Last year was all about stepping outside of our comfort zones and trying new things. Jean, our Digital Marketing Specialist, strapped in and competed at the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom, winding her way through the course in style. Billy, our Sales Forecasting and Analytics Manager, laced up and ran the Highlonesome 100—finishing this whopper of a race in 30 hours. Katie, our Content Coordinator, hopped on a fat bike and bivvied in an epic Idaho snowstorm (she says it was all for the blog story).
Thirteen new Smartwool riders joined 59 co-workers, retailers, sales reps and advocacy partners to pedal the 300 miles from our Steamboat Springs headquarters to Outdoor Retailer in Denver. For the occasion, Ryker, our Copywriter, even shaved his legs. You know, for speed. Joelle, our Planner/Buyer, climbed one of the most technical and iconic Colorado 14ers—while raising more than $2,300 for our advocacy partner, Big City Mountaineers. Robert, our Senior Product Line Manager, launched a handmade pottery company. Anne, our VP of Merchandise, won best honey in Boulder County, during her very first year of beekeeping to boot. Susan, our Ecommerce Analyst, had her first book published—a coming-of-age suspenseful romance story.
There were engagements, weddings and babies (two-legged and four-legged). We taught each other fly fishing basics, bike maintenance and the value of connecting mind, body and breath with yoga. 2018 saw so many firsts—and while these are just a few—we really set out to push boundaries and exceed expectations. Hats off to the entire team.
We dedicated hours and dollars to important causes around the world. Each employee is given 40 hours of paid community service and in 2018, we certainly took advantage of this. Collectively, we volunteered a total of 3,254 hours with 40 different organizations. Whether we were packing 1,515 lbs. of black bean and rice soup to create 10,000 meals for kids who need it most, or helping to build 3 miles of breezy singletrack—giving back was an integral part of our year.
In addition to human power, we donated a total of $168,890 to our
Partners—Protect Our Winters, The Conservation Alliance, The
Nature Conservancy, Big City Mountaineers and SOS Outreach, plus other
conservation-focused non-profits. We believe the outdoors is a place
to be shared by everyone and we’ll continue to support organizations
making a difference to protect and care for the places we play.
What’s better than commuting to work? Commuting to work and getting rewarded for it. We give employees the opportunity to log their commutes—walking, biking, carpooling, or if you’re feeling daring, hitchhiking—for a chance to win prizes. We had 65% of our staff participate in alternative commuting to our Steamboat Springs, Boulder and Chattanooga offices.
On the product front, our newly redesigned Smartloft saved 2.75
tons of Merino wool from waste in 2018. Smartloft insulation uses
leftover scraps of Merino 250 base layers—providing warm, light,
quick-drying comfort in our Smartloft jackets and vests.
To call us Merino wool enthusiasts is a bit of an understatement. We LOVE this fiber. It’s our go-to for any activity, from backcountry skiing to happy hour with friends. In 2018, we brought new innovations like printed lifestyle socks with colorful, funky patterns and our PhD® Pro line of socks in partnership with Smartwool athletes Angel Collinson and Conrad Anker—developing our most advanced, activity-specific socks ever.
To create our entire sock collection, we used one million pounds of yarn to bring you 10 million pairs of socks. We’d like to extend a special thanks to the 115,000 sheep who made this possible—all while roaming hundreds of thousands of acres under the watchful care of multi-generational family sheep growers.
A recap wouldn’t be complete without highlighting some costumes. We like to have fun, whether it’s friendly competition at our inaugural Smartwool Grill Off, getting festive with ugly Christmas sweaters, or riding our bikes dressed as superheroes. Because, why not? On a scale of 1 to 10, we’d consider ourselves an 11 when it comes to doing what we love, but not taking ourselves too seriously.
We’ve had a great 2018 and hope you did too! Share your 2018 highlights with us by tagging @smartwool and using #gofarfeelgood. As we close out 2018, we’re excited to see what 2019 has in store!