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Alumni Spotlight: Phunkshun Wear

Jason Badgley, CEO, Phunkshun WearJason Badgley was born with fresh powder in his veins.

The New York State native took to skiing at an early age and cut his first turns atop the icy slopes of Titus Mountain.

It was an ideal site for a to test his skiing abilities. But Badgley was not just there for the snow. He had found a passion. He soon became part of Titus Mountain. He shadowed instructors, taught ski and snowboarding lessons, worked the ski lifts, helped inside the rental shops, tuned skies.

“I worked wherever I could,” he said. “Being involved with the mountain and skiing became a passion.”

The thirst for all things powdery led Badgley to the western mountains to carve his mark in snow business. His career counselors disapproved.

“They all thought I was nuts,” Badgley said. “They just did not understand.”

After a stop in Steamboat Springs — where he earned degrees in business and art – Badgley took a job with Phunkshun Wear – a  2017 Colorado Companies to Watch Winner –manufactures top-quality facemasks for skiers, snowboarders and anyone who wants enjoy winter without the cold.

Though hired as a marketing director, Badgley immersed himself in the business.

“I have worked in every department,” he said. “From product development to sales, photography and supply chain.”

Badgley is now the company’s CEO. But the title seems too corporate for an organization that treats the environment with kindness, and employees like family.

“Community, that’s really what we are,” Badgley said of the ski industry. “We all suffer from the same love of skiing and snowboarding.”

Badgley and Phunkshun Wear founder Lanny Goldwasser love nature. They also know climate change is not Fake News.  That’s why they dedicate effort and money on products designed to protect the bounty that good snow provides.

Green ideals, and environmental protection are priorities at Phunkshun Wear. All of Phunkshun Wear’s durable, breathable and comfortable facemasks are made from recycled plastic bottles. All lights inside the company’s factory in North Denver are LEDs, all the ink used to produce some of the most creative mask designs on the planet, are recycled; and all staff members receive financial incentives to use ride-share, bike, or take public transit.

Fun facts:

  • Each Phunkshun Wear facemask is made from an average of 12 recycled plastic bottles.
  • The company recycles over 8,000 pounds of scrap fabric each year.
  • The recycling effort saves 46,000 gallons of water annually.

Imagine if every company put the environment first. Badgley estimates the recycling efforts add about 10 percent to the company’s production expenses. But being green is not about the bottom line. It’s about something far more vital: sustainability and being a good corporate citizen.

“We don’t believe you have to destroy the environment to enjoy it,” Badgley said. “Skiing and snowboarding need cold winters and deep snowfall. We want to be art of the solution, not another contributor to the problem. It’s our responsibility to preserve this world for future generations.”

Sometimes when you do the right thing, good things happen. Direct sales at Phunkshun Wear are 300 percent above last season. Wholesale figures show a 20 percent boost from last year.

“We’re slammed with orders,” Badgley said.