The addictiveness of Instagram is undeniable. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve picked up my phone out of boredom, out of habit, out of a desire to “see what everyone’s up to,” only to emerge 30 minutes later, as if from a blackout, with a mildly sore thumb and only crumbs of memories as to everything I just saw. The Explore tab is often the culprit. Sometimes though, the accidental exercise is productive, and the algorithm works the way the app’s marketing department says it’s meant to, and I discover something amazing. Like a tiny Japanese outdoor company called Nruc.
I can’t tell you much about Nruc because information about the brand is limited and Google Translate doesn’t clear the linguistic waters very much. The company offers a small collection of outdoor products that range from technically-built hiking backpacks to delightfully unnecessary tissue box cases. Everything is sold out, even the t-shirts. Everything about the brand is indefinable, intriguing, and oh so in keeping with the style of many other small outdoor companies coming out of Japan (Nanga, Teton Bros., and Natal Design are some other recent obsessions). It doesn’t matter that I can’t have it; sometimes knowing it exists is enough.