It’s not often we bring a new brand into George Fisher, so we’re very pleased to welcome Marmot on board. Although we might be blowing our own trumpet here, it takes a lot to impress our buyers, so it’s fair to say that there are some very good reasons to include Marmot in the store.
So who are Marmot, and why are they named after a furry animal?
It started in 1971; students Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntley were on an Alaskan glacier on a school project and the idea of a Marmot Club began, with the name referring to those large mountain ground squirrels. To become a Marmot, you had to climb a glaciated peak with another Marmot.
Eric and Dave began making down garments and sleeping bags in their dorm room and in 1973 climbed the Grand Teton in Wyoming with Tom Boyce. The following spring, Eric and Dave joined Tom in Grand Junction, Colorado where they opened a shop called Marmot Mountain Works. They taught cross-country skiing in the winter to get by. Thus, in the spring of 1974, Marmot the company was born.
In 1976, Eric met Joe Tanner of W.L. Gore & Associates. Eric was one of the first in the USA to see Gore-Tex; he was intrigued, and within a couple of weeks had sewn prototype sleeping bags using the new fabric for field testing. He and Dave spent seven nights in a commercial meat freezer comparing bags with and without Gore-Tex, as well as testing the bags under fire sprinklers. They liked what they saw and immediately changed everything in the line to Gore-Tex.
Today, Marmot is the oldest Gore-Tex customer in the outdoor market.
Marmot has grown quite a bit since its humble beginnings, it’s now a true global outdoor brand, but one thing has never changed; its commitment to designing the highest quality products, under fair human working conditions, in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
6 March 2018 by George Fisher
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