Spanning 6,500 Square Feet, One Of The Oldest Outdoor Clothing Stores Is Hiding In Washington
Most Washingtonians love hiking, or at least like to dress like they do. But the history of outdoor outfitting in The Evergreen State goes back much farther than you may think. If you enjoy exploring Washington’s jaw-dropping nature, Filson in Seattle is a must-visit item for your bucket list. In a state with plenty of outdoorsy shops, it has the distinction of being Washington’s oldest outdoor clothing store.
You'll find Filson in a sprawling, 6,500-square-foot warehouse in Seattle's gritty Sodo neighborhood. It would be easy to pass by this nondescript building without knowing the fascinating history of the business that calls it home.
Filson's story is tied to Seattle's history of boom and bust. During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 to 1899, the Emerald City became a crucial stopping point for over 100,000 prospectors as they traveled north, following the promise of gold. You can learn more about this interesting chapter of Washington state history at
the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park just 20 minutes from Filson's.
Along with other Seattleites, founder C. C. Filson saw the opportunity presented by the gold rush and established his outfitting business in 1897. It debuted as C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers. Though many other outdoor supply stores would close as Alaska's gold fever waned, Filson captured his customers' loyalty, ensuring his company's survival.
Now called Filson, this historic business continues to provide high-quality outdoor gear to customers today. And it isn't just locals who adore their products. In the 60s, Filson's reputation spread worldwide. Not only were its products stocked in other countries, but individuals were ordering them from as far away as Greenland!
At 118 years old, Filson echoes Seattle's past, reminding us of the now-polished city's rugged roots. Its flagship store opened in 2015, and for many years, much of its manufacturing has been done on-site.
Part of its commitment to sustainability and excellence is a thriving repair department where customers can bring their old and new items for a much-needed refresh. Other brands have adopted this service model, including big names like Arc'teryx, acknowledging the role that thoughtful production must play in protecting the beautiful places their gear allows hikers to reach.
But change is incoming for the company. Filson has been steadily downsizing, culminating in the recent decision to move its manufacturing. Now, their products will be made in Los Angeles.
Compile your dream list of hiking gear and plan a visit to Filson. This historic purveyor holds the distinction of being Washington’s oldest outdoor clothing store. Its longevity helps us Seattleites remember our city’s past.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
1741 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, USA