18. SmartWool

Steamboat Springs, CO

From the Company

Outside editors excerpted this information from the Employer Questionnaire submitted to the Best Companies Group.

Watch a video about SmartWool on Outside Television.

SmartWool offers a full range of Merino-based apparel, socks and accessories, satisfying the comfort and performance needs of the active mountain life. SmartWool fiber is a renewable resource that naturally controls moisture, temperature and odor. SmartWool Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Timberland Company.

SmartWool is driven by its employees. Employees have created the culture that makes SmartWool so special. SmartWool is a company that is extremely progressive, pro-employee, and promotes a balanced life.

Employees are encouraged to take a powder day and breaks to stay physically and emotionally fit and to embrace the outdoors. On Fridays, our office closes at 3 pm and people are allowed to leave early so they can get a jump-start on their weekend. No meetings are scheduled after noon on Fridays during the summer. SmartWool encourages and allows flexible schedule for powder days, skiing during work hours, and working out and healthy activities.

We offer on-site health-related seminars, along with monthly online health seminars. SmartWool provides each employee reimbursement money to purchase an activity pass such as a ski pass, health club membership, golf, or other activity-related pass not to exceed $950.

Each employee is encouraged to dedicate 40 hours a year toward community service. This is paid time off for volunteer community service. This year the SmartWool team helped to build a mountain bike trail at one of our local bike-riding facilities. We also worked in partnership with the local USFS to deliver firewood to local families in need. And we helped to landscape a local respite house for people who are terminally ill.

SmartWool's primary raw material, New Zealand Merino wool, is natural and renewable. SmartWool uses soy-based ink for all its sock, apparel, and accessory packaging. All retail signage, packaging, and print collateral is printed on recycled paper products. SmartWool's Spring 2008 trade show booth was built with 65 percent LEED certified materials. From a manufacturing perspective, SmartWool partners with and assists key vendors to encourage and formalize sustainability efforts within each facility. We offset all energy consumption at the headquarters and all corporate travel with wind energy credits. Our Boulder office is a PACE-certified, zero-waste office with a full composting program.

The SmartWool Values Award recognizes individuals and teams who exemplify the five values driving SmartWool: Humanity, Humility, Integrity, Excellence, and Commitment. Individual recipients receive $1,000, a two-day resort activity vacation, and a recognition plaque. Team recipients each receive $500, a recognition plaque, and a team building activity arranged by the SmartChange Team. Individual/team recipients and a guest are invited to a celebratory dinner sponsored by the SmartWool President. The SmartWool Hiking Sock Award recognizes employment anniversaries with cash and products.

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