Woolrich: Behind the Brand

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With expertise that has developed for over 180 years, seen through the Civil War, the Great depression, two world wars and the end of the cold war, John Rich the founder of Woolrich Inc. could certainly not have imagined that his little woollen mill would go on to experience all this.

In 1830, Rich immigrated from England to America, and got his company started up with his first woollen mill in Plum Run, Pennsylvania. He would visit camps dotted around the area to sell woollen fabric, socks, coverlets and yarn to the Lumberjacks, all from a mule cart. 15 years on he embarked on building a new mill a couple of miles up the road to Chatham Run. It is this mill that still stands amongst the group of buildings, homes and community establishments that have become Woolrich, Pennsylvania.

Woolrich has been synonymous with quality outdoor clothing since and the technological developments, new production methods and changing of American lifestyle led to new products for all types of outdoors activities that further contributed to the growth and success of what was a small town business.  One of perhaps the most iconic garment that roots back to the mid-1800s is the Buffalo Check shirt, that has transcended through fashion and kept many generations of outdoorsmen warm.

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The introduction of new high-tech materials that eventually allowed Woolrich to enhance the performance of it’s outdoor wear and was contracted by the government to outfit Admiral Byrd’s expedition to Antarctica between 1939 and 1941. This then allowed the company to meet the needs of a new generation of enthusiasts. Their quality garments are still created with the traditional fabrics like wool and cotton but teamed up with the man-made fibers to create clothing that customers can rely on for everything from a backpacking trip to leisurely stroll.

After all those years, what hasn’t changed is the commitment to quality, value, and products that fit the outdoor lifestyle. Not only this, they are a brand that although following trends, have managed to transcend fashion and created clothing that has become somewhat of a collection of wardrobe staples that resembles it’s original roots and style that comes into it’s own.

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Our favourite pieces from the range has got to be the down jackets which are constructed from a Teflon coated Ramar cloth shell. This high-performance fabric with a sophisticated urban look is totally waterproof, heat-sealed, windproof, breathable and water-repellent. The lining consists of a light detachable down-sweater in gold-coloured Thinsulate. The detachable Coyote fur trim on the hood is of the highest quality comes from a sustainable source and for extra warmth the four fleece lined pockets protect your hands from the biting cold. This arctic parka comes in a a range of colour ways that offer a versatile option to outerwear and really fits in with the seasonal surroundings. The technology of fabrics, shapes and styles that has been applied to this iconic jacket create a perfect balance in outerwear for everyday city-wear but added features to enhance performance, lightness and design.

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