“We are a group of friends – which grows and shrinks according to the season – who meet, talk and discover new things” is, in simple terms, how the Italian outdoor collective Rayon Vert defines itself. . An online platform made up of hiking enthusiasts, trail runners and fabric innovators, the collective is dedicated to the motto: Produce, Research, Inform and Consult.
In 2013, Rayon Vert began their journey after crossing paths on a cycling trip on the Adriatic coast, but it wasn’t until four years later that the collective became official. Founded by Yuri Kaban, the goal was to “inform and nurture the outdoor community” which follows their various social channels. In addition to connecting with the public, they use their travels as a way to understand the outdoors and experience the materials that make up their gear. A full loop process.
Spreading their learnings across the globe, Rayon Vert has become a growing movement, now coming under the microscope in The North Face’s latest series with Hypebeast. Titled “Summer Exploration,” the new campaign shares a close look at the collective, along with three others who promote the outdoors. Through a conclusive map, it follows their pursuit as it explores how their chosen route has defined their history.
Rayon Vert’s route begins in Colico, in the province of Lecco in northern Italy, where a 28-mile trek awaits the group. “We can easily reach the destination by train and have used the area as a playground for training, equipment testing and, more simply, to breathe,” says Kaban. Packing for a summer activity is a conscious decision of each member of the collective. “We have always been passionate about equipment,” he explains. “Understanding the specific function of each garment and appreciating its design is a very interesting process. The one that has real advantages on the quality of the hikes, especially when it comes to several consecutive days without accompaniment.”
As the collective completes the first section of its journey, it bathes in the vast waterfall of Orrido di Bellano. Sharing how these experiences with nature play into their journey, Kaban says, “Exploration has become a central theme for maintaining real contact with the planet we live on and with our nature as human beings. However, in Italy, it is not only nature reserves that offer new perspectives. In fact, historical monuments such as Villa Monastero and Il Giardino Botanico add rich cultural significance to their work. “In this country, history is felt around every corner. The cultural factor is one of the key points of our wandering, and often becomes a signal for a different narrative, or a reference.
While Rayon Vert’s mission is now rooted in conducting research and disseminating knowledge about the outdoors to its audience, the collective ensures that each expedition is balanced with its own unique needs. “We mainly travel looking for an escape from the city and a break from work,” adds Kaban. “It can be difficult to tell the difference between research and personal gratification, but it is important to confront your physical limits. This is why we feel the need to explore. Finishing the trip on the east side of Lecco, he shares, “Get out, learn the mountain code, enjoy it and respect nature.” After all, all it takes is one glance at their website to go from outdoor newbie to positively informed.
Stay tuned to Hypebeast for more from other European outdoor collectives navigating the wild this summer.
To shop The North Face’s latest “Summer Exploration” collection, head to their website now.