Terramar: Building a Brand from the Inside Out

 CenterStone has been Terramar’s B2B wholesale e-commerce partner since 2009, providing order management software (OMS), assortment planning and digital catalog services. We have been thrilled to aid the growth of a like-minded brand, as we share Terramar’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and devotion to philanthropy. As such, we chose the brand’s Thermawool products to be our official CenterStone apparel for the upcoming season. If you see any of us attending a tradeshow, you can be sure we’ll proudly be sporting Terramar gear. Make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

The concept of starting from the inside and building outward is foundational. This concept has been applied to constructing buildings, increasing your self-confidence and developing cohesive communities. For outdoor enthusiasts, however, the concept of “inside out” applies to the base of their gear: the aptly-named baselayer. Terramar, a global manufacturer of baselayers and performance underwear, believes that optimal performance is built from the ground up – or in this case, next-to-skin apparel.

So what does Terramar mean? The name “Terramar” is derived from Latin, combining the words “terra,” meaning earth, and “mare,” meaning sea or water. The name speaks to the brand’s roots in the outdoor industry, as outdoor enthusiasts wear Terramar products to traverse any terrain they may encounter.

Established in 1971, Terramar designed its original baselayers out of silk. At the time, silk was the standard material for performance gear due to its natural moisture-wicking, thermoregulation and odor elimination properties. The first product Terramar developed, Thermasilk, was the industry standard when the brand was first established. As time went on, however, the need for baselayers that could outperform silk became necessary. In response, Terramar began to focus on developing better synthetic materials for more innovative products. “There’s only so much you can do with natural products,” says Natalie Vinegar, Marketing Coordinator at Terramar. “When you bring different polys into the mix, there’s a lot you can do to enhance the wicking, the warmth factor, and the thermoregulation properties to build the ultimate baselayer product.”

The never-ending search for new, innovative synthetics led the brand to develop several new products, such as its Ecolator and Thermawool products as well as its Climasense technology. Recently, several of Terramar’s retailers expressed their desire for a more heavyweight, mid-layer product. Although slightly differing from the usual next-to-skin product offerings, the product development team began to search for materials that could keep workers warm and comfortable in subzero temperatures. The result was The Beast, an “expedition weight” product featuring the same warmth, flexibility and breathability consumers have come to expect from Terramar apparel. (For those attending the SIA Snow Show this week, the product will be available to check out for yourself at the Terramar booth)

Although the brand is always looking to innovate and expand, Terramar is very careful to stick to its heritage. This belief comes from the very nature of the baselayer as a product. It’s the first piece of gear a person puts on, and represents the foundation of mid-performance comfort. As Vinegar puts it: “You can have great skis, jackets, shoes, etc., but without the proper baselayer, you’re losing out on the opportunity to be comfortable, warm and dry. It leaves you kind of lost.” The Thermasilk line still provides quality warmth and thermoregulation to its wearers, so the product still exists in several lines today. This emphasis on sticking to the brand’s roots extends to its ideologies of sustainability and giving back. Terramar places a high importance on philanthropic efforts, such as sponsoring the National Ski Patrol and providing funding and product to organizations such as Big City Mountaineers. In addition, surplus product around the holidays gets donated to organizations that give baselayers to the homeless and families in need.

By building the Terramar brand from the inside out, the brand has been able to remain faithful to its heritage and its customers. Due to its continued innovation, the brand was acquired by the Montreal-based underwear manufacturer Lamour in 2007. Terramar has since been doing better than ever, and the future is as bright as a Colorado sun at the top of a slope. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you have a strong base(layer).

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