Vail Resorts and Helly Hansen renew longstanding partnership

Vail Resorts and Helly Hansen today announced the renewal of their longstanding partnership, marked by the rollout of new uniforms within the Vail Professional Program.

For years, Helly Hansen, a leader in technical outdoor apparel has provided professional grade gear to the Vail Resorts team of mountain professionals, gathering insights and feedback which drives the design and evolution of Helly Hansen uniforms to meet their needs across the demanding weather conditions encountered on the mountain.

Retired uniforms will take on a new life as one-of-a-kind upcycled products to be sold to consumers.

The Vail Resorts and Helly Hansen partnership is founded on shared values, including a commitment to innovation, safety, and the enjoyment of the outdoors, serving their communities,  and an obligation to respect and protect the environment.  As their partnership progresses, Vail Resorts and Helly Hansen will continue to collaborate to define innovative solutions to help people stay and feel alive in the outdoors.

“Hearing directly from our team on what they need and what matters most was a critical part of this process,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president of the Mountain Division for Vail Resorts. “We also want to ensure we are upcycling our gear in an environmentally responsible way, in line with our company values and our Commitment to Zero goal: to have a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Our partnership with Helly Hansen is rooted in these shared values and guides our collaboration.”

Working with professionals and top athletes from around the world, Helly Hansen has a deep understanding of their needs, enabling them to create apparel and gear that performs in even the harshest conditions. Based on a longstanding relationship with the Vail Resorts team and employees, Helly Hansen has redesigned the Vail Resorts uniforms this season with a focus on safety, performance, and sustainability. Beginning during the 2022/23 season, and rolling out over multiple years, team members at 37 of Vail Resorts’ properties will receive these completely redesigned uniforms, and Helly Hansen will continue to work with their team to gather feedback to continuously evolve their uniforms for future seasons.

“We are proud of our long-term relationship with the entire Vail Resorts team, an organization that embodies our mission of creating professional grade gear to help people stay and feel alive,” said Oliver Flaser, Category Managing Director for Professional Services at Helly Hansen. “With a multitude of resorts spanning across continents and covering a variety of environments and terrain, the Vail Resorts organization is an invaluable partner to Helly Hansen. We are fortunate to gather insights from thousands of Vail Resorts professionals to develop gear with safety and performance at the forefront, and we are excited to continue this partnership with the rollout of the new uniforms this season.”

About the new uniforms:

Over the past two years, 52 patrollers across 14 resorts have been testing the new uniforms, providing feedback and insights to finetune every detail for rollout this season. Design updates include:

  • Safety: Additional reflective detailing and a hi-vis hood and brim to ensure 360-degree visibility, RECCO® reflectors for searchability, and the continuation of the Life Pocket™ feature, which preserves the battery life of mobile phones in cold conditions
  • Performance: An improved and articulated construction for superior fit and optimal mobility, perforation within the ski patrol cross logos for added breathability, more pockets for added storage and functionality, and a fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood with stretch panels and an added neck gusset, enabling the hood to easily be taken on or off without having to unzip the jacket
  • Sustainability: A lighter and more durable fabric, integration of recycled materials wherever possible, a PFC-free durable water repellent treatment for all waterproof and water-resistant pieces, and the use of solution-dyed materials which reduces water usage in the production process by 75%

About the decommissioned uniforms:`

Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero is the company’s bold goal to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030. The company intends to do this through zero waste to landfill, zero net emissions, and a zero net operating impact on forests and habitat.

“In order to reach zero waste to landfill by 2030, our strategy in order of priority is to reduce waste at the source; reuse and repurpose; and compost and recycle,” said Kate Wilson, senior director of sustainability at Vail Resorts. “Across our resorts, we are always looking for innovative ways to work with our strategic partners to make progress. After a successful pilot season last year, we’re thrilled that Helly Hansen is completely on board. The gear’s lasting integrity makes it perfect to upcycle into something new.”

Åsa Andersson, Sustainability Director at Helly Hansen, added, “We are honored to work with a partner that is committed to sustainability and shares our passion for innovation. Together, we will continue to explore circular design and end-of-life opportunities, and the zero waste to landfill commitment is just one example of how we can put these innovative sustainability solutions into action.”

To avoid the landfill, the decommissioned uniforms are 100 percent upcycled, and every detail on the uniform that is still in good condition is repurposed. For example, the pockets on the upcycled tote bags were previously pockets on the uniforms and all uniform zippers were repurposed into zippers on the new products, which include tote bags, goggle cases, and backpacks. No accessory is completely the same, and for gear that cannot be repurposed into sold goods, Helly Hansen will explore other end-of-life alternatives, such as downcycling the products into building material, like insulation or countertops, as well as textile-to-textile recycling.

Additionally, all upcycled product proceeds are donated to the Vail Resorts EpicPromise Employee Foundation, supporting emergency relief grants and educational scholarships for Vail Resorts’ team members. Through EpicPromise, Helly Hansen is also supporting Vail Resorts’ Epic for Everyone youth access program this season.

Guests can purchase these products this season at select locations including in Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Park City and Stowe.

Additional partnership details:

Through a multi-year partnership, Helly Hansen is Vail Resorts’ Official Uniform Partner at Afton Alps, Alpine Valley, Attitash, Beaver Creek, Boston Mills/Brandywine, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Crotched, Heavenly, Hidden Valley (MO), Hunter, Jack Frost/Big Boulder, Keystone, Kirkwood, Liberty, Mad River, Mount Brighton, Mount Snow, Mount Sunapee, Northstar, Okemo, Park City, Paoli Peaks, Roundtop, Snow Creek, Stevens Pass, Stowe, Vail, Wildcat, Whistler Blackcomb, Whitetail, Wilmot, Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek. 

Header image: A Whistler Blackcomb ski patroller prepares for the 2022/23 season.

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