A Collaboration to Bring Better Souvenirs Home

In the early 1800’s a man by the name of John Colter split off from the Lewis and Clark expedition.  His goal was to join with a group of fur trappers in pursuit of his fame and fortune.  During his exploits he passed through a portion of Yellowstone National Park and described it as a place of “fire and brimstone.”  He was dismissed as delirious.  For the next several decades other mountain men and trappers brought back reports of boiling mud pots, steaming rivers, and petrified forests.  Their recounts were also dismissed as fictional lore.

When Jim Bridger, the mountain man after whom Bridger, Montana and the Bridger Mountains are name, passed through the park in 1856, he too reported boiling springs, spouting water, and the wonders we now know as truth.  But he had a history of fabricating stories, and his journals were dismissed as fairy tales.  Finally, a few years later, exploration of the area was picking up, and these “tales” were discovered to be understatements rather than exaggerations.

The Original National Park

In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed The Act of Dedication and created America’s first national park.  Yellowstone National Park suddenly was.  And over the years people have flocked from around the world to the park to see the animals, geology, geysers, and rivers.  Now, with millions of people passing through the park, they can finally pick up a souvenir for the trip home that is going to last.

Not long after Yellowstone became the original national park, the US went through a flurry of park creations.  Starting in the early 1900’s dozens of areas around the country found protected and acclaimed status as national parks.  In 1910 Glacier National Park joined the ranks as the 8th park in the US.  With mesmerizing peaks, crystal clear waters, and forests as far as the eye can see, it’s no wonder that this park is considered to be one of the most pristine around.  In fact, it is said to be Montana’s Finest National Park.

Creating a Better National Park Experience

A trip to the parks is a memorable experience.  The excitement of the car ride, the thrill of seeing animals, and the awe of watching the geysers erupt throwing boiling water far into the air all culminate into a trip of a lifetime.  So when the trip is drawing to a close, people want to take a piece of the park home with them; they want a souvenir.  Since it’s illegal to remove rocks, trees, and the like, gift shops are scattered around the area selling memorabilia.  These are often in the form of a t-shirt.

Many shirts are made overseas.  They’re mass produced, cut to shape with the fewest cuts possible, and printed quickly.  They often cost less than a couple of dollars, marked up extravagantly, and sold as memorabilia to those who are exiting the park.  There’s one big problem: they don’t last long.  After a year or maybe two they begin to deteriorate.  These shirts that were a memento of the great times the vacationers had in these gorgeous parks hit the landfill to join millions of tons of clothes that are tossed every year.

Aspinwall’s collaboration with the parks is changing that.

Aspinwall shirts are not only made in the United States, they’re made from recycled material.  But reducing the amount of clothing waste goes beyond that.  While mass produced shirts have a life of about two years, a shirt made by Aspinwall has a life of about 8 years.  That means they are worn four times as long before they finally wear out.

Here’s a little known fact about these shirts.  If at any time the shirt falls apart due to manufacturer defect, it’s 100% guaranteed to be fixed or replaced.  So if you are wearing it, and three years later the seam blows out, just get in touch with the store it will be remedied at no charge to you.

The World Doesn’t Need More T-Shirts… It Better Shirts

Clothing is one of the most abundant “stuff” in the landfills.  Shirts have gotten cheap because the materials being used are simply a lower quality.

When you buy Aspinwall branded shirts, whether at one of the gift stores in Yellowstone National Park or Glacier National Park, through the online store, or by walking into the store front in downtown Billings, MT, you are buying a shirt that is going to last.  You are buying a product made in America, printed in Billings, made from recycled material, which will last a long time.

The best part: you’re not paying extra for that made in America quality and a product that matches the beauty of these national parks.

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