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Letters From the Content Writer—A Trip the Duluth

One Content Writer roaming the streets of the fair city of Duluth. What a robust republic did I find. 

One Content Writer roaming the streets of the fair city of Duluth. What a robust republic did I find. 

 

Venturing North

            As a content writer, I often times accomplish my best work in a coffee shop or in the porch of my home with the lake shimmering in the distance. For the production team at Neverest Outfitters, their best work originates from the NRO shop in Duluth, Minnesota. While we find ourselves comfortable in these places, the inspiration we draw from them gives us that added creative edge we need.

A Breathtaking View Time & Again

            Perhaps it’s just that Neverest does best in a shop we can call our own, but I think the team draws an added amount of inspiration from the Great Lake at it’s doorstep. Although I’ve never been to the shop, I would not consider myself a stranger to Duluth. Yet, even then, that first glimpse of Lake Superior as you drive down into the city still takes my breath away.  Even though the sight makes me feel small, I don’t find that such a bad thing. I believe that while the Lake makes you feel small, it simultaneously inspires a sense of humility because it makes you feel small.

Letting "I" & "Me" Get the Best of Us

            All too often, we get the feeling that we, as individuals, stand at the center of the universe and that we’re the most important person around. We think too much in terms of “I” and “me” rather than considering the wellbeing of those beyond ourselves or of the planet we call home. We don’t necessarily intend to do this. Often times, it occurs on the subconscious level, but if we challenge ourselves to think for a moment about how our minds work in this way, it does not take long for us to realize how often we do it. We might find this surprising, or even concerning and embarrassing. And, while we can’t always help feeling those emotions, we should not let those feelings rule us. When we feel them tugging at us, we resolve to do better, whether that’s by creating more awareness in our lives or by taking steps to consider the world beyond ourselves in a more comprehensive way.

Feeling Small Is Good Once & A While

            With the Great Lake reminding me of that, I rode into Duluth knowing I’m small but that my actions, as an individual, matter in the grander scheme of things. Neverest Outfitters does not rank among the larger clothing and outdoor companies, but our actions matter nonetheless. We strive to consider the needs of the planet by adopting sustainable practices such as using upcycled leather and American made canvas and brass fittings for our products. In doing so, we create goods that last longer, which lessens the waste produced and the need for more frequent consumption. By doing things on a local level, we help provide jobs in Minnesota and create less of a need for shipping our products over long distances.  While we admit those are small steps towards a sustainable future, we find the most success in being a company that looks beyond just its own well being and considers the health of the planet and those who live on it.

The Beginning of Something New

            The world is changing. I don’t think that fifty or even twenty years ago I would have entered a workspace quite like the one occupied by Neverest Outfitters. Yes, obviously, we’ve developed cell phones and smaller computers within that time, but we’ve also developed the ethic within that time that companies that create true value for society must do what they can to minimize their impact on the environment, provide for local communities, and create things that last. I found that idea becoming a reality in Duluth and it’s my great privilege to work with the team that makes it happen in a small way.

 

 

 

 

The Road to Inspiration—Where dreams reach their peak

Neverest in the Swiss Alps

Mountains possess a way of inspiring the minds of individuals with their sheer immensity and grandeur. While many mountains make those who stand amongst them feel rather small; they still have a way of fostering some truly large ideas.  Rather than crushing these dreams, ideas, and ambitions, mountains inspire those who observe their gigantic beauty with a sense of determination that rivals the mountains themselves in its enormity.

A New Backpack Begins Its Adventure

            While their idea for a heavier hiking pack originated in their native Minnesota, it came to life amongst the edelweiss flowers and staggering peaks of the Swiss Alps.  With the historic north face (Nordwand) of Eiger as their witness, Mary and Ian of Neverest Outfitters took some of the first few steps with their newest backpack.  These steps represented a journey from a modest idea to a reality for Mary and Ian. They designed their backpack with the intent of bringing it to life in the Alps where they could test and refine it so as to have it ready for production and sale once they return back home to Minnesota later this summer. To them, bringing their hiking pack to the Alps resembled releasing a rare creature back into its natural habitat.

Sneak Peak at the New Goods

            While we must refrain from sharing with you all of our new pack’s details for now, we can give you a glimpse of what you’ll be able to find in our online store this fall.  Larger than any backpack we’ve designed yet, the pack contains greater carrying capacity for longer-range hiking and camping trips like the one Mary and Ian currently find themselves on in the Alps. Inspired from the voyageur du bois tradition of northern Minnesota, the newest hiking pack from Neverest Outfitters includes modern innovations crafted by Mary and Ian that include quick release leather straps for easy access and padded waxed canvas shoulder straps for additional comfort.  As Ian describes them, “Gone are the days of cotton straps. Our customers’ shoulders deserve better.”  Adding to the bag’s overall durability, Ian and Mary worked a leather bottom into the design of the bag as well for extra assurance.

New Pack, Same Commitment to Sustainability

            Once Mary and Ian return home from testing their newest design in the Alps, you can count on our continued commitment at Neverest Outfitters to craft our newest backpack using sustainable means that include utilizing upcycled leather and other materials, like waxed canvas and brass fittings, manufactured by American companies. Often times, the greatest journeys end up as those taken while following our dreams.  We believe that, for those journeys, it’s best to travel with a companion. While Mary and Ian have each other for their own current adventure, they also have a companion in their newest backpack, which we look forward to making available soon for other individuals ready to journey after their own dreams or anywhere else life may take them.

 

"The first days looking upon the north face of the Eiger had me filled with a sense of nostalgia. It was liking looking back in time.. to a place where life was life, simple. Eat, sleep, work, repeat. You didn't have to worry about college or making sure you had gas to get from A to B... it was just pure living."

-Ian Scherber

 

 

The Summer Expedition: Education Vacation

The Best Kind of Summer School—Traveling Europe

            Normally summer school comes with a relatively dismal connotation.  No one wants to go to summer school.  You try and avoid it if you can and do all in your power to keep that nightmare from manifesting itself into reality.  Although our founders, Ian and Mary, plan on doing some serious learning this summer, they don’t classify how they’ll be spending their time as summer school.  To them, their summer represents an opportunity to continue their education in craftsmanship and business in the best way possible—though travel, and not just anywhere.  Europe.

 

Americans In England—Birthplace of Waxed Canvas

            In their quest to learn about the garment industry from artisans and entrepreneurs like themselves and reconnect with their craftsmen roots, Ian and Mary set sail for a grand new adventure that will lead them to several European destinations. Our two adventurers plan to first explore and learn what they can from The British Millerain Company in Lancashire, England.  Established in 1880, The British Millerain Company got its start producing some of the first variants of the waxed cotton that the waxed canvas we use descends from.  Ian and Mary hope to learn what they can here from those who have been in business and perfected the art of waxed canvas for longer than any one.

 

Onward to Spain—Exploring the Tradition of Leatherworking

            After spending some time in Paris, France, Ian and Mary will continue their expedition in Europe with some visits to the workshops of leather workers in Spain—a land famed throughout the centuries for its rich tradition in working fine leather.  We appreciate the durability and classic appeal of leather and, for these reasons, we incorporate it into many of our products, but we realize that we can always stand to learn a thing or two about leather working and what goes into infusing it with the upmost sense of quality. For many Spanish leather-workers, crafting superior leather represents more than just a way to put food on the table.  It symbolizes a direct connection to both tradition and an identity as an artisan whose attention to detail and their craft defines the work they do. 

 

We’ll Stay in Touch

            For one month this summer, Ian and Mary’s travels will take them far and wide, which means they’ll have to put production on hold for that time in the name of greater learning.  Don’t worry though! They’ll arrive home with more knowledge and experiences to renew production with increased passion and dedication. As for the online store, we will be able to ship some items off while others might require you to wait around until Ian and Mary return home.  In the mean time, look for new blog entries each week to keep up on them and their travels.  We invite you to check out our Instagram as well. We promise to stay in touch! 

 

Putting Our Inspiration to Work

            Although many benefits exist to traveling, we find an added sense of fortune in being able to test our products in some new environments—like the European Alps—in order to develop and refine future products with added quality and dependability as soon as Mary and Ian return home to resume business.  Europe will prove both the testing ground for Neverest’s products and the source of inspiration for a new line of backpacking and traveling goods designed for adventurers with an itch to explore.

 

Cheerio, au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, and adiós! See you soon and talk to you sooner!

 

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Hooray for Earth Day—Season’s Greetings From Neverest Outfitters

A Wondrous Holiday—Tis the Season

            It’s been said that Earth Day is the most wonderful time of the year. Perhaps that’s just what we say around Neverest Outfitters, but we can guess others feel the same.  Regardless, we can safely say that we wouldn’t be anywhere without this beautiful planet we live on.  Whether it’s the pack on your back, the air you breathe, the food you eat, the wildlife you enjoy, or water you drink—it all comes from the bounty of the earth. 

Our Place In The world

            As human beings and individuals, we must realize that we don’t just live here.  We must consider ourselves as living parts of a global ecosystem.  The decisions we make, to some degree, influence the health of the entire planet and the folks we share it with. Often times, we fail to consider just how we can fit into our world ecosystem in a non-harmful way.  We knowingly and unknowingly abuse the planet we call home and, whether we realize it or not, it hurts us all.  

The Hope for finding Balance

            Despite human abuse of the earth, hope remains for us to take care of it. At Neverest Outfitters, we believe each individual can contribute to the maintenance and health of the planet in how we choose to spend our money. Each time you spend money buying the apple produced without chemicals, the energy efficient light bulb, or the farm-fresh chicken eggs from your local farmer’s market, you use your dollars to vote for the continuation and spread of sustainable business that keeps the health of the earth and its people in mind.

Business as a Catalyst for Change

            As mentioned above, we at Neverest Outfitters believe that business contains the potential to create serious change through how individuals and companies choose to spend their money.  For that reason, we provide our customers with the option of buying domestically produced, handcrafted goods that we constructed using sustainable means.  Supporting Neverest in any way, whether you buy one of our packs or key chains, follow us on Instagram, or tell a friend about our commitment to sustainability, means that you choose as an individual to support and promote sustainable business.

Giving Back to the Planet We Owe It All to: Our Mission

            By utilizing deadstock and upcycled material that would otherwise be wasted and by manufacturing long-lasting goods on a domestic basis, Neverest Outfitters provides more sustainable ways to consume.  However, our mission extends beyond that.  In the future, Neverest Outfitters aims to give back to the planet we owe it all to by using part of our profit to fund efforts that work towards benefiting the environment. 

Plans for the Future

            Funding habitat restoration and reconstruction, dam removal to restore trout runs and watersheds, and other ventures that care for the environment will help Neverest make a lasting impact beyond just customer satisfaction with our goods.  While our customers presently make an effort to minimize their negative impact on the planet by purchasing our goods, their future support will leave a new impact—a positive one—as part of their money from each sale we earn will go towards restoring the balance between humans and Mother Earth.

What We Can All Do

            Yeah, it’s true—humans have already done much to hurt the planet we live in.  We won’t lie to you. The damage will leave some deep scars but we believe in the tenacity of the earth and the people who call it home.  We hope that today, on Earth Day, you make a small difference in any way you can to help our planet, whether it’s picking up a piece of trash, buying that locally grown organic apple, planting a tree, or just getting outside and marveling at the splendid perfection of nature.  All that goes a long way in the end.

The Small Things Add Up

            In time, those small things usually always add up.  If you think saving the world is hopeless, think again.  Realize you’re not alone and that other folks are here to help.  Many movements in the history of this country have started off small, misunderstood, and overlooked. However, over time, many have grown to change minds, history, and everyday life.  All those movements began with an idea—that human individuals could make positive changes in the world if they stand together and dare to try despite the odds.

 

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

The Waning of Winter & the Waxing of Spring

A Craftsman's Dream

            For many individuals at Neverest, the introduction of goods constructed with waxed canvas marks somewhat of a dream come true.  You might say to yourself that waxed canvas is pretty strange to dream about.  We can hardly disagree with you, but that’s been our dream nonetheless. 

            Perhaps the incorporation of waxed canvas into our spring line is more of the realization of an aspiration rather than just a dream come true.  At Neverest Outfitters, we aspire to a higher grade of craftsmanship, which means paying extra attention to each stitch by crafting our products by hand.  But, that higher commitment to quality also means that we use lasting materials in our products—waxed canvas is all part of that. 

History of Waxed Canvas

            Originally developed and used for the sails for some of the fastest trading vessels that plied the ocean waters of the 1800’s, waxed canvas proved itself early on in some tough conditions.  The tenacity, durability, and practicality displayed by waxed canvas soon brought it inland and off of tea skippers where adventurers and weekend warrior alike put it to use in their expeditions and excursions across charted and uncharted wildernesses alike. These individuals trusted it to keep them safe, warm, and dry in conditions they could hardly expect and rarely predict and so do we. 

Waxed Canvas Meets Neverest 

            We can’t predict where your adventures will take you, but we’d prefer you go on them prepared knowing you have something like a wax canvas backpack to depend on.  The small things in life, like keeping your books or kit warm, make all the difference.  For that reason, we chose to incorporate waxed canvas into our Spring Collection knowing that the smallest things contain a sense of immensity in the difference they make. 

            As mentioned before, the tenacity, durability, and practicality of waxed canvas made it an instant favorite and a classic for adventurers throughout the ages.  We find excitement in sharing in that classic tradition and we look forward to sharing in it with others.

Spring consistently brings change with it year after year and this is no exception.