The North Face Ethical Down Update

You know the post we put out a week or so ago about sustainable down sourcing by Webtogs’ brands? Well I have a very positive update from The North Face regarding the development of their ‘Responsible Down Standard’ – namely, after two years in development, it is complete! You can read the full update from TNF themselves here, in their official release.

Now that pre-pilot audits on The North Face’s existing down suppliers have been completed, they are now in a position to roll out the finalised RDS (Responsible Down Standard) across their entire global supply chain. All down in The North Face down products by Autumn/Winter 2015 will comply with the RDS (allowing for time to conduct full audits, and for geese to reach maturity), and what’s more the enforcement of the standard is to be handed over to third-party, non-profit organisation Textile Exchange. They are committed to minimising the harmful effects of the global textile industry, and encouraging the positive ones, for the benefit of textile workers, animals, and all of us.

(more…)

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Take Note World: Rab is Awesome

Last weekend whilst discussing work with my friend Alex, I was surprised to hear that he had never heard of the brand Rab. This was very surprising to me, because of the 50+ brands we sell at Webtogs, Rab ranks second only to The North Face in terms of sales – and even then it’s a close-run thing. It’s also very much the ‘it’ brand in the market at the moment, with a rapidly expanding fan-base and amazing sell-through, not to mention the fact that it’s been around as a flag bearer of the British outdoor kit industry since the 1980s. (more…)

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Coming Soon to Webtogs!

We have been developing some funky stuff recently on the Website, and we have been remiss in telling you just what is going on that’s new at Webtogs.co.uk Our resident geek, Coda, has just made live a new coming soon section. Here you can see all the gear that we have coming in to us even before we actually receive it! It will let you have a look at some of the new tents, sleeping bags and clothing coming in and also check out the stats, data, photos and rough dates of when they are due in.

To check out all the new gear heading our way, simply click on the coming soon link that you can access from the home page at the bottom of our left hand navigation menu, everything that is not yet in is listed before you with a shiny blue “coming soon” icon at the top. You can also sign up with your email so we’ll tell you when they have come in through the Warehouse door. Simply click on the product that you fancy, and click the unmissable “Email me when in stock button” – we’ll keep you posted.

Coming soon

You will also see these items if you search specifically on the site – although you won’t see any coming soon items when you navigate through the main navigation menu.

We hope you like this, and get as excited as we are about all the shiny new gear we have coming up!

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Four years is too long a time to not share a path with the ones you love.

I’ve done something I haven’t done for several years this week. I walked in the hills with my wife. Doesn’t sound like much does it, but when you factor in that our eldest is now 3, thats nearly 4 years since we have been for a decent walk together, and by that I mean something over 2 miles without blackmailing / cajoling / carrying a tiny guy along as well. It’s been such a long time, it felt a little strange to start off with, but the silence soon lost it’s edge and became the comfortable companionship I had missed. I’m not sure what it is, but hill walking and car journeys always seem to be the easiest places to talk to people. The quality of conversation that you get on the path or the front seat of a long trip, seem to be head and shoulders above the conversations we normally try and fit in to our busy lives. Not having anywhere to go except the journey, the lack of internet, demands of work and everyday life result in communication that is to be cherished.

towards Strines resevoir

The plan wasn’t always for a wander, we woke up at Cath’s folks house and decided when looking at the heavy hoar frost that it would be a stunning day for a wander. Persuading Grandma and Grandpa was done first thing, and the boys didn’t even turn round as we bolted out the door. We needed a gentle, swift wander as we didn’t want to leave the boys all day, so we headed on over to Cutthroat bridge, just up from Ladybower reservoir to park up. We were heading off to a bit of the Peaks I had not been too before, up to Strines reservoir, before heading across to an old favourite, blackhole moor and down to Derwent edge.

salt cellar

derwent edge

It’s been a while since I have been in the hills with Cath, so Monday was a bit of a dreamy day, my memories now I am back at the PC is of the chuckle of many grouse, trying to break through ice sheets whilst giggling, the silent movement of mist and cloud across the heather, and the beauty & majesty of Peak district gritstone. We’ve just been looking at some of the photos we have taken, and it’s lovely to share a smile and memories we have had together again of the hills. Time to plan some more dates, it’s been too long.

in to the mist

icebreaker

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It’s not just our waist sizes expanding…..

So here we are, the dawn of a new age, well the dawn of a new warehouse anyway. After my last blog , we finally have our new warehouse up and running.

The new roller door gets fitted.
 

Nearly Built
 

The nice strong men have bashed a hole in our old warehouse and in to our new warehouse, so all we have to do now is to play in the new warehouse until we fill it with lots of lovely things for you and make our range better than ever before.

In the meantime, we had several important things to do, namely Roller blading around the warehouse in a roller dico stylee, & playing football with my son Ifor.

Warehouse football
 

What a lotta space to run around in....
Finally we had the inter-webtogs all outdoor people badminton championship. I may be biased but I think I won more than anyone else. Lucy had to invite Ifor in (2.5 years old and growing faster than a speeding bullet) to find someone to beat so she’s got a bit grumpy at the moment.

Warehouse badders championship.
 

Any other ideas for what we could do in there before the gear rolls in?

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Shiny new Warehouse

There has been a fair amount of shaking going on at Webtogs HQ right now, so much so that it feels like we are working on the bridge of the Starship enterprise. The reason for this, is our shiny new warehouse is getting built just behind us. The diggers have been laying the concrete foundations last week and this week the steels went up behind us.

New Warehouse
It’s been incredible to watch just how quickly it has gone up, it has literally been two weeks for them to get to the stage above us in the photgraph. We can’t wait for the new warehouse to come online, especially our warehouse manager Sue, as things are a tad tight in the current one.

We’ll keep you posted as we progress……

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Review Of The Noughties – 10 years of highlights, Part 2 2005-2009

As we reach the end of the Noughties we thought it was time to take a look back over the last decade and reminisce. It’s been a strange ten years when not a lot seems to have happened at first glance, but take a closer look and it’s been eventful, innovative and a decade to remember.

2005:    The year continued 2004’s new emphasis on lightweight kit along with introducing some new classics like the Berghaus Bioflex back system, now in its second generation with the C7 Pro rucksack. Mountain Equipment entered the tent market with its Hielo 2, Torres and Helium tents whilst Brasher brought us pink boots with the Colima GTX. Helly Hanson celebrated 25 years of their Lifa technology for base layers as Merino Wool products started to make a noticeable appearance with companies like Smartwool and Icebreaker exporting to a wider world.

After over 50 years we got a new Countryside Code, complete with Wallace and Grommit style adverts, The YHA celebrated 75 years, whilst the New Forest became England’s latest National Park. The outdoor world lost legendary climber Anderl Heckmair at the age of 98. Over a 4 day period in the summer of 1938 Heckmair played a pivotal role in the first successful ascent of the Eiger’s North Face with Heinrich Harrer, Ludwig Vorg and Fritz Kasparek. Eric Langmuir, author of the definitive guide on mountain leadership also died at the age of 74.  Overseas the big news was a spectacular year in the Himalayas with records tumbling. Annabelle Bond set records in the 7 Summits callenge, Jake Meyer becoming the youngest Brit to ascend Everest and Alan Hinkes completing the 14 8000m summits with his ascent of Kanhchenjunka.

alan hinkes_Small

Alan Hinkes became the first British mountaineer to complete the ascent of all 14 8000m peaks

2006:    The classic Scarpa Manta got an overhaul with a new ankle flex design, and Rab brought us the Phantom. Elsewhere the focus was still on reducing the grams as pack weights tumbled and ultra lightweight waterproofs were everywhere. Soft shell continued to build its popularity with Haglofs amongst those spearheading new designs.

Sheffield saw its first Adventure Film Festival, in a move that was to see Sheffield become a major outdoor centre over the next few years, with the Kendal Mountain Film Festival dropping the “Film” as it added a book and arts festival. Overseas the British Army made an impact despite ultimately failing in their attempt on the dangerous West Ridge of Everest. Their groundbreaking website, live transmissons and TV adverts cleaned up at the global Campaign Digital Awards as the new benchmark for expedition websites.

2007:   The year of Pro Shell. Gore-Tex’s new fabric took the outdoor world by storm as Gore revamped their range of breathable membrames. The Haglofs Spitz made its first appearance and soon gained an enviable reputation whilst Berghaus became the first British manufacturer to use recycled Polartec as the outdoor world started taking notice of environmental issues.

By 2007 GPS had become both big business and reliable and accurate enough to become mainstream outdoor kit. Digital mapping was starting to make the move from CD and DVD to online, paving the way for digital releases in the next decade. YHA closures over recent years were being replaced by independent hostels and bunkhouses, and abroad China declared it’s intention of building a highway to Everest base camp.

2008:   2008 started off with the tragic news of the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, legendary explorer, mountaineer, and first to climb Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay. Sustrans won the People’s £50 Million Lottery Contest for an inspiring prgram of connected cycleways across the length and breadth of Britain and camping took on greater popularity with the growth of music festivals. Even 10 Downing Street saw the appeal of the outdoors with a reception in “Celebration of Britaish Mountaineering” for the BMC.

On the gear front Primaloft had a revamp boosting insulation by 15% and The North Face started making new fabric from bamboo. Patagonia launched the worlds first totally recycled and recyclable range of clothing, along with branching out into footwear and the world started to catch up with Jetboil in building super-efficient stoves for the 21st Century. Marmot introduced a new 4 way stretch fabric with a membrame laminate called Membrain along with the Troll Wall Pro Shell designed for use over a fleece or soft shell. To top off developments Keen, having made a name for themselves in spectacular fashion with their sandal range, diversified with the launch of their first True 3 Season Boot”

2009: Well it’s not over till the Fat Lady Sings…..presumably Auld Lang Syne…..so this will have to wait till womorrow.

Happy New Year, and may your path always be smooth and your weather fair for 2010. Have a great one, from all at Webtogs, and see you in a new decade :)

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