In Episode 13 of AskNorth40, we were asked a question about where Simms clothing came from as some shirts say Bozeman, MT while others say Buy Local. To answer this question, we facetimed Michael White from Simms Fishing about where their products are manufactured.
The answer to this question became twofold as Michael addressed Simms manufacturing production as well as their ideology behind the Buy Local shirts.
As a manufacturer, Simms Fishing has been located in Bozeman, MT, since 1993 when the current owner, K.C. Walsh, acquired the company and relocated it from Jackson, Wyoming. Since then, the company has had a partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates (makers of GORE-TEX® fabric) to develop the breathable, GORE-TEX® Waders that Simms is known for.
In 2012, Bozeman became the permanent residence of the Simms headquarters when the company invested in a new 60,000-square-foot facility housing corporate headquarters, warehouses, and its production facility. This was made in effort to commit to and maintain Simms ideals of being a solely US-based wader manufacturer.
It is in this facility where all Simms GORE-TEX® waders are designed and created by master wader artisans. While it’s true that not all products in the Simms line are made in the Bozeman facility or the US, all operations of product development, design, sourcing comes out of the Bozeman Simms’ facility.
In terms of the Buy Local portion of the question, Michael explained that, at Simms, they have the belief that fishing consumers and fly fishing customers are best served at their local specialty fly shop and fishing retailer. They wish to provide the best experience for their customers and buying locally means that not only are you buying from the people in your area, but your experience will be tailored to your local area; meaning being informed on local fish, local fishing holes, events, etc. as well as gearing up for these local areas.
This mentality is referenced by the Buy Local products as they are meant to encourage customers to buy from their local fly shops. And in case you missed the incredibly subtle hint in the video, your local North 40 Fly Shop is more than happy to get you set up with all the latest Simms gear for your next fishing trip.