Tell us about you ?
Livio: I’m Livio Melo. I’m a Dominican born designer and outdoors-person. I founded allmansright in The Bronx after being reintroduced to outdoor recreation/lifestyle. Growing up in the Dominican Republic we made our own toys and sporting equipment.
How did you come to hiking? more specifically UL hiking?
Livio: First, its baffling that I learned about hiking so late in my life, 30, I think. Despite all my cherished experiences outdoors it never occurred to me that there are trails and that people hiked them recreationally. That should speak to something. Anyways, a friend told me about it. He didn’t have to say much before I was all in
I went on 3 hikes before deciding to make my own ultralight gear with near zero experience sewing. everything about the outdoors was new to me anyways so I said screw it lets do it. UL just made sense, it was cheaper, more comfortable, and appealed to the bush-crafter hidden in all of us gear heads.
What is your UL hiking vision?
Livio: that everyone on earth adopts the philosophy
Why did you decide to make your equipment?
Livio: Being handy helped in deciding to do it. Making my own things is always an impulse for me. I very interested in all things “objects” and to learn how to make gear seemed cool
Can you tell me tell me the story behind your brand names?
Livio: Allmansright is a direct translation a Swedish law that grants access to all land, private or public, for outdoor recreation. I thought it represented and provided for a wonderful way of living and so I went for it
How do you feel when you see hikers with your equipment on the trails?
Livio: Oof, all sorts of feelings. I’ve felt pride because its looked so good out there! I’ve felt thankful that someone trusted in the gear. I’ve felt anxious wondering if somethings not working for the user. I even felt jealous that my customers have better gear than me. Sometimes the butcher would like to take home a prime cut, I guess
For you there is an ecological impact to buy are equipment from small manufacturers?
Livio: there is but it lies in the transparency, agility, and diversity. What I mean is that production whether centralized by big brands or spread out through out many small ventures still spends energy and produces waste. In distribution the steps are the same but in different order. That aspect of sustainability is hard for me to form an opinion on.
Size and Transparency reconnects the user and manufacturer with the process and that’s important for accountability and awareness of impact.
To be agile lets a company take eco conscious action with more ease. Whether its shifting inventory to eco friendlier fabrics, design, and or practice.
Diversity in the industry adds to more options for buyers in terms of both what products and culture they purchase. Its important to understand that when you pay for a product you are also funding a culture, choose the right one
How do you see the small shop in 2021?
Livio: the small shop is going to be plenty. The internet puts you anywhere in the world. You don’t need to put a shop where the scene is anymore. Look at us at an outdoor equipment company in The Bronx for an example.
Do you think that people want more and more to turn to small shop ?
Livio: I want to believe so. My hopes are the people try to live more meaningful lives and they apply that to the objects in their lives also. one of my products means more to me than 10 would to anyone working in a factory.
Finally, if you had a message to pass on to everyone who would watch this interviewl and who would like to support the small shops?
Livio: Seek the humanity in objects for objects are humanity. Let that shit sink in.