We are named for the coldest, most unforgiving side of a mountain. We have helped explorers reach the most unfathomable heights of the Himalayas. But The North Face® legend begins, ironically, on a beach. More precisely, San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, at an altitude of only 150 feet above sea level. It was here in 1966 that two hiking enthusiasts resolved to follow their passions and founded a small mountaineering retail store. From the beginning, the brand committed to serving all those who desired to explore and to serving our natural wild lands by helping to conserve them. At our core, we believe exploration creates an indelible bond with the outdoors, inspiring people to protect our land and pass these beliefs down to the next generation.
Soon thereafter, that little shop became known as The North Face, a retailer of high-performance climbing and backpacking equipment. In 1968, The North Face moved to the other side of San Francisco Bay, to the unbridled possibilities of the Berkeley area, and began designing and manufacturing its own brand of technical mountaineering apparel and equipment.
Through the 1960s, The North Face brand cherished a following amongst avid outdoor athletes and began sponsoring expeditions to some of the most far-flung, still largely untouched corners of the globe. This launched a proud tradition which continues in full force today and constantly reinforces The North Face mantra, Never Stop Exploring™.
By the early 1980s, The North Face was taking exploration to the outer limits of the ski world, adding extreme skiwear to the product offering. These were the days of pastels, neons, hair dye, and mohawks; they laid the groundwork for today's free-spirited snowsports athletes. By the end of the decade, The North Face became the only supplier in the United States to offer a comprehensive collection of high-performance outerwear, skiwear, sleeping bags, packs and tents.
The 1990s ushered in an era during which The North Face further broadened the outdoor world it helps athletes to explore. The decade saw our debut in the sportswear market with the launch of Tekware™, an innovative collection designed to provide rock climbers, backpackers, hikers, trail runners, and outdoor enthusiasts with the ultimate fit and function. The North Face half dome logo began to appear with greater regularity on ultramarathon courses, high-country trails, and big walls. And, as the calendar clicked toward a new millennium, The North Face launched its own line of trekking and trail-running shoes to ultimately address the head-to-toe needs of those always striving for the next horizon.
While the brand continued to shape the outdoor market through product, expedition and athlete achievements, it launched two game changing product lines – Thermoball and Fuseform. Thermoball introduced synthetic insulation mimicking the capability of down. Fuseform revolutionized the manufacturing space as it changed the way technical apparel is produced.
Now, more than 50 years after its humble grand opening, The North Face delivers an extensive line of performance apparel, equipment, and footwear. We push the boundaries of innovation so that you can push the boundaries of exploration. We remain deeply proud to be the first choice of the world's most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers, snowboarders, endurance runners, and explorers.
There's little telling what the next 50 years hold for us. However, there is one bedrock of certainty: The North Face will maintain an unwavering commitment to pushing the limits of innovation and design, so that you can push your limits outdoors. Never Stop Exploring.
Built on innovation, The North Face® brand offers unrivaled, technically advanced outdoor products designed for everyone from the most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes and endurance athletes to novice explorers in search of adventure.
The North Face was built on a love for the outdoors and the desire to enable all types of exploration, from your backyard to the Himalayas. Over the last 50 years we've lived by our “true north,” the belief that exploration has the power to change us, to challenge us and to help us see the world from new perspectives.
As we enter our sixth decade, we pledge to:
• Empower exploration and the thrill of the unknown for as many people as possible.
• Protect the places where we live, play, and operate.
• Evolve the way we make our products by improving our environmental performance and social responsibility in the supply chain.
The North Face® brand broadened its commitment to U.S. freeskiing as the sport prepared to make its Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 winter games.
As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in U.S. grants to more than 300 non-profit organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists. In 2015 specifically, The North Face Explore Fund Program Awarded $500,000 to 47 non profits to get more than 30,000 people outdoors.
The North Face® brand created the Clothes the Loop program, inviting consumers to drop off used apparel and footwear in any condition at participating The North Face® brand retail stores. Items are repurposed for reuse to extend their life or recycled into raw materials and customers earn coupons toward The North Face® brand gear.
The North Face® is committed to improving animal welfare and traceability in the goose down and feather supply chain. We created the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to help ensure that our down does not come from animals that have been subject to any unnecessary harm, such as force-feeding or live-plucking, and to provide a traceability system to validate the original source of down used in The North Face products. Certified down will be incorporated into our products starting in Fall 2015 with a goal of 100 percent certification by Fall 2017. The North Face gifted ownership of the RDS to Textile Exchange, which will allow any organization seeking to source down more responsibly to use this tool.