Arc’teryx Equipment, the global design company specializing in technical high-performance outerwear and equipment, announces Nicole McLaughlin as the first-ever design ambassador, joining the brand’s many notable athletes, climbers and thought leaders including Peter Devries (Surf), Florence Williams (Author), Brendan Leonard (Run/Author), Katie Holdlen (MTB), Shelma Jun (Climb / Inclusion).
The multi-year partnership, which was born out of shared roots in rock climbing and goals for more sustainable design, aims to change the perception of what can be done with waste materials and further advance and uplift the conversation of circularity in manufacturing. In joining forces, Arc’teryx will support McLaughlin’s mission by providing resources and developing opportunities for her to showcase and share her talent, and spotlight the importance of sustainability in manufacturing in a tangible way.
“As a climber and designer, I’m excited to partner with Arc’teryx,” said McLaughlin. “I’m looking forward to shared learnings and connecting our communities so that together we can amplify the value of circularity, including repurposing garments to keep waste out of landfills.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome Nicole to the Arc’teryx team,” said Jurgen Watts, Director, Brand Experience. “We look forward to helping her share her passion for upcycling as we grow and evolve our initiatives in circularity and increasingly offer our guests more sustainable choices.”
McLaughlin, who has developed a captive audience through her artistic vision of repurposing and reimagining the potential of products otherwise seen as waste, will host a series of workshops and guest-facing Arc’teryx Academy events over the course of the partnership. Kicking off with design and upcycling workshops in NYC this Fall, these events will offer guests hands-on opportunities to create something from their own ‘waste’ materials, engaging them in the process toward a more circular garment industry.
To mark the announcement of the partnership, McLaughlin has unveiled two unique designs created from used Arc’teryx pieces and other upcycled materials:
Materials: Two used Bora 62 backpacks and a used cruiser cart found on eBay.
Inspiration: “Based on the concept of making something to help navigate the outdoors. I’m a huge fan of Bora backpacks and their utilitarian quality, but also their durability. Once I settled on the idea of a rugged cart, I decided to make something that would not only help you take your climbing gear (ropes, harnesses, water bottles, snacks, crash pads, etc.) to the crag, but also create an extra element of functionality. It’s everything you need, rolled up into one.”
Materials: Arc’teryx GORE-TEX scraps, strike-off patch logos, and a used mini display tent found online.
Inspiration: “I love mini and oversized things. I received a box of Arc’teryx GORE-TEX scraps, and I knew that I wanted to do a mini waterproof tent. It’s an exploration of utilizing GORE-TEX cut-offs of all sizes in miniature proportions that have the potential to be scaled in a life-sized way for outdoor usage.”
About Nicole McLaughlin
A New York-based designer with a focus on sustainability, McLaughlin has been a leader in the upcycling space since 2018. During her former role as a graphic designer at a sportswear company, she spun a side-interest in upcycling off-cast sample shoes and salvaged materials into a full-time independent design practice. In doing so, she garnered a fan base of more than 600,000 Instagram followers, and uses her influence to support philanthropic organizations such as the Slow Factory Foundation, Sunrise Movement, and more. Her gift for seeing things differently gained steam at high school when she taught herself sign language and learnt to communicate through physical expression. In her practice, McLaughlin plays with the shape and substance of sustainability by reinterpreting products at the end of their intended lifespan, from beanies to tennis balls to bras, into artistic and functional pieces.
About the Arc’teryx Ambassador Program
The Arc’teryx Ambassador program is designed to connect the brand to new guests. It complements the Athlete program which engages communities around our core pursuits of climb, snow sports and run. Through our Ambassador network, we are building meaningful connections with experts in sustainability, design, human sciences, and health and wellness. Our aim is to uplift leaders in these areas key to our brand identity and to showcase the versatility of our products.
Arc’teryx press release