DISCOVER YOUR DESIGNER – KUHL

   Words by Laura Shelley

   on 14/06/2018 13:20:49

“ORIGINAL, UNIQUE & REFRESHINGLY DIFFERENT”

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KUHL’S focus is on the product and only the product, which opposes the logo-driven norm.

At KÜHL®, they set out to demonstrate how original ideas lead to creating the best outdoor lifestyle clothing.

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We’ve had the chance to speak with Kevin Boyle, founder and designer of KUHL to find out more about the unique quality brand…

Kevin can you tell us a little about yourself and KUHL?

If I was to describe myself I would say I am fun! If you were to ask people to describe me they would say I am grateful, humble, curious, playful and compassionate.

KUHL is a collaboration of artists, athletes, industrial designers and master pattern makers with a passion for the outdoor experience. It’s exciting to come into KUHL and be surrounded with so much talent and passion. Is also very humbling.

What was the first item of clothing that you created and designed?

One of the first was the Jacquard Jacket in 1990, our signature Euro-styled Polartec fleece top that featured the first – the original – innovative thumb-loop cuff system and lightweight underarm gussets for comfort and optimal climate control. The design gained cult status in the outdoor community and went on to win the Polartec Apex award.

Where do you source the majority of your materials from?

We search the world over for the finest fabrics, threads, and treatments. That changes year to year and season to season and we in practice we keep a tight lid on our factories to maintain our competitive edge in the market.

Would you ever consider making footwear?

We haven’t considered walking this path in the past but you never know what’s in store for the future!

What inspired you to create technical clothing?

We need it to support our own active adventures! KUHL employees ski, mountain and road bike, backpack, camp, mountaineer, surf, stand up paddle, and travel worldwide. We know how to create the best looking technical clothing because we know what does – and doesn’t – work out in the real world.

What is one of Kuhl’s aims this year?

We’re going to keep delivering great product at a better value than anyone else, focusing on people who live their life on the move and allowing the customer to choose what they want to do in our clothing.

What was your journey and how did you found KUHL?

I moved to Utah when I was 18 to be a skier. I lived in a snow cave for approximately six weeks. I learned a lot about myself and my equipment. I started KUHL with two friends at the age of 20, I find my role is constantly changing and I’m always having to reinvent myself.

Do you remember your first outdoor experience?

My parents will take us camping every summer and we would go on huge hikes, climb peaks and explore Maine.

Where is your favourite skiing & travelling spot?

I am fortunate enough to live in the mountains of Utah and have had a seasons pass at Snowbird for the last 30+ years.  I love to travel to new resorts to new mountain ranges, explore and see the world.

Tell us where your dream skiing location is?

I like different places for different reasons I love skiing in Europe. Freeride off piste on a sunny powder day, I love storm chasing and skiing deep powder in the cottonwood canyons of Utah, I love exploring ski areas off the beaten path and places I’ve never heard and I love hiking & backcountry skiing especially on a perfect corn snow.

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Meet Kevin, designer & founder accompanied by Jane Barker our KUHL rep.

We know you are very environmentally friendly, can you tell us about what KUHL is doing to help the environment? 

At KUHL sustainability is not something that we just started. It is who we are. I will share with you that since 1993 when we changed our name to KUHL – the idea came to us when Polartec introduced recycled polyester fleece. We introduced KUHL springs water with the idea that if you brought the KUHL springs water bottles that were specifically designed to fit into a bicycle cage back to your outdoor store you would earn frequent flyer miles towards a KUHL fleece jacket that was to be made from the actual KUHL springs recycled plastic bottles fully closing the loop. Fortunately we quickly learned that water is heavy and gathering and having the shops shipping the actual plastic bottles back to be recycled into fleece jackets created a larger carbon footprint.

Every decision we make from every supplier we use we think about its impact on the environment.

KUHL headquarters and our warehouse: From bamboo doors and cabinets, LED lighting to energy efficient hand dryers in our restrooms. We choose to think of the environment in every decision we make. Our employees are served complementary Organic lunches cooked by our in house chef.

Cotton: We seek cotton from sustainable farming practices. Since 2012 we have used 100% organic cotton and all of our knits. Our cotton wovens are an organic cotton blend, with a goal to be 100% organic.

Down: We use 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) sourced down certified down products in all of our down jackets. Which is the industry standard for ethically sourced down.

Wool: We seek to use only merino wool it comes from sheep that have not been Mulesed.

Durable Water Repellent (DWR): 2 years ago we switched to DWR C6 fabric treatments to eliminate long chain PFAS from our fabrics. We are currently testing a new technology DWR called Green Shield that is even more environmentally friendly.

Packaging: All paper and hang tags is pre-and post consumer recycled. Acid free inks and Soy based inks used where ever possible.

We choose and do not use Any PVC or Furr angora, or genetically modified products in our supply chain.

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