Dec 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm #1296712
I initially thought it was browser hijacking, URL cloaking or something….but NO! it seems the website is updatedDec 4, 2012 at 5:32 am #1932961
Wow. Huge improvement. About time. This should help business.Dec 4, 2012 at 8:33 am #1932989
Awwww. I liked the old site. It barely changed from when I bought my Wren in 2000.
It is much easier to find info and is much more attractive than the old site although I am disconcerted to find many garments imported. I wonder when this started?Dec 4, 2012 at 10:14 am #1933007
indeed interesting… I wonder what that means – are the shells imported and down filled in USA from european/hi quality down OR are they actually filled and finished in china
anyone?Dec 4, 2012 at 10:31 am #1933008
I am sure the shell material and down are imported as all of the major players in ultra light down proof fabrics I am aware of are overseas and high quality down seems to be european. Being imported may not mean from China however as recently WM has moved their down jacket production to Canada.Dec 4, 2012 at 10:57 am #1933013
I pinged them on their FB page…
personally when i see "imported" i think china
If i 'imported" from Canada i would write "handmade in canada"
if i imported 10d fabric from Japan i would write "We source this super duper high tech special one of a kind 10d fabric from Mitsui mills in Osaka"
you get the pictureDec 4, 2012 at 11:42 am #1933022
I don't disagree, but I don't think FF is known for their marketing savy, so they may not have done the best wordsmithing.Dec 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm #1933056
I had a look only a couple of days ago for the first time in months, it was still the old one.
I see they have a new Daybreak vest now, nice…
http://featheredfriends.com/index.php/Dec 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm #1933079
here is what they said when i asked on their FB
"All of our sleeping bags, expedition parkas, and comforters are made here in Seattle. However, our Daybreaks, Hyperions, Helios jackets, and vests are imported. Same quality and guarantee you can expect from our factory."
I pushed them further.. lets see. Indeed not a happy turn of events (unless as some said its made in canada or germany or even like valandre – by a wholly owned small factory in Morroco where the floor manager is the CEOs sister in law
this is top $$ stuff and I for one would like to see it MADE in the locally (or price droppedDec 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm #1933153
I am in the store all the time, anything not made there (jackets, booties, etc.) is made in Canada from what I have seen, just like Westcomb's down products and Western Mountaineering's down garments…in fact they all use the same factory in Canada I am told!
"Imported" – FF means Canada :)
CheersDec 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm #1933182
"this is top $$ stuff and I for one would like to see it MADE in the locally (or price dropped"
Did you ask Arcteryx if they would do the same?Dec 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm #1933229
@NW – if that is indeed the case then I would (if I were FF) advertise as such.
@David – I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone. Putting politics aside (that was not my intention) MADE in the USA stands for something. Not just supporting our(may I say our even though im an expat?) economy but means more control etc. Especially with small businesses as FF/WM are/used to be (as opposed to say Apple Inc which you can be sure asserts itself with is suppliers).
I could be speaking only for myself but part of the appeal with such companies apart from great product and such (cause others have that as well) is that the people who spec it, the people who build it and the people who sell it look each other in the whites of the eyes etc. It also allowed for small customization etc
On a whole different level – and having years of experience with manufacturing of consumer electronics in Taiwan, China and Japan (working with large brands like Sony/Nikon/Canon/HP/Kodak and large MFG like Foxconn/Gemtek etc- I can say with some confidence that although many of the hi end items we buy these days are made in china/vietnam/philipines/taiwan etc – with large mass market factories there still is a difference between made in china vs made in japan/usa/germany/UK
So when I compare Brooks range to WM or Arcteryx to Gregory there IS a difference
MikeDec 5, 2012 at 7:04 am #1933263
My point is that if one cannot tell the difference as to where the item is made, meaning it reeks of outstanding quality, then where it is made is quite irrelevant. I haven't seen a drop in quality of any Arcteryx garments I have looked at recently despite not being made in Canada any longer. I can show you items that are made in either the US or Canada that are complete garbage and yet are marketed as made locally.Dec 5, 2012 at 7:28 am #1933266
I agree that the chineese can make high quality products equel to what we can make in the US or Canada, but if a company selling products at premium prices, such as Arcterx moves production off shore for a significant labor cost savings, you would hope that at least some of that would be passed on to the consumer.Dec 5, 2012 at 8:27 am #1933285
the goal of any business is to maximize the wealth of shareholders. If the model to produce in Canada was infringing on margins thus the decision to produce elsewhere, why would Arcteryx pass any profits to you? It has increased production twofold since 2005 and is now producing some clothing in Vietnam, China, and New Zealand. The cost of manufacture in Canada has gone up and would undoubtly mean a Theta AR costing $800 if the product was still made here. Would you pay that?
Don't forget that the company does employ Canadians and Americans as well. It pays taxes in both countries into social systems that benefit everyone.Dec 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm #1933369
I agree in principle that these companies are for profit etc and that we would be hard pressed to buy an 800USD JKT
having said that – "maximize shareholder value" is a bit 80's :) its classical economic theory that we know today describes what really goes on only partially (think Cahanman and Tverskey etc)
In a similar manner these days it is recognized more and more that there are more stakeholders in a business than just the classical ones – and I would argue that businesses today are concerned more and more about stuff like sustainability, carbon footprint, local sourcing and so on….Dec 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm #1933378
I hope that you are right Michael.
I remember some years ago while working for a large integrated oil company as a commodity trader (don't hate me), we had an open forum with the executive branch of the organization including the CEO. When asked why 'we' had divested completely all wind farms, the stout answer was: Because we weren't making enough money.Dec 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm #1933384
@dave… we wont hate you..heck..I worked in online gaming :)
Im basically talking re "fourth sector" and hybrid organizations ….
But lets just hope FF continues to make awesome gear and give attention to customers etc.
Would be sorry to see another good old brand go the Northface routeDec 6, 2012 at 6:06 am #1933527
here you go…i swear i didnt plan thisDec 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm #1933617
'The lightweight garments are manufactured in China… We are still working the tweaks, info, and pics on the website, so further information and clarification will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience.'
Quite a shame in my opinion. Western Mountaineering still make their in Canada right?Dec 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm #1933622
Yep that was a direct quote from a comment Feathered Friends left on their Facebook page.
This link might work? https://www.facebook.com/FeatheredFriends?ref=ts&fref=tsDec 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #1933624
A few years ago I walked into the feathered friends shop wearing a Montbell Alpine (baffled) Down Jacket and one of the staff was really excited to check it out and commented that they hadn't been able to achieve that level of detailed workmanship with ultralight fabrics in US production.
Hopefully this move is driven by a need to produce some more innovative light weight garments and not just by cost cutting measure. I would certainly prefer a US made product but if they will document the working conditions, environmental impact and down gathering practices used in their overseas production and start producing some garments to compete with the lighter options from montbell, patagonia, rab etc that would be cool too.Dec 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm #1933853
I just gave a thought about ordering a pair of down booties, and looks like the shipping cost to Portland, OR comes to 15% of the product cost. MDec 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm #1933898
@rustybLocale: Rocky Mountains
"I would certainly prefer a US made product but if they will document the working conditions, environmental impact…."
I was wondering when someone was going to bring this up. What has become of us if all we're concerned with is the price we see on the tag and quality? What about enviro degradation from many (most?) of the factories spewing out toxins like there's no tomorrow? This is a well documented issue with Chinese manufacturing. And, no one is concerned how this stuff will affect us indirectly or more importantly, what it means to future generations? What about how these toxins move north via the airstream and are affecting the Arctic people right now? Another well documented fact….yet, we're concerned about the price tag of something we want.
If we were paying ahead to cover all the hidden enviro and health costs every time we purchased new gear, particularly Chinese made stuff, no one here could afford any of it.
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