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Hi-Tec win outdoor footwear brand of the year award

Earlier this week at the UK Footwear awards Hi-Tec picked up the converted outdoor footwear brand of the year. The  awards which are in their second year were held on Monday in the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham.


Hi-Tec picked up the award for outdoor footwear brand of the year with Camel Active being highly commended. Hi-Tec were also highly commended in the sports footwear award of the year

Ian Cameron who is the UK Managing Director accepted the award  “On behalf of everyone at Hi-Tec I would like to thank all our supporters for voting for us. We are all extremely proud to be awarded such a fantastic accolade and will continue to push boundaries in the Outdoor Footwear Industry to ensure we are making the best footwear for our consumers!”

For a full list of winners head over to the results page on the Footwear Industry Awards website.

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Environmental and ethical outdoor gear report

Ethical Consumer has published a special Outdoor Gear report which details the environmental and ethical policies of more than 60 leading outdoor companies. The 62 page report covers fleeces, waterproof coats, walking boots, rucksacks, tents and sleeping bags, and concludes that almost all the companies covered have inadequate environmental and ethical reporting policies.

On the up side, the report includes “Best Buys” for each of the six products, as well as all the stories behind the ratings of the companies.

If you want to read the full report you can download it from the Ethical Consumer website for £3.

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Blacks and Sports Direct saga continues

The planned takeover of Blacks by Sports Direct has taken another turn with Sport Direct owner Mike Ashley claiming Blacks had broken takeover rules.

Ashley, the Chairman of Newcastle United, already owns 28.5% of Blacks and was planning to take over the company, a move that seemed to be scuppered by Black’s suppliers who were reluctant to see the Chesterfield based company take control of Blacks.

The claim is that Blacks leaked the names of suppliers who had opposed the takeover and would pull out if Sports Direct succeeds.

The story continues….

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Live from the Outdoors Show 2010

I’ve managed to find a connection and a place to sit down at the NEC in Birmingham for a quick blog live from the Outdoors Show 2010. It was really busy getting into the show this morning with queuing traffic on the M42, the show was filling up by the time we entered at 10.

We managed to catch some of Ben Fogel and James Cracknell’s talk at the main stage and also a fashion show later one which included a free for all goodie give away, photos later tomorrow!

There was plently of stalls to look at, the slack lining stand had a lot of attention as did the climbing competition section as two climbers went head to head.

Anyway, time to look around more with an update later!

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5 Must Do’s at the 2010 Outdoors Show

James Cracknell
Image by Shiny Sixpence via Flickr

Today was the first day of the 2010 Outdoors Show at the NEC Birmingham. The show lasts for 3 days and we’ll be going down tomorrow. There’s lots to do at the event here’s my top 5 must do’s at the show.

  1. Explore the tent city
    The Yeoman’s tent city  is a massive area with the latest tents all set up. It’s a great way to see tents and judge sizes rather than reading descriptions online.
  2. Wilderness Camp
    The Wilderness Camp is hosted by the Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine, it’s a great place to pick up some practical tips you can use on your next adventure. There are four areas, Desert, Arctic, Woodland and the Wilderness stage.
  3. Climbing walls
    There’s a few different climbing walls at this years event, last year 5 in total. You won’t need any gear but come in some comfortable clothing and for the girls… no skirts.
  4. Ben Fogle & James Cracknell talk
    If you caught the TV show about Ben Fogle’s and James Cracknell’s arctic trek then you’ll want to attend one of the two talks on Saturday. The afternoon show is sold out but there is space for the morning talk.
  5. Zip Wire
    Last but not least the Zip Wire takes you from one side of the hall to the other. Head over to the Cumbria Tourism stand to start your decent.

If you heading down to the NEC in Birmingham this weekend make sure you attend / attempt / see some of the above!

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Suppliers to scupper Sports Direct deal for Blacks

Suppliers to outdoors retailer Blacks are set to boycott a deal for Sports Direct to buy out Blacks.

Sports Direct current hold 28% of shares in Blacks and may be looking to take control. Suppliers are worried after a similar deal that bought out Field & Treck saw a drop in turnover of £5 million in the first year.

Sports Direct based near to Chesterfield are owned by Newcastle United chairman Mike Ashley. The boycott may now force Blacks to look elsewhere for investment.