The Arc'teryx Story

The Arc'teryx Story

What do clothing design and a 150 million year old bird have in common?

With a name and logo that stands out as much as their unique ethos and outlook, Arc’teryx is a highly beloved clothing and gear brand popular with Hikers, climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts the world over. Founded in Canada in 1989 then under the name ROCK SOLID, the company have a legacy of inventing now commonly used technologies throughout the industry, including watertight zippers and softshell outer garments, in 1992 the company was renamed to what we know today, Arc’teryx to reflect their values.

The company have always been on the lookout for the best materials, most minimal but efficient designs and most innovative solutions to problems that face everyone from the recreational walker to experienced mountain guides out for weeks in the world’s harshest conditions. This outlook on growth is linked to the company’s name. Arc’teryx refers to the Archaeopteryx, but what does the earliest known bird have to do with rock climbing and hiking? The answers are evolution and adaptation. Archaeopteryx adapted to the challenges of its natural environment by evolving wings. Arc’teryx has an evolutionary, iterative approach to product design all in the attempt to overcome the challenges of the natural environment. The logo is based on the iconic Berlin fossil of the Archaeopteryx, discovered in Germany in 1860, it is the most complete specimen of its type.

The Berlin Archaeopteryx is the most complete specimen of it's type in the world and is the basis of the Arc'teryx logo.

Their mission is to enable experiences

Due to its light weight and ease of movement, the Proton LT is a great option for lightweight trekking and camping.
Due to its light weight and ease of movement, the Proton LT is a great option for lightweight trekking and camping.

“At Arc’teryx, the goal is to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions,” they say on their website. With an Arc’teryx garment, their mission is enable you to not be concerned with what you’re doing, not your physical condition. When enjoying the outdoors, we don’t want to be worried about over heating or if our zip is coming undone. If you are rock climbing, all you need think about is rock climbing. Their aim is to “create a timeless, outdoor experience.”

It’s easy to understand this, if you’ve ever been on a trek not able to fully enjoy the beautiful environment around you because your gear cannot breathe to the point where it looks like a steam vent has opened just below your neck line, soaking you under your jacket. The Proton LT Hoody from Arc’teryx perfectly combats this and is a wonderfully insulating but highly breathable garment perfect for fast moving activities, new this season. You can read a review of it written by Stu from the Exeter shop here.

sustainability

During the production process, each one of their products is given a product lifetime. This ensures that they can improve constantly on the durability of their garments, meaning that they need not be replaced even close to as much as some competitors’ products. When the rise of fast fashion increases the apparel industry’s social and environmental impacts, they strive to build gear which performs highly season after season. You can take a look at some of our other ethical brands here:

Arc'teryx also run a very accessible, affordable repair service to ensure that their products are not so easily replaced.
Arc'teryx also run a very accessible, affordable repair service to ensure that their products are not so easily replaced.

This post was written by Oli, who runs the TL Blog. He accidentally ended up learning a lot about fossils during the research for this write-up, now he can't stop humming the Jurassic Park theme. Here he is under a crude forest shelter sipping tea with his dog, Paisley who Oli likes to think looks a little bit like a Dinosaur. Catch more of his posts every week on the TL blog.

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