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Field Notes: Nature, Rinse, Repeat
In a world where a fierce fight against a global pandemic and “forest bathing” has become the norm, the only thing any shopper needs is utilitarian outdoor gear, and access to nature.

A reinvigorated focus on nature means new equipment — and during COVID-19, that means a face mask that checks all the boxes. Outerwear company Caalo created a mask that is completely reusable, filter-ready, sustainable, adjustable and features ear loops integrated with a neck strap, so it stays put while trekking around but can be easily accessed for use.

Chelsea Claridge, founder and creative director at Caalo, told WWD, “After spending our summer quarantined in New York we, like most people, tried our fair share of different mask designs. We had a really hard time finding a mask that was completely reusable (including filter), sustainable, adjustable so it fits different face shapes and had a filter that had a high MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value for air quality), so we decided to make our own.”

And a multifaceted mask may be requisite in the era of lockdowns and social distancing as more and more consumers head outdoors, according to folks at the Global Wellness Summit. In fact, GWS trend forecasters “have long been touting the wellness benefits of nature,” and said were the first to identify “forest bathing” as a key wellness trend years ago. And now, the need for nature has grown considerably, and it follows that equipment sales have boosted, too.

“RV sales are way up. Sales of bikes and hiking and camping gear are through the roof. And, with everyone spending more time at home, there’s a marked movement to bring the indoors outside, creating new outdoor spaces that are comfy and cozy and enable social distancing,” GWS said. Even pre-pandemic, GWS trend forecasters said doctors would eventually “prescribe nature” as medicine. “Put down the Prozac and pick up your walking shoes,” they said.

But during the winter, pick up your skies – and don’t forget your Snüx, a ski boot cover that heats your feet on the slopes. The Snüx ski boot cover heats without batteries and is powered by Cozytech, an advanced thermal garment technology developed using a nanomembrane fiber that delivers heat-generating qualities and adaptive insulation, according to the brand.

Benjamin Price, founder and chief executive officer at Snüx, told WWD, “We are providing skiers with advanced sustained warmth on the mountain through the power of innovative material sciences. All presented in a sleek garment — giving a polished look to traditionally clunky ski boots.”
Words by Tracey Meyers

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