Why Arc’teryx

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

BC Business Magazine - - Front Page - By Ryan Stu­art

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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