Sign up for our newsletter and receive 10% off your first order!

Threads of Adventure

The Making of Appalachian Gear Company

At Appalachian Gear Company, we are more than just an outdoor lifestyle brand; we are a testament to American ingenuity, resilience, and a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability. With a solid foundation of 45 years in the textile industry and a passion for the great outdoors, our journey is one of innovation, friendship, and a shared vision for a more sustainable future.

Co-founders John Gage and Mike Hawkins bring to the table not just their extensive experience from leading roles in Fortune 500 textile manufacturing companies but also a friendship and partnership forged over 25 years of collaborative entrepreneurship. Their path has been marked by a series of ventures, developing and producing fabrics for various industries and several renowned apparel brands. Witnessing the decline of American textile apparel manufacturing to offshoring, John and Mike nurtured a hope to make a significant return to the apparel industry.

Their breakthrough moment came from a shared realization about the untapped potential of alpaca fiber. In their words: "We came up with the idea to utilize alpaca fiber as we were brainstorming ideas for performance fabrics with less environmental impact than polyester and nylon. We also wanted a fabric that would improve upon the benefits and production methods of merino wool." This vision gave birth to the All-Paca fabric, an endeavor that was as challenging as it was rewarding.

Creating the All-Paca fabric—a 100% alpaca fiber marvel free from harsh chemical processing and synthetic blends—was uncharted territory. It demanded three years of relentless research, a leap of faith in purchasing machinery, and countless hours of experimentation. Customizations ran across the board, from fiber and yarn specifications to machinery setups and procedures. The journey was fraught with obstacles, each one a test of their perseverance. Yet, their unwavering determination paid off, culminating in the successful creation of a fabric that sets a new standard for performance and environmental responsibility.

Appalachian Gear Company stands proud as the culmination of this journey—a beacon of performance, value, and minimal environmental impact in the outdoor apparel industry. Built on the foundations of friendship, expertise, and a passion for the great outdoors, our story is a testament to what's possible when vision meets determination. We invite you to join us in wearing your commitment to innovation and sustainability, one garment at a time.