The Outdoor Industry is BIG. So is sustainability.

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We spoke at a conference on sustainability in the outdoor industry, hosted by the Outdoor Industry Association and SIMA. Sharing the stage with us were Mark Price, CEO of Firewire Surfboards, and Big Tony Alvarez, VP of Global Supply Chain at Volcom.

This panel is part of the surf industry and the outdoor industry starting to work more closely together. Particularly on sustainability. The Sustainability Working Group at OIA has been developing sustainability tools for many years with big companies like Patagonia, REI, The North Face, and many others.

We’re working on a closer partnership with the Sustainability Working Group, because our work is very similar. They are co-developing the Higg Index, with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The Higg Index helps outdoor industry companies measure and reduce their environmental impact, in a similar manner to the ECOBOARD Project.

Why is this interesting? We didn’t realize just how much impact the Outdoor Industry has on the USA. It’s a very large industry, producing $887 billion dollars of economic activity each year and 7.9 million American jobs. It’s almost as large as the entire financial industry.

Economic impact of the Outdoor Industry on the USA

Economic impact of the Outdoor Industry on California