Burton, Merrell, Saucony, Columbia, Smartwool…what do these well-known outdoor brands have in common? They were all founded – or are currently run – by women. We know the names, but we’re sometimes in the dark when it comes to the fact that much of their history has been written by females. There’s Gert Boyle, famous matron behind Columbia’s seal of approval; Jennifer McLaren, the power broker at the helm of Smartwool; and many others who by taking an active role are changing the rules of the game. The contributions of women need to be highlighted more than ever. It is 2022, after all, and a woman’s place is at the forefront.
Here is a collection of products from carefully selected brands meeting the criteria as outlined above. Each company stands out for the quality of their products and their modern, responsible values, in perfect harmony with today’s world.
From the brands created by womeN...
“Houdini, save us!”
This was the cry from a group of explorers who had gotten stuck in the crevasses of the famous Tacul Pyramid near Chamonix. Among them was Lotta Giornofelice, contemplating their precarious situation, and joining in the chorus imploring the genius of escape artistry to deliver them to safety. This is also the basis of the Houdini company, founded by the former mountain guide and ski instructor Giornofelice.
The first collection was launched in Sweden in 1993. Twenty-five years later, its minimalist, ultra-professional look and eco-responsibility still appeal. Giornofelice has always stressed quality over quantity, and sustainability over fast fashion. From lifestyle clothing to adventure-centric jackets and base layers, Houdini changes the fashion industry, offering understated pieces that are incredibly durable, comfortable and move with you.
Here is recent addition to Altitude Sports, and one of our favourite ways to go from the yoga studio to the office to the bar. While most of us are still telecommuting, we can’t think of a moment when something from the dutch company doesn’t belong – tele-meetings included.
Lune Active is a collaboration between Ashley Samwel and Lisa de Vries. With a healthy, active, urban lifestyle in mind, they create pieces that best represent the athleisure category. Based in a studio in Amsterdam, the collection explores simplicity and clean lines through responsibly-sourced materials. Comfort plus ethics – Lune Active is a new brand that is well worth a look.
If there is anything that speaks to me more than eco-friendly fashion and the genius of women in the clothing industry, it’s gardening. Working the land, kneeling in nutrient-rich soil and mud, watching broccoli, cucumbers and radishes grow…frankly, I can’t get enough of it. That’s where a brand like Dovetail Workwear, launched by three Pacific Northwest gardeners, sparks my interest.
How do you encourage women in a traditionally male field? By making stretchy, durable pieces that are designed for their bodies, that don’t lose their utility and functionality over repeated uses, and even offer an undeniable touch of femininity. That’s the mission of Dovetail Workwear. And believe me, it works.
to those now run by women.
Veja co-founders Sebastien Kopp and Francois Ghislain Morillion appointed a new CEO in 2019: Laure Browne. Her goal? To spread the word about a brand that shares her values, the word about a company that already shows out on the eco-responsible scene.
Organic cotton and rubber purchased from Amazonian co-ops, recycled plastic and polyester bottles, certified manufacturing and ethical approach – Veja is anything but idle and as far from greenwashing as you can get. Its modern and trendy sneakers go with everything from skirts to blue jeans.
Founded and run by a team of women, Montreal-based June Swimwear has been turning heads with swimwear that makes women want to travel, dream and create memories for a lifetime.
Between beach, sun, and surf, June Swimwear mixes creativity with responsibly-sourced fibres, aiming (successfully) at adorable pieces that dive into summer. For beach wear that lasts and offers near-perfect summer style, don’t need to look any further.
Diversity is good, and even better when done right, not promoted for the sake of it. This collection of women-owned and women-led brands is important to us at Altitude Sports: it respects our corporate values, paves the way for a more equal and responsible future, and shows everyone that women have a place at the forefront.
These companies, whether they make clothes for everyone or just for women, deserve to be promoted and given their rightful place in the modern sustainable fashion industry.