In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pond. It took a few thousand years but now he can livestream the moment in his activewear.
Activewear. If there ever was an example of over-civilised people it's the wearing of fitness attire at a café. Bear with me but I think this should be encouraged.
My hypothesis, which I'm going to just throw out there, is that social media and activewear have brought about a modern return to the mountains.
Here's the timeline:
- Late 1990s - Privately, tight gym clothing has survived the grunge era
- 2000s - Cyclists stand at cafés supping lattes (I'm told standing was necessary because of bike seat trauma. Apparently the bulge was mostly swelling)
- 2010s - Boom! Activewear goes mainstream, hits the high street, floods Facebook then finds its home on Instagram
- 2020s - Instagramming tight pants at cafés is still boring... Need a better background...
Queue the outdoors
With a little help from covid and a splash of yoga, humanity has remembered that there are things in life that really matter. And because a decade or so of social media has left us with no shame we can livestream it in tight pants and earn kudos.
The quest for a better background for our social media posts became a quest for breathtaking locations and new experiences. The new consumerism is experiences, not things, collected in the streams of social media.
This phenomenon is self-perpetuating in a way marketeers can only dream of.
I live in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. We get flooded with city folk every weekend and thanks to the internet my mates and I run into activewear in the farthest corners. Once unknown locations now look like the concourse at Bondi Beach complete with fluro spandex. This is a great thing - punters spending time in nature before returning to the city just has to be rubbing off on them.
The beauty of it is we are what we eat. We come seeking social media gold but these wild places work us over and change us with only the thin veil of 90% viscose, 10% elastine to get in the way.
The only way for humanity from here is up and out into the great unknown. Less tired, nerves in check, a bit muddy and feeling more and more at home. And most importantly, with a greater environmental awareness.
In the words of global phenomenon, the late Steve Irwin, "If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love." And, "If we save our wild places, we will ultimately save ourselves."
Our mission in the outdoor industry is to continue to open peoples eyes, instill some ethics and help people get the shot so they can spread the good word.