Toad and Co.
The company originally known as Horny Toad Activewear started as a one person shop run by Jessica Nordhaus in a garage in Telluride, CO. Jessica made one-of-a-kind felt togues (winter hats) for locals. In 1997 Horny Toad joined forces with Search Inc and Planet Access (PAC) to help create meaningful jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities. In 2000 with proceeds from PAC and Horny Toad the Partnership of Search for Adventure is started. Search for Adventure provides PAC employees vacations which give them a chance to experience outdoor adventures. In 2005 Horny Toad becomes a member of The Conservation Alliance which also lead to a partnership with 1% For The Planet. 1% for the Planet is one of the world's largest environmental networks. Their mission is to build, support and mobilize an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Businesses get connected with organizations that are making real change, and shoppers who believe in voting with their dollars know that their choices are actually making a difference. Since 1991 the small company of Horny Toad has bloomed into Toad & Co. changing its name in 2015 to acknowledge its great business partners.
"Socially versatile, actively accommodating and responsibly built, our clothing is designed based on the balance of four elements: comfort, function, style and responsibility. The majority of our clothes are made using the most sustainable fibers like organic cotton, Tencel® and Modal®; these are key to our most popular fabrics like Samba and Foxtrot. Tencel® and Modal® are eco-processed, cellulose-based and derived from responsibly managed, sustainably grown forest plantations. We never use acrylic, traditional rayon or viscose because the production processes for these fibers are very dirty and we like the alternatives much better. We opt for recycled polyester, non-mulesed merino wool and recycled wool. Our clothes are meant to feel as good as they look, to grab you from the first touch and become your favorites over time.
We have a motto: "Dirty is the new clean. Wear more. Wash less." Studies suggest that 58% of the energy and 45% of the water that goes into a garment happens post-purchase, so we recommend that you wear your clothing multiple times before washing to save on both natural resources and prolong its life."
Liz and Royal Robbins are a remarkable couple who designed remarkable, innovative clothing. They followed a trail that began in Yosemite as climbing pioneers, and led to the creation of an exceptional outdoor & travel clothing line. Together they tackled first ascents of difficult Yosemite climbs, taught skiing and climbing, and opened a climbing school. But the couple couldn't find the right clothing in which to explore, so in 1975 Liz decided to design her own. Her creation was the Billy Goat Hiking Short, still a number one style and classic design of enduring popularity. She has followed that success with such styles as the functional 5.11 Pant (named after the rating system grade for the most difficult climb at that time) and the richly detailed Bluewater Short.
"Today, Royal Robbins is a wildly enthusiastic, customer-oriented Team guided by the principles of integrity, service, fair play, and fueled by a passion for adventure. Our goal is to do what we do best, create practical outdoor clothing, with the performance fabrics necessary in today's high adventure sporting lifestyle. We are inspired to go to unbelievable lengths to create products that our customers are proud to wear, products that uniquely reflect the Royal Robbins American outdoor spirit!"
Kühl® began as Alfwear in 1983 with the Alf hat, a Peruvian-inspired design that many ski bums equipped themselves with in the mid-80s. Updating it with polar fleece, John "Alf" Engwall designed the pattern for the hat that would become the choice for serious Rocky Mountain powder skiers. Engwall, Conrad Anker (the now legendary mountaineer), and brothers Jay and Kevin Boyle set out to introduce this effective design to the skiing and mountaineering world. The four co-founders consisted of three skiers and a rock climber, all of whom aspired to build a business and lifestyle around their respective beloved sport.
After a tragic car accident resulted in the death of Alf Engwall, the three remaining partners nurtured the Alfwear business for several years until in 1989 they set out to pursue individual passions. Kevin Boyle, with his dream still intact to live in the mountains and work for himself, took over the company and conceived of what would become the first Malden Mills Apex Award for Design Excellence winner, The Jacquard Jacket. With a passion for skiing, living in the mountains, and art, Kevin designed garments made from performance fabrics fit for his outdoor lifestyle. He turned Alfwear into today's clothing company known as Kühl®.
"At Kühl®, the passion remains to get outdoors and have fun. Kühl® is what it means to be comfortable and relaxed in the challenging environment of life and sport. Kühl® uses not only innovative style and features, such as the thumb-loop cuff, but exclusive fabrics with their unique weaves and vintage washes that create authentic character. Our articulated, gusseted, precise designs as well as the utmost craftsmanship provide a fit that is pure comfort. Wearing Kühl® not only represents the freedom of movement but also free will."
In 1889 starting with only 2 sewing machines and 5 employees, Hamilton Carhartt established Hamilton Carhartt & Company. After asking railroad workers exactly what they needed the Carhartt union-made bib overall was created, and with it an ideal garment for workers.
The Carhartt Company offered the government use of seven Carhartt facilities to create uniforms for the U.S. military in World War I (and later denim for the U.S. Navy and workwear for women entering the workforce during World War II). The legendary Carhartt Chore Coat was introduced in 1923 and remains largely unchanged to this day. In 1929 when the stock market collapsed, the company came close to shutting its doors for good. Keeping the business alive was a testament to the tenacity, passion and ingenuity of Hamilton and his sons. In the 70's, the Alaska Pipeline helped grow the brand and Carhartt showed the world it could survive and thrive in the most rugged corners of the world;).
Today, Carhartt employs over 2,000 U.S. associates in Detroit, Kentucky, and Tennessee, including over 900 UFCW members. Last year, over 7,000,000 garments were produced in four American factories. For the past 125 years Carhartt has continued manufacturing their workwear in the USA.
"I believe that when a man wears an article that I manufacture, his self-respect is increased because he knows that it is made by an honest manufacturer, who is honest with his employees." - Hamilton Carhartt