What’s your story?
Frustrated by the realization that they spent their lives toggling between their “outdoor kits” and their “town kits,” they wanted one set of gear that could perform well in many environments and look good doing so. When they couldn’t find what they were looking for, Jedd and Mark knew they had two options: compromise or create. They decided on the latter, and Topo Designs was born.
What is your “why”?
Growing up in the west, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen had always been interested in not only spending time outside but also in the gear needed to get out. They found themselves wishing there was a company offering a lineup a bit more like the gear they grew up using—classic styling, functionality, durability and a clear connection with the brand behind the product.
So in 2008, Jedd bought a sewing machine and began concepting, designing, and sewing packs in his Fort Collins basement, while Mark set out around Denver and the front range looking for resources and partners needed to build those designs. They were lucky enough to find local Colorado folks that were just getting started like them and were willing to build companies together and worked with them to produce Topo Designs’ initial offering of products, continuing to work with them to this day.
Today, we’re still in the mode of making things we want to use as individuals and connecting with our customers as a brand. We want to produce the most durable, versatile, beautiful products that can be used around town, out on the trail and traveling the globe. We know nothing is more frustrating than being let down by your own gear, so that motivates us to make things that last. Simple, classic, well-designed products that are inspired by who we are and where we live.
Why does sustainability matter?
Starting with who we are as employees and individuals, and how we choose to maintain our environment, we can act on responsible decisions with the materials we choose and the products we make. We want people to engage and improve their communities, natural places and spaces around where they live, so they can see an immediate change, and can easily recruit others to protect the important places on their maps.
One of the best parts of building products that last is that they become a part of the people that own them. They become world travel companions, daily pack mules for their most prized possessions, and second skins to keep them protected from the elements.
Do you contribute to your local community?
The Topo Designs MAP Pact initiative is designed to ensure the simple concept to maintain, act, and protect our communities. We want to involve people in their communities, natural places, and spaces around where they live, so they can see an immediate change and can easily recruit others to protect the important places on their maps. So far, the Topo Designs team has organized and participated in five events around Colorado for 161 hours of total volunteer time.