Erickson Outdoors has changed — read more here

Launched in a spare bedroom in Berkeley in 1989

While working together at North Face, Jan Fletcher, Tom Mann and Mark Erickson fell in love with the outdoor and technical apparel business. When they moved on, they found a way to leverage their shared experience. They noticed that outdoor retailers were moving toward merchandising their own ”house brands“ or private labels. Tom, Mark and Jan began to offer these retailers apparel design and production services integrated into a seamless whole. Friends at L.L. Bean and Eastern Mountain Sports took a leap of faith, and placed the first orders. Erickson Outdoors was launched in a spare bedroom in Berkeley in 1989.

The three partners had simple operating principles. They wanted a company with integrity — one which treated its customers and employees as they would like to be treated. These principles were tested early on, when a shipment of foul weather gear proved defective and no one in the supply chain would share liability. The three dug into their personal savings and immediately replaced the shipment. Jan, Tom and Mark also wanted to strike a healthy balance between employees’ personal and professional lives. Soon, little babies were napping among the fabric rolls while their moms worked nearby.

One of their first projects — commissioned by The North Face — was to create the apparel and equipment for the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition in 1990. Erickson Outdoors worked with the international team to produce the equipment and apparel required to withstand wind chills of -150 degrees for the six men and 36 huskies traveling nearly 4,000 miles. This challenging assignment allowed Erickson Outdoors to demonstrate its skill with myriad critical technical details: from special zipper controls that could be manipulated with numbed fingers, to high-tech booties to protect the huskies’ paws from razor-sharp ice. read more…

In the ensuing years, Erickson Outdoors developed a wide network of specialized sewing contractors in both the U.S. and Asia, and thus was able to produce a range of products that included seam-taped outerwear, knit activewear, fleece, and even specialty sewn products for the equine and medical markets. By 2010, the company had grown to 25 designers, pattern makers, seamstresses and production managers. Customers included major brands in the golf, women’s activewear, cycling, outdoor, and government uniform markets.

In Spring 2010 partner Tom Mann passed away unexpectedly. His death, combined with changing market conditions and a growing desire for new challenges caused Mark and Jan to reevaluate the future course their company would take. By May 2011, Erickson Outdoors had suspended day-to-day production operations, but continued to advise and assist its many loyal clients.

Today, Erickson Outdoors provides consulting services to those navigating the often bewildering maze of apparel production processes.
For additional information, please contact Erickson Outdoors

Tom Mann, Jan Fletcher and Mark Erickson in front of Erickson Outdoors We've grown, but our values remain the same. Integrity still matters most.

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Erickson Outdoors - Technical Apparel Design and Manufacturing