Finding the proper outerwear for skiing is expensive, and it can also be difficult for some people to find the jacket or pants that fit them correctly. All ski jackets and pants come in different sizes, and they all seem to fit differently depending on your chosen brand. The lucky ones can walk into an outfitter and pick out a jacket or pants which fit them great with no problem. However, there is a group of skiers and riders, for which this is not the case. MADE Apparel is there for those people to ensure that everyone on the mountain has outerwear that fits them properly and feels comfortable while skiing or riding.
MADE Apparel, based out of Squamish, BC, is the first made-to-measure clothing manufacturer in the outdoor industry. It was founded in 2021 by Philip-Design, Cheryl LeBarr-Operations, and Dustin Butcher-Brand, who all have deep connections to the outdoors and outerwear apparel. The company has remote teams across North America, with its manufacturing facility in Bangladesh.
Purchasing custom-fit apparel is not as difficult as it may sound, and MADE has made it pretty simple. The process is completed on MADE’s website, which asks the customers to select different options for their gear, such as other materials, colors, zippers, holsters, etc. Once you have chosen the options you want on your gear, getting that perfect fit starts. Customers will be given a link to an AI-based measuring tool that will take the exact measurements of a person’s dimensions. The measurement tool is used through your smartphone, taking over 75 measurements. However, it is straightforward and takes only about two minutes to complete.
I had the opportunity to chat with Jerrica Deiber, the Marketing and PR Director for MADE, and ask about the company and how it is unique from other outfitters. Besides making custom-fit apparel for customers, Deiber stated that MADE is different from other outfitters for three reasons.
The first difference is gender inclusivity, meaning a person does not have to identify their gender as a man or woman when selecting their apparel. According to Deiber, “We want anyone to feel comfortable in their gear, and gender has nothing to do with that.” Deiber added, “MADE marks the end of men’s versus women’s colors, the pink tax, and other common practices that have snuck into the norm of the outdoor industry.”
The second difference Deiber stated makes the company different from other outfitters is size inclusivity. Deiber said, “Our sizing system goes beyond just fitting people better, but includes a proper fit for those individuals who have always had a hard time finding anything that worked for their body. MADE’s goal is to ensure everyone who purchases their products gets the right gear for them.”
The third difference which makes MADE different from other outfitters is sustainability. MADE has taken steps in its design and production process to ensure the company is environmentally friendly as possible. This includes utilizing recycled and recyclable materials like Sympatex and A-grade dead stock of Polartec Neoshell in its products. MADE also only makes what it needs, meaning the order is only made once a customer places it. That is a big difference from other apparel companies, which usually have much extra stock on hand after each season. Deiber said, “We don’t make gear that doesn’t already have a home, and the gear we make is going to be exactly what each customer wants, built to last a long time.”
MADE is geared towards two primary customer groups; individuals traditionally off-size and individuals who know what they want. “The first group of individuals can be tall and thin, short and round, curvy, or anything else that has made it hard for them to find the gear that fits,” stated Deiber. The second group consists of individuals who know what they are looking for in the apparel and are searching for specific customization options in the product.
MADE’s objective is to change the outdoor apparel industry so that it is more personal, inclusive, and sustainable. Deiber said, “We want customers to be psyched about their gear and experience what it feels like to wear technical apparel that is perfect for them, not just ‘good enough.'”
Even though MADE utilizes advanced technology to ensure customers get the right fit for their gear, purchasing a piece of outerwear you never had the opportunity to try on can cause some hesitation. MADE has got that covered by focusing on customer satisfaction and allowing a person to contact the customer service team within ten days after receiving their order if there is some discrepancy. MADE says to hang onto the tags from the gear so they can check that everything was made to the specifications provided. The customers can discuss their concerns and how to address them with MADE’s team. Deiber said, “We guarantee a perfect fit, so we will figure out the best solution so every customer loves their gear.”
MADE apparel is relatively new to the outerwear industry, and there could be questions about how their gear holds up on the mountain. “MADE’s apparel is tested by the owners, athletes, writers and reviewers, gear heads, and anyone who has struggled to find a perfect fit,” said Deiber. MADE also has a list of athletes throughout the industry who endorse their apparel and act as brand ambassadors.
The one question everyone customer asks is how much this will cost me. Although MADE’s apparel is 100% custom-fit for the customer, their gear costs are comparable to other high-quality outfitters throughout the industry. The uniqueness of MADE’s manufacturing process makes its supply chain and production very different from other outerwear manufacturers. MADE’s apparel only starts designing a customer’s apparel after they have completed their order, which means there is not a lot of waste and extra apparel sitting on racks waiting to be purchased. That enables MADE to mitigate waste, keep prices in line, and provide customers with a perfect fit for their apparel needs.