Surveys by Publications:
Footwear Insight Textile Insight Outdoor Insight
Consumer Survey
Consumer Q&A 1
Consumer Q&A 2

Consumers Cast Their Votes

This election season, we asked consumers to cast their vote… about outdoor brands, retailers, technologies, trends, gamechangers and more. As brands and retailers become more bold in stating their political stances, we asked consumers how they felt about political branding. Sixty-percent of respondents told us they approve of brands and retailers taking a stand on political issues. And 52 percent said the political stance of a brand or retailer has impacted their purchasing decisions. With so much buzz about sustainability, we also inquired about how consumers are impacted by their eco-consciousness. Eighty-six percent reported that they donate their winter jackets when the jackets reach the end of their lifecycles. Fifty-eight percent said they are buying more active apparel made with natural fibers, in part due to ocean plastics pollution being a growing concern. The panel consisted of 168 active, athletic men and woman who live in the U.S, between the ages of 18 and 50.
As weather patterns shift, do you change your workout wardrobe seasonally or buy product that features “year-round” wearability?
As functional fabrics become fashionable and fashion becomes more casual, has your everyday dress code incorporated more fitness wear compared to years past?
Do you wear wool in the summer?
Have you bought any apparel or footwear in the past year that features “temperature regulating” performance?
What performance feature(s) in your apparel or footwear do you rely on no matter what the weather?

Consumers Say ...

“A good fit for apparel and footwear is always a must. For athletic footwear, good breathability is always a must no matter the weather. For apparel, breathability and wicking functions are important for all four seasons. If it’s a cold weather garment I want it to be able to breathe and wick when I heat up, but I also want it to have some insulation properties.” Male / 32

“Sweat wicking. Good grip on shoes. Comfort, always.” Female / 28

With ocean plastics pollution a growing concern, are you buying more active apparel made with natural fibers?
Is all the talk about tariffs and higher prices on products made outside the U.S. impacting your purchasing decisions?

Do you approve of brands or retailers taking a stand on political issues?

YES / 60%

Businesses are run by people who have opinions and I believe if a consumer disagrees with an opinion then they can spend their money elsewhere. Nike has been especially visible lately and I honesty doubt their brand will suffer for it. Male / 27

It doesn’t matter to me. But I believe it’s all ultimately about publicity and marketing more than a great principled stand. Male / 34

Opinions are everywhere. Female / 35

I think you should always stand up for what you believe is right, even if that means you lose some business. Female / 31

I was once told, “How you spend your money is more important than how you vote” and I believe it. Female / 28

Sure, I’m ok if they make a stand on the environment, etc., but not on presidential candidates or political parties — that would be a turn off.  Female / 34

It shows if they have good or bad values. Female / 18

As a company they are entitled to endorse any issue they see fit. It would be up to the consumer to decide if they wish to continue to do business with them.
Male / 28

I think businesses are free to express their opinions. It doesn’t bother me personally. They know when they do that it may affect their business in the long run. Female / 36

I don’t see why free speech would be limited to individuals. I wouldn’t necessarily buy something because I have the same political stance but on the other hand, I would stop myself from buying something I want if I don’t agree with that company’s stance. Female / 33

I’ve seen multiple brands in the outdoor industry take a stand for/against issues that impact the environment, and essentially impact their industry. These political stances are relevant to the brands’ success and the brands’ consumer, so I have no problem with them taking a stance in that instance. Male / 32

If it’s a stand I support. In today’s society where corporations are people and people have no voice, it’s almost incumbent for corporations to take a position to support what is right for the environment, human rights, etc. Male / 34

I like when they agree with my beliefs.
Female / 28

I’m much more apt to purchase from a company that aligns with my values. Brands and corporations have huge power and I like to see that power being used for good. Male / 35

I don’t necessarily have to agree with their stance, but I do approve of them taking a stand of their own. Female / 40

Yes, it helps me to decide which brands I will invest my resources in. Female / 49

I like when brands take a stand on things that they feel are important — they have a platform and if they are willing to potentially lose (or gain!) by it, more power to them. Female / 31

It depends on the relevance of that stance to the company’s business and mission (e.g., a mountaineering/outdoor manufacturer taking a stand on environmental issues makes sense; other stances that appear purely political in nature are more suspect). Male / 45

Brands are like people with their own perspectives. Male / 45

Standing up for the environment, fair trade, and human equality/basic human rights is important. Male / 34

NO / 40%

Doesn’t change what that brand is. And how great their products are. Female / 27

I refuse to purchase items from politically affiliated companies, the world is saturated with politics. Female / 33

Why they want to publicly communicate their beliefs to target a certain group of people is beyond me. If you have a good product I’m going to buy it. If you are going to preach to me about your political views, I’m going to ignore it. I just want the product I like, not anyone’s opinions. Female / 27

I think political stances are personal and don’t need to be brought up as a retailer. Female / 22

I’ve stopped buying from several brands because of their aggressive political stances. I don’t need a lecture with my gym shorts. Male / 50

I don’t think a brand should take sides in an issue. I want their opinion on retail items, not politics. Male / 28

They sell something. No need to be political about it. Male / 31

No need to alienate customers. I don’t need brands to be an authority in politics. Female / 39

I don’t care what brands or retailers think, just make good stuff and stay out of it.  Female / 47

Politics has nothing to do with clothes. Female / 32

I’m ok as long as they agree with me! Female / 42

Keep politics out of my fashion. Female / 37

Unless it’s an issue of sustainability, I do not want to hear about political issues from brands and retailers. Male / 41


Does a brand or retailer’s political stance impact whether
or not you purchase their products or shop their stores?

YES / 52%

Yes, if I don’t agree with who they support I won’t shop there. Female / 23

Brands such as Nike taking a stance that speaks to my political values may not sway me to purchase their products, however if their stance was against mine, I probably would not purchase their products. Female / 27

Brands should focus on quality and performance, not politics that don’t have any association to the products. Female / 33

If their beliefs are similar to mine, I’m more likely to buy. Male / 27

If they promote something I don’t agree with I may shop there less. I would not participate in calls for boycotts etc. though. Male / 41

Because I have my opinion like other people have their own. I am not buying products to have other people’s opinions shoved down my throat. Female / 45

If they make a stand on the environment, etc., I will be inclined to support them.  If they make a stand on presidential candidates or political parties — that would be a turn off and I wouldn’t shop there. Female / 34

Sometimes. If there is an equally good product sold by a brand I feel
like is making a more positive impact on the world — politically, environmentally, etc. — I’ll buy it. Male / 36

Definitely. I will even spend a little more if I know that they give back to a good cause or are standing up for something I believe in. Female / 40

Yes. Brands that take a political stance alienate half of their customer base. Female / 43

I really appreciate brands and retailers that stay out of politics. I don’t need brands to alienate potential customers and try to separate the population more. Female / 39

While I may not necessarily purchase something specifically because of a political stand, I’ll absolutely avoid doing business with a company that makes it known they are against what I am. On multiple occasions I have walked out of a store empty-handed because the item(s) I was shopping for had branding/messaging/coloring that specifically supported causes I do not. Male / 34

Only in extreme scenarios, like if it’s something I passionately do or do not support. If I only agree or disagree a little, it doesn’t affect my purchases. Female / 31

Yes. With a nearly unlimited number of brands in each category there is bound to be one that you both like and can support. Male  / 33

NO / 48%

Doesn’t change how good the products are. Female / 27

I buy based on what I need. I vote based on what I know. Female / 39

At this point it does not affect my purchases, but if I become annoyed or feel strongly against the brand’s opinion, I may change my mind. Female / 48

I focus on the product rather than someone’s personal thoughts. Female / 22

If they have a good product and it benefits me, I’m not going to not buy it. If a company has a horrible product and they go on talking about politics and targeting a certain group for attention, I am still not going to buy it. Female / 27

Make a good product. I will hear your opinions but I’m more impressed if you want to hear mine. I will avoid your product if it forces me to take a side or forces me to make my choice of clothing mean something more than a choice of clothing. Female / 37

I do not let politics affect my purchasing decisions. Quality products drive what I purchase. Male / 37

It depends on the stance or cause. I’m not avoiding Nike for instance but I [will] not buy it right now either. Female / 49

If I agree with it, then it makes me love them more.  If I don’t agree with it, then I just ignore it and buy the product I like. Female / 31

I disagree with Nike’s Kaepernick ad campaign, but I won’t burn my Nike gear. I will also buy Nike in the future if it’s a good price and a needed product. However, if all factors are the same between two competing products, I’ll chose the non-Nike one. I think the ad campaign was needlessly antagonizing. Why do that? Female / 23

If the company’s leadership publicly or privately supports a cause, that’s for them to decide. It has little impact on me and my decisions. Male / 33