Arc'teryx: the reputation of a job well done
When asked where the complex name of Arc'teryx came from, the answer was clear: Archaeopteryx Lithographica was the first reptile to develop the feather for flight, freeing itself from the constraints of the horizontal world. No better name reflects our central purpose, to build the finest products possible. Upon observation of the brand's evolution and the products it has produced, one can hardly disagree: they just couldn't have chosen a more appropriate name for their brand.
Arc`teryx was created in 1989 in British Columbia, Canada. That a mountain equipment and clothing brand emerged from this land exposed to such harsh winters; the Rocky Mountains, the plateaus, the Coast Mountains and its innumerous fjords, with 75% of the land over 1000m and average winter temperatures way below zero, was no mere coincidence, but a necessity imposed by the surrounding environment. And, this not only marked the beginning of Arc'Teryx, but inevitably conditioned its evolution, to the point where it has become, without a doubt, the most prestigious mountain brand in the world. Its products are created and tested in one of the most befitting laboratories on the planet: a territory which refuses to accept even the slightest error because the question is one of survival.
Why is this brand considered the most prestigious in the world? Obviously not only for its privileged surroundings; this is, of course an advantage, but you need to know how to exploit it. It probably has a lot do with such matters as the high quality expected from a luxury product (Arc'teryx has been described in the past as, “the Leica of mountain equipment” in reference to the renowned German brand of cameras); or with the high quality craftsmanship together with some of the best R+D in the world of mountaineering; or with their use of state-of-the-art materials; or the designs created hand-in-hand with their team of athletes (who provide feedback about their needs and suggest models) and the professional team of designers (able to turn the suggestions into reality); or with the preference and privileges offered to them by the top manufacturers of membranes and raw materials who well know that very few will be able to push boundaries & provide the same quality products as Arc`teryx...
Unlike other brands, they have never abandoned their Canadian roots or their work philosophy, based on high quality craftsmanship, investigation and materials tested to the limit by the best & in the right terrain. Although they do have a non-technical range (mainly urban backpacks, etc.) which is produced in their own Asian factories, most of their range, be it clothing or technical equipment, is still manufactured in Canada.
In this video, you can get an idea of how their products are designed in their main laboratory; quite surprising bearing in mind this industrial age of built-in obsolescence and standard production that is inevitably reflected in the final product.
When Dave Lane & Jeremy Guard created their first range of rock climbing products (Rock Solid), in 1989, they would probably not have been able to imagine just how much their brand would achieve. But their success should certainly not be considered pure coincidence; but rather an example of what can happen if you keep moving forward, stay focused on your goals and continue to evolve without leaving behind the love of excellence and a job well done.