Woolrich: The Original Outdoor Clothing Company

Woolrich: The Original Outdoor Clothing Company

Almost 200 years ago, established by John Rich in 1830, Woolrich has had a rich history that always ran parallel with America’s own. From outfitting the lumberjack trade to servicing the US military, Woolrich has been an integral part of the development of US infrastructure. Garments with a purpose has become a mantra of sorts for Woolrich, which is also a strong reference to the brand’s humble beginnings.

From outfitting the lumberjack trade to servicing the US military, Woolrich has been an integral part of the development of US infrastructure

Born from a family of wool experts, John Rich emigrated from England and built his first woolen mill in 1830. He then travelled to lumber camps and farms selling woolen yarn, fabrics and garments from his mule cart. In the 1830’s wool was, in fact, the only material considered to be suitable, comfortable and resistant enough for the production of workwear. Wool is also the original, naturally high-performing fiber: moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, stain resistant and incredibly durable.

Woolrich is no stranger to original designs or innovative ideas as it has introduced pieces that have become iconic throughout its 189 years of existence. In 1850 Woolrich introduced the Buffalo Check shirt, in 1890 The Railroad Vest, The Pennsylvania Tuxedo in 1925 and of course the Original Arctic Parka in 1972. The Arctic Parka was specifically created for the Alaskan pipeline workers and is now considered the quintessential down parka as well as a globally recognized brand icon.

In 1850 Woolrich introduced the Buffalo Check shirt, in 1890 The Railroad Vest, The Pennsylvania Tuxedo in 1925 and of course the Original Arctic Parka in 1972.

The evolution from wool to cotton shirts began with the introduction of The Chamois shirt in 1969 which was a true reflection of the times. People had more time for leisure activities and even working class people were taking regular vacations which left a gap in the market. The Chamois was the ideal garment because it was made of thick, dense cotton as well as being warm and durable. This led to the similar yet distinguishable and hugely popular (outdoor) Flannel Shirt which later went on to become an iconic category for the Woolrich brand. Continuing the outdoor theme, Woolrich also outfitted Antarctic explorers in 1939 when they supplied 1,296 all-wool garments to Admiral Byrd’s team for three expeditions.

Woolrich also outfitted Antarctic explorers in 1939 when they supplied 1,296 all-wool garments to Admiral Byrd’s team for three expeditions.

The Woolrich collections reflect our heritage by combining the brand’s historical identity with a contemporary interpretation of iconic Americana. After more than three decades in which Woolrich Europe was distributing and licensing the product throughout the European territories, the two companies (US + EU) decided to merge creating Woolrich International in 2017. Today, it still remains the oldest American outdoor clothing brand, encompassing two distinctive lines that are sold globally.

Woolrich Japan is a licensing distributor that is owned by Goldwin who are major stakeholders in Woolrich International. Goldwin are one of the leading experts in outdoor apparel so naturally they were the best fit to develop the New Outdoor Line which is a reflection of the evolution of our celebrated history in the great outdoors.

Meanwhile, Woolrich EU develops the contemporary line which represents the evolution of our outdoor history and performance within the urban environment. Staying true to our heritage, both lines are heavily influenced by the American East Coast culture.

The Woolrich collections reflect our heritage by combining the brand’s historical identity with a contemporary interpretation of iconic Americana.

The sophisticated take on military, outdoor, and utilitarian style results in a collection of outerwear, ready to wear and sportswear that redefines American style with the invaluable asset that is a global design perspective.

Recently, Woolrich expanded its European development and is distributed today in 45 countries with 18 Flagship stores worldwide.