Research by economists nationwide has shown that buying local products fosters community health and vitality. Small, locally owned businesses are more likely to keep the money they earn within the community, encouraging local prosperity. When it comes to active apparel, the benefit of buying local is clear: Company owners and employees have hands-on expertise, true passion for their products and a direct connection to their customers. It’s certainly the case for these six born-and-bred Aspen companies.
Founded in 2013 by David Roth and Heifara Rutgers, Aztech Mountain has some serious ski cred: Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller serves as the company’s chief innovation officer (and co-owner). Aspen and its surrounding mountains provide inspiration and a dynamic product-testing environment. The new insulated Capitol Peak parka marries lightweight, breathable PrimaLoft Gold insulation with four-way stretch nylon for a clean aesthetic. Performance Ski Aspen, 614 E. Durant Ave., performanceskiaspen.com; aztechmountain.com
Founded by husband-and-wife mountain athletes Adam Moszynski and Darcy Conover, Corbeaux makes adventure and mountain lifestyle apparel manufactured in Colorado. The duo can product-test the same day they receive a prototype and send it back to sewers that evening for adjustments. Corbeaux’s soft, comfortable layers made from sustainable fabrics are named for nearby peaks and on-mountain stashes (Jackpot pant, Sopris long-sleeved). Ute Mountaineer, 210 S. Galena St., utemountaineer.com; corbeauxclothing.com
Klaus Obermeyer founded his skiwear company in 1947, shortly after Aspen Mountain opened, to help friends and family stay warm and dry in the outdoors. “Technically and spiritually, Aspen drives us to always be on the leading edge of quality and innovation,” says Obermeyer, who turns 99 in December 2018. The company recently launched its first fall heritage collection, offering lifestyle pieces inspired by evolving styles and patterns from the archives. Look for vintage patches with past decades’ logos. Aspen Sports, 105 Village Mall, Snowmass, aspensports.com; obermeyer.com
Mary Cote, a former Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier-turned-ultra-runner, says the trail running paradise of Carbondale is the perfect home for her new athletic apparel company. The stylish, minimal and functional Bella T-back tank and Crossover running short are the ideal uniform for running, hiking or yoga, with perfectly placed pockets for snacks or a phone. Independence Run & Hike, 586 Highway 133, Carbondale, independencerunandhike.com; runabout.me
In 2012, Roaring Fork Valley-native Ashley Rankin saw a problem with women’s mountain-bike shorts: They were black, boring and baggy. She launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring a burst of color and style (while maintaining technical performance and practical comfort) to the sport she loved. Within a month, she had pre-sold 25 jerseys and 90 pairs of shorts, raising more than $25,000 to launch the business. The grass-roots startup remains completely customer-funded and relies on a loyal following here in the valley and beyond. Longer women’s riding shorts aren’t just trending, they’re more practical for weather protection and those inevitable crashes. SHREDLY’s MTB LONG short adds 3 inches to its quintessential women’s mountain bike short while maintaining a flattering silhouette. Basalt Bike & Ski, 400 E. Cooper Ave., basaltbikeandski.com; shredly.com
Twin brothers and endurance athletes John and Pete Gaston started Strafe because of an obsession with Highland Bowl. Sprinting up the ridge, ripping down the bowl and riding up again required unique apparel for maximum efficiency and performance. In 2009, they developed the prototypes that would evolve into a collection of 40-plus pieces, and in 2011, opened a showroom at the base of Aspen Highlands. The new Deception Alpha Anorak midlayer utilizes Polartec Alpha insulation for warmth and air-permeable Recon Air for breathability. 115 Boomerang Road, Ste. 5201A, strafeouterwear.com
Photography Courtesy Of: