An Anchorage based outdoor apparel company was recently named Alaska’s women-owned business of the year by the Small Business Administration.
Alpine Fit owner Jen Loofbourrow said she thinks her company received the honor because of their contributions to the small, challenging industry of sewn product manufacturing.
All of Alpine Fit’s products are made in the U.S., and the vast majority are assembled in their warehouse in midtown Anchorage. Loofbourrow said Alaska is an amazing field testing ground, but it’s difficult to be so far from industrial centers like New York and LA. And she said there’s very little institutional knowledge left in domestic manufacturing.
“So there’s a very small group of us out there that are trying to not just hold on to that knowledge, but also contribute to the existence of Made in USA manufacturing continuing to exist,” Loofbourrow said. “And to actually produce high performance gear.”
Loofbourrow developed a special fabric with a California fabric mill – and it’s made for Alaska adventures. The base layers have silver fibers sewn into them, making them antimicrobial. Loofbourrow said the silver prevents odor producing bacteria from forming on your clothes.
“It can be your one shirt for a week of camping, and it continually resists body odor buildup,” she said. “So you can stay fresh smelling for your entire sweaty adventure.”
The company offers multiple body fit options for each clothing size. Loofbourrow said there is still very limited selection for different body shapes in the outdoor market, especially for women.
“I have seen women try them on and be in tears of joy, that they finally have a pair of pants that they can feel and look the part that they want to be, to go out and do the activities that they want to do,” she said.
Loofbourrow recognizes that their clothes are sold at a premium price point, but she said all of the products are built to last and they offer free lifetime repairs.
Loofbourrow said they’ve seen steady growth since starting four years ago, and she hopes to provide more and more employment opportunities in Alaska.