Jagged Edge: “Made In The U.S.A."

They’re back and they’re better. We are talking about the “Classic” Journey Vest by Jagged Edge. Enter right now for a chance to win a Jagged Edge Journey vest (men’s or women’s model). By entering the contest, you also become a member of Jagged Edge’s Adventurers Community and are entitled to a 10% discount on any purchases at their online store between now and when the contest ends on February 10. Enter here now. What’s more, Jagged Edge is very proud of its Made in the U.S.A. gear. Visit often the website often and shop online here.

Sustainability.

Lots of people talk it.

But who around Telluride really walks it?

Erik Dalton of Jagged Edge Mountain Gear for one. He has put his money where his mouth is.

Erik dalton of Jagged Edge, image, Melissa Plantz

Erik Dalton of Jagged Edge, image, Melissa Plantz.

In the early 2000s, when Jagged Edge last manufactured product, it succumbed to the outdoor industry norm of depending upon a remote supply chain based mostly in Asia.

In fact today, as noted by industry expert Kurt Gray, “..except for a hand-full of exceptions (including Jagged Edge) most outdoor gear and apparel is made on the other side of the planet”

This manufacturing model is not what Jagged Edge owner and mountain enthusiast Erik Dalton had in mind for his new product line. As someone who is passionate about the environment and sustainable living, it was a great luck when Erik was introduced by a former Jagged Edge employee to Kurt Gray.

Both Erik and Kurt are committed to making products in the U.S., where as Kurt notes, “production cycles are shortened, environmental laws are followed, labor dollars stay close to home, there’s less waste and glut and ultimately, it makes a much smaller carbon footprint…It’s better for everyone; ourselves, our local communities, and the planet.”

Currently, Kurt and a small team in a shop in Broomfield, Colorado, manage all of Jagged Edge’s manufacturing. With access to operators, technicians, and various supply chain necessities for sewn goods manufacturing, this shop in the Boulder-Denver corridor is in an ideal location. Moving forward, both Kurt and Erik are looking to grow this space into a bigger design and production facility that can serve both an expanded Jagged Edge product line, as well as other home-grown companies looking for domestic production space.

But there’s more to the Jagged Edge “Made in U.S.A.” strategy.

Not only is Jagged Edge manufacturing products themselves right here in Colorado, they are producing products in small-batches with almost exclusively Made in America fabrics and materials including Polartec, Brookwood, Ideal, and Dimension Polyant. The exception is Swiss-made Schoeller Dynamic used in outerwear. Products are then sold to consumers online and in person at the Jagged Edge Mountain Gear store in Telluride, Colorado.

Erik Dalton, behind the counter, ahead of the Made in the U.S.A. movement. Image, Melissa Plantz.

Erik Dalton, behind the counter, ahead of the Made in the U.S.A. movement. Image, Melissa Plantz.

 

Being at the forefront of the American resurgence in small-batch local manufacturing (similar to what is happening with the micro-beer industry) and selling direct to consumers allows Jagged Edge to offer the very best technical apparel, made with the best materials, at a competitive price.

As Kurt explains: “Jagged Edge Mountain Gear, as an outdoor specialty retailer, is ‘the real deal’ and unique in the industry. It sources the hard-to-find, best specialty products globally while sewing what it can locally. The shop presents an array of familiar and trusted names from across the technical outdoor market as well as the shop’s own ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ apparel in an even-handed way. There’s no guilt, no judgement, no David and Goliath story. You’re free to choose how your dollars will work for you and then make a buying decision within a win-win retail environment.”

Although the Jagged Edge offerings are currently limited, there has been recognition. Two designs were selected to compete for the APEX Award, an innovation-based award given out by Polartec. There are plans to expand the line, creating additional technical and unique products featuring some of the best fabrics and materials on the planet, all made as close to Colorado as possible.

Jagged Edge is justifiably proud of the clothing and equipment lines now sold online and in their Telluride store. The ownership and staff are outdoor people and actively use these items: you can trust that your purchase will perform as it should. It does for the folks at Jagged Edge.

Jagged Edge Mountain Gear, the backstory:

Over 20 years ago, two ambitious young women, (twin sisters Margaret and Paula Quenemoen), inspired by big mountains and climbs in both Colorado and the Himalayas, and fueled by a passion for creativity and expression, launched the Jagged Edge Mountain Gear brand.

The women started out selling their handmade headbands from a push cart in Telluride, Colorado in the early ’90s. But as they gained notoriety for their durable fabrics and great designs – and as Telluride itself grew rapidly as a ski resort town – their business quickly blossomed into a very successful technical apparel store on Main Street. Eventually success and rapid growth led them to manufacturing clothing in Asia, operating stores in mountain towns throughout Colorado, a catalog business, and a distribution business (with retailers like Eastern Mountain Sports) selling their clothing throughout the U.S.

In 2003, what seemed like insurmountable operational issues led to the sale of the original business to its current owner, the Dalton family. To keep the business going, operations were down-sized to just the store in Telluride, which was moved to its current location at the east end of Main Street.

Over the next 10 years, Jagged Edge built its iconic reputation by offering the very best technical mountain gear, from the most respected manufacturers from around the world. The store has become a hub for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and abroad because of the quality of its products and an extremely knowledgable sales team who are “the real heroes” of the Jagged Edge experience.  These experts in their respective outdoor disciplines love nothing more than sharing their knowledge and experience of the outdoors with others, experience with rock climbing, kayaking, trail running, backcountry hiking and backpacking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, backcountry skiing, and snowboarding.

Jagged Edge team, image, Melissa Plantz.

Jagged Edge team, image, Melissa Plantz.

 

For years, Erik Dalton sought to reacquire the Jagged Edge Mountain Gear trademark (which had been sold to another company when the original business was sold in 2003), so he could bring back the Jagged Edge brand of apparel. In 2014, his efforts were successful.

Times have changed since Jagged Edge was originally founded and with it, so has the vision for how Jagged Edge products would be brought to market. The business is now all about Made in the U.S.A.

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Jim Berkowitz

Jim Berkowitz

Jim is a Digital Marketer who provides web site design and development as well as internet and social media marketing services to businesses, non-profits and celebrities in Telluride, Colorado and beyond.

 As an active member of the Telluride community, Jim has served on the Boards of KOTO-fm and The Telluride Jazz Festival and currently serves as Board Chairman of the University Centers of the San Miguel (a non-profit continuing education organization). Jim also volunteers his time generously to many other local non-profits, is a mentor for Telluride Venture Accelerators and is "DJ Jimmy Jazz" on KOTO-fm in Telluride.

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