresh Squeezed Lemonade:

  1. Make a simple syrup. Add sugar and 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Juice about 6 lemons. 
  3. Combine syrup and lemon juice. Add more water, to taste, until you reach your desired lemonade sweetness.
  4. Chill. 

For 1 Pitcher of Home-brewed Iced Tea:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring ]2-1/4 cups water to a gentle boil. Add 6 bags of plain black tea, remove the saucepan from the heat, and cover. Steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea bags without squeezing them (which would add bitterness) and pour the steeped tea into a 2-1/2-quart heatproof container (like a large Pyrex liquid measure). Add the 6 cups cold water and mix. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate until cold. 

Grab a glass.  Fill it half full with lemonade, then fill the rest with iced tea.  Lastly, top it off with a dram of Irish Whiskey or Kentucky Bourbon.

Without the whiskey, these ingredients make what is commonly referred to as an Arnold Palmer, or Arnie Palmer, named after the great American golfer who would regularly request this combination, and is credited with the creation of lemonade and iced tea.  An Arnold Palmer with vodka is referred to as a John Daly, named after another golfer known for his love of libations.  Arnold Palmers and John Dalys are well known drinks among bartenders, but for some reason, whiskey in an Arnold Palmer is not a common menu item.  We feel strongly that it should be.  Whiskey adds a smokiness that perfectly compliments the other flavors.  Unlike vodka, which is added less for its flavor and more for its intoxicating qualities.  The sweet lemonade, the earthy tea and the smoky whiskey are a delightful combination any outdoor enthusiast can appreciate. 

We call it, “The Happy Camper”.  It can also be referred to as a Whiskey Palmer, Bourbon Palmer, Happy Palmer, Dirty Palmer, or a Dirty Nerty.  Let us know if you have any other good names for it.

We hope you enjoy responsibly.

Drink of the summer

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What is Sustainable Fashion?

What is Sustainable Fashion?

What is Sustainable Fashion?

OBSERVATIONS

For decades, the fashion industry has followed a “fast-fashion” model of doing business. This essentially means a clothing brand’s primary focus is to identify new trends and get them to market as fast as possible.  The production of clothing is not only rapid, but it is immense. The fashion industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in the world. Clothing is on the short list of basic human needs meaning everyone, everywhere in the world is wearing clothing of some kind. It is one of the few items that people need and buy regularly. This type of rapid, immense production model means sales and profits can supersede human welfare and quality.  Consequently, fashion is considered the second most polluting industry in the world, only behind oil and gas, according to a 2019 UN News release, and it’s reasonable to assume that transitioning the fashion industry to a sustainable model would have a significant impact on the health of our planet.

“Fashion” is more than catwalks and trend boards. It is much more vast and complex than that. Fashion is a term that describes the entire supply chain used to produce clothing and accessories. It includes raw materials farmers, fabric suppliers, yarn dyers and spinners, manufacturing workers and factories, offices and warehouses, designers, marketers, packaging, shipping, sales and more.

In terms of fashion, the supply chain is typically separated into 5 tiers:

  1. Raw Materials Production (Cotton and Wool Farmers)
  2. Raw Materials Processing (Yarn Dying and Spinning)
  3. Manufacturing (Final Garment Manufacturing)
  4. Shipping & Packaging
  5. Stores & Offices (Designers, buyers, and physical storefronts)

It is important to understand the immense scale of the fashion supply chain in order to understand the issue of sustainable fashion. It is not a singular issue like plastic bags and microfibers in the ocean. It is more like a web of interconnected issues involving many businesses, entities and people around the world. The Center for Sustainable Fashion and The London College of Fashion teamed up to launch a digital course about sustainable fashion. Their course identifies the 8 key sustainability issues facing the fashion industry as:

1. Climate Change: The consequences of climate change, like rising sea levels and droughts will have a profound affect on the fashion supply chain.

2. Water Stress: Over 1 billion people currently lack access to clean water around the world and fashion consumes an embarrassing amount of water to create cheap clothing.

3. Hazardous Chemicals and Pollution: The fashion industry is one of the largest users of chemicals and in turn is responsible for high levels of air and water pollution.

4. Land Use and Biodiversity: Fashion is directly linked to habitat loss and a decline in biodiversity through land use. Maintaining a variety of plants and animals is the foundation for a healthy ecosystem.

5. Diminishing Resources: Fashion relies on many finite, natural and human resources.

6. Consumption and Waste: Clothing production has doubled worldwide since 2000, but people are keeping their clothes for half as long.

7. Modern Day Slavery: Modern Slavery exists in the fashion supply chain in the form of forced labor and child exploitation.

8. Wellbeing: The pace of fast fashion compromises the health and safety of everyone in the supply chain including workers, wearers and animals. The need for rapid production places profits over human welfare.

Recent developments in technology have shed light on the scale of these issues. It wasn’t until the 2010’s the public started seeing an abundance of articles highlighting the damage of fast-fashion. Here are some of the alarming facts that have come to light in just the last 10 years:

  • According to a 2017 article by the World Resources institute, “The number of fashion seasons has increased from two a year – spring/summer and fall/winter – to as many as 50-100 microseasons.”
  • According to the documentary released in 2015, The True Cost, the world consumes around 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year, 400% more than the consumption twenty years ago.
  • A 2017 article by the World Resource Institute highlighted how damaging cotton t-shirts are on water stress, as it requires 2,700 litres to make on cotton t-shirt. This is the same amount a single human intakes over 2 1/2 years.
  • A 2018 US Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labour fueled by fast-fashion in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and others. All these findings are just coming to light and gaining mainstream attention within the last 10 years.
  • An article by Vogue finds that “more than 40 garment workers have died in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region alone” in the months of February and April in 2021.
  • A 2020 article by BBC finds around 85% of all textiles thrown away in the US – roughly 13 million tonnes in 2017 – are either dumped into landfill or burned.

If you like clean water and air, and you don’t like forced child labor, then these statistics should concern you. This is where the concept of Sustainable Fashion comes in. Sustainable Fashion is a fairly new term that spawned in response to Fast-Fashion. The growth of Sustainable Fashion mirrors the downfall of fast-fashion. As fast-fashion practices became more scrutinized throughout the 2010’s, the idea of Sustainable Fashion gained popularity. In the last ten years it has evolved from a fringe buzzword to the most influential trend in fashion today. Now you can google “Fast-Fashion Environmental Damage” and find dozens of articles detailing the disturbing impact rapid production and over-consumption habits have on our world.

Along with increased media attention, new technology like social media has also played a huge role in spreading the word of sustainable fashion, pushing the issue into the mainstream. Social media is emerging as an indispensable tool to share brand stories, create communities focused on sustainability, and sell/purchase sustainable products. As awareness grows about fast-fashion and over-consumption, people, especially younger generations, are starting to respond by changing the way they live and shop.

Consequently, the demand for Sustainable Fashion has grown steadily since 2015. An analysis done by The Business Research Company shows the market size for sustainable fashion “reached a value of nearly $6.35 billion in 2019, having increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% since 2015. The market is expected to grow from $6.35 billion in 2019 to $8.25 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%. The growth is mainly due to the growing awareness about using ethical fashion for sustainability.”

We are already starting to see progress as knowledge grows about Sustainable Fashion and the harms of fast-fashion. This graphic from EPA.gov shows how textile waste has already decreased significantly prior to 2015.

textile waste

This is evidence of how important it is to continue to spread the word. Knowledge is power. The more people understand the damage of fast-fashion and over-consumption, the more progress can be made. Sustainable fashion is still new. Many people are unaware of the issue, and while some major brands and new start ups are taking the cause of sustainable fashion seriously, others are unfamiliar, uninterested or unsure how to start.

At Abode Outside this is our mission. We want to be a reliable source for sustainable fashion, but more importantly we want help transform the entire fashion industry into a more sustainable one. We want to be an example of how to do Sustainable Fashion the right way, and we hope to encourage shoppers and retailers to live more sustainably. Continue to educate yourself, spread the good word of Sustainable Fashion and stay tuned for more.

what is sustainable fashion

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Welcome to Abode Outside

Welcome to Abode Outside

Welcome to Abode Outside

COMPANY UPDATES

A Note From The Founder

In 2020 I was (still am) working for a knitwear development company. This particular company offers a unique expertise in knitwear trend and development that most large brands don’t possess in-house. So our primary function is to assist large brands with the creation of their knitwear collections. When the world went into quarantine in 2020, our customers were severely impacted. We work with clothing brands that rely on heavy foot traffic to areas like malls and events like trade shows. People stopped shopping, our customers stopped making orders and our knitwear factories went quiet. Quarantine meant our business was at a standstill and, like many others, the future of our company was up in the air.

You hear this quip a lot in business: “In chaos there is opportunity.” It comes from a Sun Tzu quote and it is is strangely true. When chaos strikes, unexpected and unforeseen doors open offering a path forward. This happened when the world went into quarantine in 2020. Life changed in odd and unexpected ways. Life became digital. Cleanliness became a constant concern. People moved from the cities to the country. People were forced to socialize outdoors. Businesses that were paying close attention to these trends and reacted had a better chance of surviving and even prospering.

This became my focus. What type of unique product could a knitwear company offer during these strange times? I was already reading a dozen news publications and gathering research weekly as part of my job duties. So I focused my research in on how businesses are reacting to this new way of life under quarantine.

Facemasks became a central part of our lives, whether we liked it or not. Everyone was supposed to have one, and none of them looked fun to wear. I set out researching and designing a more comfortable, functional mask. I learned a few things:

  1. Cotton is better at filtering air particles than polyester. 
  2. Multiple layers of fabric are better than one.
  3. A mask needs to fit snugly around the nose and face to be effective.
  4. Single use masks are terrible for the environment. 
  5. Some people really don’t like facemasks, and others prefer a “neck gaiter” style over the “around-the-ear” style.

I used these findings to develop a mask using the same soft, organic yarn that we make our sweaters with. I wanted our mask to be as eco-friendly as possible because that is so crucial in fashion these days.   Our mask needs to fit properly and offer real protection. I also wanted our mask to be more functional than the average mask that hangs around your ears. These masks offer little use outside of a pandemic. I wanted a mask that would be comfortable and effective during the pandemic, but also offer valuable functionality when the pandemic is over.

I designed the original concept and presented it to the team at our knitwear development company. We discussed it internally, and with our manufacturing team. This was happening in March and April of 2020, and at the time the concept was original and seemed viable. We made several samples testing different yarns and design details until we settled on a final product. After about 5 months of research and development, we received our inventory and launched the website around August of 2020. Just in time for the Fall / Holiday season. We called it the Abode Outside Facecover. The brand being “Abode Outside”, and the product the “Abode Outside Facecover”.  The name is inspired by the idea of living closer with nature –  another nod to sustainable fashion and my personal love for the great outdoors.

 

 

We had virtually zero marketing budget when we launched. We relied heavily on word of mouth through family and friends, networking with existing acquaintances, cold calling and a carefully crafted online presence. The response was exciting. Within a month of launch, we received several large orders from local retailers and businesses. Not only that, but one retailer experienced an incredible sell through rate of our facecover compared to their other accessories. To this day, our facecover stands as one of the most sustainable, functional, non-medical masks you can find.

 The success of this product, and the interest from everyone we encountered along the way, motivated us to expand on this concept. We recently launched a hoodie that is equally as innovative and sustainable as our original product. It incorporates unisex sizing because we found an incredible amount of crossover in men and women’s styles and fit. We want our product to be available to everyone.  We have a handful of other products in development, carefully designed this way.  The next product releases are scheduled for July and October.  Stay tuned as we build our collection dedicated to soft, sustainable materials, innovative functionality, and gender neutral sizing. We believe this is the future of the fashion industry.

Take care,

Nate Baller
Abode Outside Co-founder

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Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

OBSERVATIONS

Spring Equinox

March 20th is the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.  What does that mean for you and me?

Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox marks the day the Sun crosses the celestial equator from South to North.  This means more direct sunlight and warmer temperatures for those residing north of the equator.

This is an exciting time for the outdoor industry. As snow melts and lakes unfreeze, outfitters and adventurers across the country transition from snowsports to warm weather pursuits.

Spring Equinox

In the Outdoor Industry the Spring months of April and May are referred to as the “mud season”. As the snow melts it leaves behind muddy hiking trails and forest roads for weeks before they eventually dry up making them easier to use and travel on.  Many state and national campgrounds are still closed during the mud season, but if you are adventurous and resourceful enough to seek out dispersed and BLM campgrounds, this can be a rewarding time to go.  Tourist travel is low until Summer kicks in meaning a better chance you will have the landscape to yourself.

Check out this great post by the Old Farmers Almanac for more details on the Spring Equinox:

https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

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The Abode Hoodie

The Abode Hoodie

The Abode Hoodie

The “Abode Hoodie”

Designed with a built-in facecover, this hoodie is perfect for fishing, hunting, snowsports, and yes, pandemics when necessary.  This hoodie was carefully designed to be eco-friendly and functional so you can wear it comfortably anywhere, anytime.

Check out some of the cool features:

  • Built-in facecover acts as a cowl neck or scarf and can be easily pulled up over the nose for a functioning, effective facecover
  • A drawstring keeps the facecover securely over the nose regardless of size
  • The sleeves feature thumbholes for added warmth and control
  • Made with soft, eco-friendly yarn
  • Exclusive unisex sizing to comfortably fit men and women

RELEASE DATE: FEB 1, 2021

facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie
facecover hoodie