Columbia Sportswear stays true to its image as a champion of the outdoors

Font Size

tree planting
Columbia Sportswear employees from Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region prepare the soil and get planting as part of their CSR activity at the La Mesa Ecopark.

KNOWN FOR its quality and world-class gear, equipment, and apparel, Columbia Sportswear makes it a point to stay true to what it stands for as a brand by championing the outdoors.

And the company throughout the years has been lining up programs geared towards the protection of the environment and the outdoors even as it continues to develop products boasting of various innovations to give consumers better performance whatever their chosen outdoor activity may be.

Recently Columbia held a business conference among its principals and partners from Latin America and Asia-Pacific region in the country where they got to share business best practices and ideas, among others.

The conference also had a corporate social responsibility (CSR) component where Columbia shareholders got to do their part in the rehabilitation of the La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City.

It was a project that proponents said was up the alley of Columbia and fitted it well as a group.

“The company puts a lot [of] priority in giving back to the community where we operate in. Our focus is on the environment and activities like this is close to our hearts and to what the brand is all about,” said Peter J. Bragdon, Columbia executive vice-president, chief administrative officer and general counsel, when asked by BusinessWorld on the significance of environmental CSR projects in their thrust during their La Mesa Ecopark rehabilitation project on March 7.

During the La Mesa Ecopark project, participants were given a brief history of the park, special instructions on what to expect, and time to get in on some tested tough action with activities that included weeding and preparing the soil, planting of germinant, and repainting playgrounds.

While in the Philippines, Columbia principals also took the time to share some of the things that keep the company going and staying on top of its game, in particular the “Tested Tough” campaign which has been in the center of their products.

“‘Tested Tough’ is a campaign that propelled the company back in the ’80s. It is something founded around our chairman Gert Boyle and her ethos that all our products be tested outdoors where they are intended to be used. It’s kind of a seal of approval; something that made the company what it is and we thought of bringing it back three years ago,” said Blaine Perrin, GTM (Go-To-Market) director, of what goes behind every product by Columbia.

For his part, Columbia International Merchandising Manager Scott Greenwood underscored that innovation is always top of mind for them, especially amid the so-called digital age.

“People are becoming more online but there are still people who want to go out. And our products circle around that, enabling them to be there (outdoors) for a long time. We have innovation teams which try new things. Innovation is top of mind for us always,” said Mr. Greenwood.

Columbia Sportswear is carried in the country by Kenrich International Distribution Corp., a member of the Primer Group of Companies. — MASM