Adventure clothing brand Arc'teryx makes most of its products offshore, but keeping a local factory is vital to the B.C. company's success
Makes $$$ Jackets in B.C.
Arc'teryx Equipment's massive new factory may be lean and designed for efficiency, but nothing rushes through the place. Take the Alpha SV: workers spend 192 minutes and almost 200 steps turning a bucket of parts into the popular alpine jacket.
The Alpha is one of Arc'teryx's most labour-intensive products, with a $900 price tag to match. The North Vancouver-based outdoor clothing and equipment company makes it locally, at Arc'one, the 247,000-squarefoot factory and warehouse it opened in May 2016. Before that, Arc'teryx's Metro Vancouver operations were spread over four buildings: two factories, a warehouse, and a head office and design centre.
HQ remains in North Van, but Arc'one combines the other three facilities under one big roof—housing the equivalent of four U.S. football fields and four times as much manufacturing space as the previous factories combined—near the Fraser River in New Westminster.
In a time of manufacturing labour shortages and the continued exodus of apparel production from North America to low-cost countries, opening a new factory in Vancouver may seem like a strange move. But for Arc'teryx, it was crucial.
“We are all about making pinnacle products for the extreme end user,” says Shirley
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