Kokatat’s Commitment to US Manufacturing Leads to Better Service

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) – For more than 40 years Kokatat has been manufacturing the world’s finest paddling gear in Arcata, California. Kokatat’s hands-on approach to manufacturing has allowed the company to provide superior service by being able to quickly respond to market demands and keep a close watch on product quality.

“When other technical brands were moving their manufacturing offshore, we made the decision to continue to invest in our own infrastructure in the US,” said Steve O’Meara, Kokatat founder and CEO. “By keeping manufacturing in Humboldt County we’ve been more flexible and provided better service to our dealers.”

More than 90% of Kokatat’s global sales are generated from apparel and accessories that are manufactured in Kokatat’s factory in Arcata. With a just-in-time manufacturing strategy, Kokatat is able to control its inventory and react to market demands much faster than competitors who manufacture off-shore. This strategy ensures product availability the entire season without having to stock unnecessary excess inventory of finished goods.

The strategy has paid off, with Kokatat annually named as one of the top customer service and dealer service brands in the paddlesports and outdoor industry. In the 2011 Annual SNEWS® Specialty Outdoor Retail Survey, Kokatat was lauded as one of the top ten “best” suppliers to do business with in the entire industry.

Furthering its commitment to customer service, in 2009 Kokatat completed certification as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 company. This certification validates the company’s commitment to quality product and to providing industry leading customer satisfaction under the guidance of a quality management system.

“When we started out, the decision to keep manufacturing local was a business decision,” added O’Meara. “We’ve since found that sewing “Made in USA” into our garments, was also a socially and environmentally responsible decision as well.”

Thanks to domestic manufacturing Kokatat has been able to maintain a low carbon footprint, relative to many other outdoor apparel brands that source goods offshore. Kokatat further reduced its impact this year when it activated one of the region’s largest private solar photovoltaic systems. The system produces approximately 35,000kW hours of electricity per year, enough to run much of the company’s manufacturing equipment.

Kokatat’s commitment to the environment, including its strict water management practices, earned the company the 2010 Arcata Green Business of the Year. The company provides an established platform of green practices, social equity and economic vitality to the region.

About Kokatat Watersports Wear (ORSM Booth #33051): 

Celebrating 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

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