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May 31, 2019

New factory doubles Outdoor Research US manufacturing

By Leonie Barrie

Seattle-based performance apparel and outdoor gear brand Outdoor Research is doubling its US manufacturing to more than 200 jobs with a second onshore factory.

The new wholly owned manufacturing facility is located in El Monte, California, and opened last month. It joins the existing manufacturing enterprise that Outdoor Research has operated for decades at its Seattle headquarters.

The company says its US manufacturing capabilities are “unique in the outdoor market,” and have enabled it to create purpose-built products for the US military and tactical markets such as law enforcement and government agencies.

“Innovations developed for the military and tactical markets have, in turn, driven innovations in products for outdoor consumer,” it notes, adding: “Having highly skilled manufacturing located in the US gives Outdoor Research the ability to prototype products on-site, allowing new products to be developed more quickly and to go through more rounds of improvement.”

“This new investment will allow us to continue to accelerate our product-development cycle so we can more rapidly field the latest innovations to the end-user, helping increase the mobility and protection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and law-enforcement officers, and also driving innovation company wide in the process,” says Michelle Wardian, president of Outdoor Research.

Over the past two years, Outdoor Research conducted a comprehensive review of the US supply chain and is in active development with textile mills and materials providers to expand its products that are 100% American-made.

The company says it has also made significant capital investments in cutting-edge machinery and process efficiency to improve and modernise its Seattle factory, along with hiring more site engineers. This template was replicated in El Monte.

“These investments allow Outdoor Research to take advantage of the company’s global knowledge of design, materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques while producing the next generation of tactical and outdoor products at its US facilities.”

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