Columbia Sportswear Company

Columbia Sportswear Company logo

Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, Montrail®, and Pacific Trail®. To learn more, please visit the company's websites at,,, and

When did you join EOCA?

March 2007

Why our company is involved with EOCA?

We support organizations who share our passion for the great outdoors. We believe that outdoor education and conservation ensures everyone will be able to enjoy the outdoors for generations to come.

What else do we do to support conservation?

We have three key initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to support outdoor education and conservation.

Save the Seagrass
Columbia Sportswear and the Ocean Foundation are working to preserve the "nursery of the sea" through the Seagrass Grow Campaign.
Seagrass beds are home to dozens of animals, including fish, shellfish, eels, and seahorses; in fact, 70% of marine life is dependent on seagrass at some stage in their life cycle. Unfortunately, a single boat prop can create a scar that can eliminate an entire seagrass meadow.
The Seagrass Grow campaign is proactively restoring sections of damaged seagrass beds while educating boaters and other resource users how to minimize their impact and raise their props.

Skin Cancer Foundation
Columbia is partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) to help educate consumers how to safely enjoy the outdoors. SCF is the only international organization devoted solely to combating the world’s most common cancer, now occurring at epidemic levels. More than a million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year.
Our Omni-Shade line has earned the SCF’s Seal of Recommendation which is awarded to ultraviolet (UV) protection products with a minimum of UPF 30 that meet their specific criteria. Columbia Sportswear is the first international large apparel company to hold the seal.
The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will hit the road in March, offering free full body skin cancer screenings conducted by local board-certified dermatologists. The 38-foot customized RV will stop at participating Rite Aid stores and other locations in order to provide early detection services to thousands of people.
The tour is expected to screen more than 10,000 people and will visit more than 50 cities at 100 different locations across the country. Please see the widget below to identify a tour stop in your area. The screenings will take place in one of two private rooms and are quick, easy and potentially life-saving. The tour will provide printed informational materials and sunscreen samples to help protect skin.

Getting Kids Outside
At Columbia, we have a passion for the outdoors. Sadly, many young adults and children do not share this connection to the outdoors. Recent studies have found that the average child spends 35 hours a week in front of the television. Less than 25% of school-aged children participate in daily physical activity. Only 34% of those between the age of six and 24 reported participating in outdoor activities.
We are working with a diverse group of partners around the world to improve these statistics and create opportunity for kids to go outside. Our support includes providing “clothes closets” of outdoor apparel so that young people can concentrate on their surroundings rather than any discomfort. We proudly partnered with the North American Association of Environmental Educators to sponsor the first ever scholarship directed towards a teacher and administrator who have been able to sustain an outdoor education program during difficult economic times.
We are also actively supporting America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and co-hosted a regional listening session in 2010 which identified proposed strategies to increase youth participation in the outdoors.
Each of these projects includes multiple partners, international scope, and address critical global issues at a local level. Columbia also annually partners with hundreds of additional nonprofit organizations such as the Conservation Alliance, American Hiking Society, and Mercy Corps, around the world to promote outdoor education and conservation. Combined, these organizations have generated over a million hours of volunteer service, conserved millions of acres of land, and improved the lives of millions internationally.

What else do we do to support conservation?


Techlite™ is manufactured by injecting or pouring EVA (ethylene and vinyl acetate) material into a form. The Techlite™ manufacturing process produces 5-10% EVA waste, in comparison to conventional EVA cutting methods that produce 30-40% waste.

Water-Based Adhesives
Adhesives are used to bond shoe parts together – upper to midsole, and midsole to outsole. Chemical solvent-based adhesives emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can cause harm to workers and the environment. Water-based adhesives virtually eliminate emission of VOCs. Since June 2008 we have reduced VOC emissions 50% by replacing solvent-based adhesives with water-based adhesives during the manufacturing process.

Perimeter Stitch Technology
Perimeter Stitch Technology is a method of stitching an EVA midsole to the shoe upper. Stitching shoe parts together reduces the use of adhesives by almost half. The use of less adhesives results in a reduction of VOCs.

Eco Rubber Outsoles
Eco Rubber outsoles are manufactured using a blend of natural and synthetic rubbers. 85% less petroleum-based synthetic rubber is used during the Eco Rubber manufacturing process compared to conventional manufacturing methods, thereby increasing the use of natural, renewable resources.

Eco Regrind Rubber Outsoles
Eco Regrind Rubber outsoles are manufactured using a blend of recovered industrial waste and synthetic rubbers. Up to 30% of the recovered rubber waste is reground for use during the Eco Regrind Rubber manufacturing process, reducing our use of synthetic rubbers from non-renewable petroleum-based resources.