Earth-friendly materials and processes, and a focus on running and yoga outerwear, lead the rebirth of the iconic brand GoLite.
Before “ultralight” was a thing, hikers, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts had their own hacks for keeping pack weights to a minimum. But in 1998, GoLite was founded in Boulder, Colo., with an ethos to create gear specifically to enable lightweight endeavors.
The brand’s ounce-minded packs, tents, and apparel – combined with a commitment to sustainable practices – won over a fervent customer base. From the beginning, GoLite was a pioneering brand by today’s standards, including its direct-to-consumer business model. It was a leader in the ultralight movement and the first certified outdoor B-corp.
Still, during its second decade in business, the company ran into financial troubles. It went bankrupt in 2014. It shuttered about 20 brick-and-mortar retail stores across the U.S. and closed the business.
But this month, the brand relaunched its website and announced it would reboot for spring 2019. According to its website, GoLite will initially focus on “specialized outdoor performance clothing with the functionality of clothing developed for running and yoga.”
GoLite Relaunches With ‘Outletic’ Apparel
While its name remains the same, its original founders Kim and Demetri Coupounas are out of the picture. The duo has since spearheaded another outdoor gear brand, My Trail Co.
According to Snews, GoLite now has backing from a Taiwanese holding company and will be headquartered in Seattle. But, as the brand notes on its website, it’s under “new ownership that will honor and extend the original brand’s legacy.”
That legacy includes two key focuses for the new GoLite: ultralight gear and social and environmental responsibility. The brand’s first run of apparel will focus on athletic clothing suitable for the outdoors. GoLite dubs it “Outletics.” See its teaser for the new line below.
While the initial product launch focuses on apparel, the brand claims all its gear is “designed to be as light as possible.”
GoLite brand manager Josh Clifford told Snews that offerings could include “footwear, bag, and accessories collections in the next few seasons.” He also said that while the brand will retail online through its site, unlike the first iteration, it will not have brick-and-mortar locations. Instead, it will partner with specialty retailers.
GoLite, GoAid, GoResponsibly
But similar to its first run, the new GoLite will maintain an ethos of environmental stewardship and humanitarian outreach. It’s calling the commitments the GoResponsibly and GoAid initiatives.
GoResponsibly means GoLite uses recycled fibers and eco-friendly finishes, dyes, and printing techniques. For example, the brand partners with the Tzu Chi Foundation, Taiwan’s largest recycler, to manufacture post-consumer recycled plastics into synthetic garments.
Leading up to the spring launch, the brand claims more than 80 percent of its first-run products will utilize “environmentally preferred, recycled, and low energy production materials and processes.”
GoLite’s GoAid projects aim to benefit those in need around the world. In fact, the brand said it has already donated more than 12,000 specially designed uniforms to global health workers in Uganda.
Additionally, as its manufacturing continues, GoLite will give its scrap materials to independent businesses. According to the site, it will “help people create small, sustainable businesses by putting excess fabrics into their hands.”
GoLite also said it will be in Denver for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. We will be sure to check out its spring 2019 products and learn more about the reboot.