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Rex Plastics: Local, Responsive Clamps Manufacturer

Rex Plastics: Local, Responsive Clamps Manufacturer

When we wanted to reduce the carbon footprint of the friction quick-lock clamps on our new Cnoc trekking poles, local manufacturer Rex Plastics helped bring our innovations to life.

“Most of the innovation comes from customers because we’re on the cutting edge of product development” says Rich Clark, president of the Vancouver, Washington-based plastic injection molding contract manufacturer.

Beyond offering superior outdoor gear that performs where it counts—out on the trail—we wanted to collaborate with US manufacturers and source locally whenever possible. We believe in supporting sustainable manufacturing practices by shortening the supply chain and creating jobs in the US.

close up image of clampHere at Cnoc, sourcing locally through Rex Plastics allowed us to develop the most durable and securely adjustable quick lock clamps based on our user feedback. According to Clark, there are many benefits to domestic manufacturing and sourcing locally, including advantages in logistics and quality.

 

“The nature of manufacturing is fast-paced,” Clark says. This rapid speed means it’s more effective to build relationships locally, and if a supplier isn’t delivering products to spec, it’s possible to visit. Plus, “anywhere in the US can ship ground in a week and not get tied up in customs.” Going local allows for a more agile and responsive manufacturing process. 

“We’ve always been committed to purchasing domestic raw materials and not using overseas sources for tooling,” Clark says.

Family-owned and operated since 1971, Rex Plastics advocates for the Reshoring Initiative, a movement that helps companies shift thinking about the costs of manufacturing. Rather than fostering the belief that manufacturing overseas is less expensive, the Reshoring Initiative aims to show how local manufacturing reduces costs--savings that can be passed on to consumers. And when goods are produced domestically, this creates a skilled workforce in the growing manufacturing industry.   

Gilad looks in on a manufacturing process

Clark says local manufacturing boosts the regional economy and provides jobs. Having a positive impact on employees’ lives is written into Rex Plastics’ core values.

“I think about the number of kids that we’ve helped get through college by providing jobs,” Clark says. “Families that we’ve supported over the last 48 years. That’s a good feeling.”

Our successful Kickstarter campaign proved the value of an investment in sustainable, human-centered manufacturing. You can still get a better than retail price on these incredible trekking poles with clamps made by Rex Plastics by preordering on Indiegogo.

Written by Erin Tillery

Cnoc Poles Are Fully Funded!

Cnoc Poles Are Fully Funded!

Our Cnoc Trekking Poles  were fully funded on Kickstarter in nine hours (and a few minutes). These fully repairable trekking poles are officially happening. We're sold out of some of our early bird prices, so pledge as soon as possible to get the best price on your poles.

Our Kickstarter was featured in Forbes, proving that tiny, determined businesses with good ideas can become major national players.

It's not over yet. Our Kickstarter ends October 31. We're thinking about stretch goals. Have a feature you'd like to see? Let us know.

Have you pledged yet?

Here's what Darwin on the Trail, Dan Becker, and Devin of Backcountry Exposure have to say about our durable made in the USA carbon fiber trekking poles.

"“I really dig these poles... Typically, you have to heat the end of a trekking pole up to get the tip off, but these actually screw off and same with all of these parts; you can easily swap them out in the field.” -Darwin

"I was bummed when Cnoc discontinued their original trekking poles because I loved them so much. Then they sent me the prototype for their new poles. One word. Amazing. They are going to be a game changer for trekking poles with their replaceable parts. It's amazing how lightweight they are as well. Love them." -Dan Becker

“I’ve started to carry just one pole and the Ultralight pole has been a solid piece for me on the trail. Should there ever be a failure with this pole, it's comforting to know that I can keep the good sections and replace only what is needed. This is not only a good sustainable approach, but it just makes sense! Invest once into good gear!”-Devin, Backcountry Exposure

Kickstarter Postponed

Kickstarter Postponed

We have disappointing news. We are postponing our Cnoc poles Kickstarter campaign due to some unsolved issues in the supply chain that impact our ability to deliver the poles in due time. We hope to solve them in the next month and relaunch in mid-September. The problems are:

1. The engineering company that is making the heat transfer machine to decorate the tubes is missing a few key parts that will take several weeks to make. They can't fulfill the August deadline for us and we probably won't have a working machine until later in the year.

2. Problems with cork stock levels in Taiwan hit our grips supplier and those will probably won't be ready until November. We are waiting on a new arrival date.

3. This weekend we learned that new 25% tariffs on aluminum will make our current project unfeasible. In November we were part of a conversation on Oregon Business about how the trade war is hurting small outdoors businesses. These tariffs are making it harder to manufacture goods, not just overseas, but also domestically. Our US component suppliers must get their raw materials from somewhere and US bauxite hasn’t been used for metallic aluminum since 1981. Thus, our component suppliers have higher costs and that means our US made poles (particularly our Z-poles) will also cost a lot more to make. 

We need to revise our plans in such a way that we can still provide you with high quality made in the USA carbon fiber poles at a fair and reasonable price. We’ll let everyone know as soon we’re ready to go and we relaunch our Kickstarter.