Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of their dry wear.
In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, their hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel.
Kokatat is proud of thier contribution to the local Humboldt County economy. More than 90% of their global sales are generated from apparel and accessories manufactured in Arcata (California). Thier long term employees have developed skills and techniques unique in the industry.
Kokatat has been able to maintain a low carbon footprint, relative to many other brands of outdoor apparel that source goods offshore. In 2010 they activated one of the largest solar photovoltaic systems in the region, which powers much of their manufacturing equipment. They also employ strict water conservation practices throughout their factory. Named the 2010 Arcata Green Business of the Year, their company provides an established platform of green practices, social equity and economic vitality to the region.