It is easy to see why the idea of camping is so associated with Canada in many people’s minds. Given our huge land mass and small population, this country has no lack of exotic wilderness and we love to get out into it. Government statistics estimate that about 1 in 5 Canadians go camping each year and at least 1.7 million households own tents.
But there’s a new tent on the campground and it’s made by a company called FieldCandy.
Founded in Great Britain in 2011, FieldCandy believes that tents don’t have to be boring. To prove the point, it developed a range of light-hearted and fun sunshades and tents for children and adults to liven up the landscape. Rustik recently caught up with FieldCandy’s Emma Robinson to find out more.
Rustik: What is the vision of FieldCandy? Is it fair to characterize your tents as a bit of British ‘cheek’ in the great outdoors?
FieldCandy: At FieldCandy we love to excite people by offering a range of quirky designs that stand out from the crowd with colour and creativity. Our vision is to successfully develop into a stylish outdoor lifestyle brand. Our product range is constantly growing and expanding to achieve this goal. We trade internationally with 85% of sales coming from overseas market; I would therefore say it is not necessarily British ‘cheek’, as we cater for an international market, but we definitely have high British manufacturing standards to ensure the quality is top specification.
R: There seems to be a very close affinity for haute couture in your designs. How did you conceive of marrying such an approach to your tents?
FC: Traditionally the camping industry has been geared towards practicality and durability. The passionate camper enjoys being in touch with nature and the natural beauty of the great outdoors. Therefore, the conventional blue and green tent colours were manufactured to blend with nature and the countryside.
However, in recent years as festivals, ‘glamping’ (a blend of glamour and camping) and ‘staycations’ are becoming more popular, it has became apparent that a certain pizazz was missing from the camping industry. After attending an outdoors trade show in Germany, and walking amongst a sea of blue and green tents, an idea was sparked to create a range of totally unexpected designer tents.
R: How are you inspired to develop new tent offerings? What’s the process for vetting new design inspirations?
FC: FieldCandy takes inspiration from around the world to create unique designs that will delight our customers. We love to dream up new works of art that provide unexpected explosions of creativity and fun. We also love to explore new collaborations with brands that fit firmly with FieldCandy and have so far created tents for Sony, Converse and Paul Smith, to name a few.
All outsourced artists, designers and photographers invited to design our outstanding range of tents are carefully chosen by FieldCandy for their dedication to their respective art forms and unique points of view. We take care to ensure that each design fits with the FieldCandy brand.
We will soon be launching a ‘design your own tent competition’ so anybody can take their hand at designing a tent!
R: Tell us a little about your handmade approach. Why was that important to you versus the efficiency of mechanized production and/or offshore production?
FC: Quality is incredibly important to us. We use specially selected materials to withstand extreme conditions. The technical specification of our cutting edge printing technology is complex and specially developed by FieldCandy. Our unique technique means that we are able to print extremely detailed imagery on fabric that is lightweight, tear resistant, UV-fade resistant, fire retardant and 100% waterproof.
Each tent is made in England: printed, hand cut and sewn together in-house to ensure a rigid quality control check for each product before it leaves the factory. It also allows us to provide great customer service, as we are kept up to date on the progress of each order.
R: Your promo video shows very bucolic, tame camping settings – or ‘glamping’, as you mentioned before. Do you also have clients who use your tents in rugged outdoor adventures or in mountaineering expeditions?
FC: Absolutely! FieldCandy tents are very high quality, made to the same high specification of an expedition tent, and built to withstand extreme conditions. Our tents have been used in wilderness adventures in Ireland, pitched on top of a mountain in the snow, and even accompanied a 70-year motorbike enthusiast on his road trip across America! These tents are constantly field tested and put through their paces.
R: A lot of stars seem to like your products. Do they actually use them?
FC: We have a fair few celebrities who are big fans of FieldCandy and, yes, in most cases they are used – why else would you have a tent?
Most recently is international singing sensation Kelis. She has the FieldCandy ‘What a Melon’ tent and has used it out camping with her son. We have since designed her a ‘Kelis’ tent in the style of her new album cover for her UK/European festival tour.