The price of outdoor clothing has dropped dramatically in recent years, but many parents and retailers say the trend is just beginning.
“We’ve got to be very conscious of the kids,” said David F. Kagan, an associate professor of marketing at George Washington University.
“They’re not going to grow up in a world where the average home has $300,000 of outdoor space.”
Some outdoor clothes, like fleece jackets, are too expensive.
They have to be washed before being worn, and the price is prohibitive for many families, Kagan said.
There’s also the issue of what to wear.
Some kids have a penchant for casual wear, like sneakers and hoodies, and have to buy their own clothes, he said.
“That’s really a problem for parents.”
Others buy cheap outdoor clothes that they think will look good on their kids, but they never wear them, he added.
And then there are parents who buy outdoor clothing for their kids but don’t wear it.
In the past few years, some of those parents have been finding a new way to pay for outdoor clothing.
Kagan and other researchers have developed programs that target the families that have the most expensive outdoor gear.
The program, called “outdoor gear savings,” focuses on low-income households.
At a school-wide event, the parents pay for all the outdoor gear at the event, and then they send the money to a local nonprofit that helps the families buy it, Kannon said.
“You can buy that stuff, it’s not going out of fashion, but you don’t need it.”
“The way it works is it’s an online program where you go through all of the gear, it goes to a community warehouse where the gear is then delivered to you,” Kagan added.
“It’s not the typical thing where you buy an item online and the product is in a warehouse.
You buy the gear in person and the warehouse gets to deliver it to you.”
The cost of buying outdoor clothing at the school-sponsored event was about $60 for the two families, but the program is geared towards kids in high-need areas of the country.
It’s a small program that focuses on high-risk groups, but it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity to help families in low-resource areas, Kahan said.
There’s been some success, he noted, but not everyone is happy with the way the program has been run.
According to a 2015 report by the Institute for Responsible Outdoor Business, of the 8 percent of kids in poverty that wear outdoor gear, 4 percent are not wearing it at all, and only 2 percent of them wear it on their own.
This is because most of the outdoor apparel that goes into a kid’s closet is donated, and it’s hard to tell who is donating and who is not.
Parents have reported they are not getting the products they are promised, Kogan said.
In the program’s first year, it reached about $10,000, Kallan said.
This year, the goal is to reach $15,000.
With the program, the cost of the items is spread out across all families, and they’re also working with retailers to make sure they have the right amount of gear, Kannan said, adding that they are looking to expand the program to include more families in the coming months.
Kids in low income areas often have limited financial resources, and so are more likely to rely on other means of survival, Krenan said in an email.
For example, parents often go to the grocery store and buy things like canned goods, diapers and bottled water.
But in low socioeconomic areas, many households have no access to these types of items.
Kagan said that the program may also be helping low-wage workers who may have lost jobs during the recession, but who are able to find other ways to make ends meet.
Many low-skilled workers in high income areas have found ways to supplement their incomes by working as janitors, carpenters, electricians, or other manual labor.
However, Kagen said, even though these workers may have some benefits, they may also face barriers in obtaining health insurance, transportation and childcare support, or housing assistance.
But there are other programs that can help, Kaga said.
Parents can also donate their outdoor gear to a non-profit that has been created to help people in need.
That program has received a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kegans said.
The program is also available on mobile devices through the KidsHelps app, which can be accessed on Google Play or on the iOS App Store, Kaggans said, and is designed for kids ages 6 to 13.