There’s no such thing as bad weather
There are certain pieces of clothing that bring back memories when we see them. And that happens to me with my Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ: COLM) jacket, which is now almost ten years old; it’s probably time to buy a new one. It reminds me of the trips I made in those years, like when we climbed with some friends to the highest mountain in my province, the Champaquí in Córdoba, Argentina. Everything went so wrong from day one, where we took a wrong road which delayed us by half a day, causing our physical condition to be affected, although from before it did not accompany either.
Among other things that happened, it snowed, and that is not very common in that area; it was so disastrous that we could not finish the climb that, in principle, took two days to do, but it would have taken us an extra day, so you can get an idea of how bad we were. On a positive note, though, the Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ: COLM) jacket kept me warm and dry all the way up, and it was one of those trips with friends that I would remember for a long time.
So while there are thousands of clothing brands when it comes to clothing for extreme activities, there are few that stand out, and the first one that always comes to mind is Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ: COLM). This now more than famous company began its journey in the 30s selling hats under the name of Columbia Hat Company and a few years later, due to problems with suppliers, began to make their own products and at the same time expand its range of clothing, making jackets, fishing vests and shirts. And in the 60s, they changed their name to the current one we all know.
But Columbia is not like any other clothing company; it also focuses on research and the creation of new materials and garments with more than novel functionalities. Its first great success was its jackets with Interchange System (Interchangeable System) that has an external waterproof fabric and an internal fabric to keep warm and can be used together or separately. Giving rise to the famous Bugaboo model widely used by skiers.
With this great success, the company began to focus on the production of products for outdoor and extreme activities. So more innovation was coming for this public. With a variety of technologies, but among those that stand out is the OutDry, that not only complies with being waterproof in extreme weather conditions but at the same time is manufactured with recycled materials demonstrating their interest in the environment and the truth that makes a lot of sense being a company that specializes in products for outdoor use.
While all these innovations are fantastic, they are somewhat overshadowed by the OMNI Heat Infinity technology, which, on the inside of a jacket, for example, has a reflective material made with gold “dots,” which manages to reflect human heat itself. So it keeps you warmer for longer and at the same time without losing breathability for greater comfort. This technology is an evolution of the isothermal blanket designed by NASA in the 1960s to survive the -150°C on the moon.
Such is the improvement made by Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ: COLM), that Intuitive Machines, a company that is preparing its first lunar mission, which will carry scientific cargo in 2023 to prepare for the landing of new crew members sent by NASA. And Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ: COLM) is tasked with providing its Omni Heat Infinity thermo-reflective technology to protect the Nova-C lunar module against the extreme temperatures it will face.
Columbia is an example of those companies that have taken what could have been a boring clothing factory into something more than fascinating, where innovation is a never-ending quest. Where those of us who wear this brand don’t choose it for aesthetic reasons, but rather for practical reasons, so for us, the company’s slogan may have some truth to it, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.