Originally known as the Portland Hat Company, before its foray into outdoor performative gear, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear makes its debut at Always in Colour to proficiently address the transitioning seasons with respect to changing lifestyle necessity. Influenced by innovation, function, their humble Pacific Northwest heritage and their indomitable spirit, family owned and operated Columbia sets the standard for diversified outdoor apparel, whilst their unimpeded ‘It’s perfect, now make it better’ philosophy has filtered down, generation after generation, to provide the brand with a fortified, high-standard approach towards their production of authenticated apparel.
Host to a trans-atlantic heritage that began in 1937 after Portland Hat Company founders, husband and wife, Paul and Marie Lamfrom fled Nazi Germany, Columbia Sportswear has undergone many transformations over the past 84 years. Handed down to the late Gert Boyle, daughter of the original founders in 1970, her strive for perfection, advanced innovation and pioneering performance is what has continued to usher the Oregon-based brand in the right direction season upon season, with her ‘Tough Mother’ moniker an etching of the brand’s preservational mindset. Greatly inspired by the wide-open spaces that serve as the Pacific Northwest’s untampered playground, the landscape’s lush forests, snow-covered mountains and rugged coastlines remain the muse for their ode to explorative function. Pioneers of their own Omni-Heat™, Omni-Freeze™, TurboDown™ and OutDry™ advancements and proud outfitters and sponsors of the world’s toughest freestyle ski teams, Columbia’s undoubted legacy is one that finds itself commonplace alongside the likes of Colorado’s Topo Designs, Peter Askluv’s Klättermusen and the formidable Patagonia.
Built to withstand the demands of an active lifestyle 365 days a year, come rain or shine, snow or sunshine, Columbia fuses outdoor-orientated tech-wear with everyday comfort to provide a reliable wear regardless of setting. True to tradition, premium headwear designs such as the Roatan Drifter II Reversible Bucket Hat, ROC II Cap and Bora Bora Booney Hat offer a technological insight into the brand’s Portland Hat Company legacy, with recycled-nylon, Omni-Shield™ Advanced Repellency and integrated UPF Sun Protective shielding a tribute to the dictations of the great outdoors. Insulative layers are a mainstay for SP21 as much as they are for any other season, with designs such as the Helvetia Half Snap Fleece and Back Bowl Lightweight Fleece pairing archival-inspired climbing gear aesthetics and revolutionised fabric-constructions for increased operative outcome. Packable, travel-friendly silhouettes such as the utilitarian Buck Hollow Anorak and Challenger Windbreaker Jacket make light work of unexpected down-pours and explorative settings, with the Columbia OutDry Ex 28L Duffle Bag a fleece-lined OutDry™ EXTREME tech-pack designed with life’s greatest adventures in mind. Season-friendly Columbia t-shirts pair well with waterproof shorts such as the Summerdry and Roatan Drifter 2.0 for a relaxed, quick-drying wear that puts even the most adventurous of lifestyles to the test.
With a mindful manufacturing practice that is outlined by their desire to empower people, sustain places and innovate products in line with sustainable solutions, Columbia’s give-more take-less ethos is a reflection of the brand’s unfettered commitment to consumers, communities and the environment. With a goal to do right by the people they reach, the places they touch and the products they make, Columbia’s earth-smart apparel and responsibly-sourced products continue to push the boundaries of modern-day peregrination. Supplying over 15,000 people per day in 2019 with clean water through their Columbia Clean Drinking Water Program and reducing their North American emission footprint by 9% in the same year, Columbia’s honest temperament and positive-change policy is one that focuses all its attention on preserving and protecting the wonders of the great outdoors for all to appreciate.
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