Kathmandu – part of KMD Brands, which also owns hiking shoe brands Rip Curl and Oboz – recently launched its BioDown jacket as part of its ambitious goal of a sustainable, waste-free business model by 2025.
Surprisingly to many, George Finch, an Australian mountaineer, scientist and inventor, popularized the use of down. He used his “down jacket” as a member of the 1922 British expedition to Mount Everest.
Mr Finch wore a bright green fabric-lined jacket intended for use on a hot air balloon, according to Racket review.
Despite the success of wearing the jacket to the highest peak in the world, its version of a down jacket has not gained traction in the outdoor adventure clothing category in the United States.
It was Eddie Bauer and his eponymous brand who designed the skyliner jacket made from quilted down in 1939, which is credited for the wider use of the puffer.
In the 1940s, Mr. Bauer adapted his jacket for the military by creating a flight jacket for the United States Air Force.
In the 1970s, Norma Kamali created the “sleeping bag coat”, initially made from real sleeping bags.
There have since been many iterations of the puffer, but it all comes back to Australian ingenuity.