Travel Journal: A Visit to Columbia HQ, Portland, OR

In advance of a selection of exclusive projects we’ve got coming up with the brand in the coming months, we were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to travel out to Columbia’s Portland HQ to learn more about the background behind the company. Living a storied history amongst the world of other outdoor brands, Columbia are responsible for creating some of the most famous product lines in the world, with ranges like Bugaboo finding a new generation of customer through various recent collaborations.

In order to produce items designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors, Columbia have spent decades developing around 30 in-house technologies that are implemented into every item to ensure resiliance and protection against the elements. Omni-Tech is one of the brands most famous, a waterproof, breathable fabric which allows you to operate without the harm of getting both wet and overheated.

The family aspect of the brand has always been the driving force behind it. Chairman and ‘Tough Mother’ Gert Boyle inherited the company in 1970, and her son Tim was instated as the President. This family dynamic also ran over into Columbia’s commercial identity throughout the 80’s and 90’s with print and TV ad’s stemmed around their tongue-in-cheek approach to business.

We got the chance to see behind the curtain and learn about how some of their most recognisable products came to be. As with many brands, their archive is something modern day products are built upon and always inspired by, in order to ensure the essence of the brand lives on and isn’t diluted by continual change.

Take a look at our Travel Journal below, and take a closer look at the Columbia 80th Anniversary Bugaboo Jacket.

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