686 Company Story


For nearly three decades we’ve been developing, testing and engineering technical fabrications and laminations in apparel. Everything we do is based around innovation, people, purpose with the goal to build the best performance products with our active-minded community. We create products. We create community. We create experiences.

“When I started 686 in 1992, the plan was simple: Create the best products that allow you to enjoy the best experiences in winter on and off the mountain. The first ideals I wrote down where “provide more than they expect” and “average is not acceptable.” - Michael Akira West, Founder/CEO/Creative Director

Fast forward 29 years and while so much has changed, so much has remained the same. As an independently operated brand, we continue to strive beyond expectations by constantly creating innovative products, encouraging a diverse and inclusive atmosphere, constantly improving our sustainability stance and giving back to our communities both locally and globally.

29 years of big thinking has led us to pioneer unique features, products and partnerships.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture that is welcoming, accepting, and values diversity - both within our walls and within our spaces outdoors.

We believe that we all have the power to effect positive change in our communities – from local to global.

Our commitment to creating more sustainable manufacturing practices, utilizing more eco-friendly materials, reducing waste and continuing our fair labor practices are ongoing. Each year we take new steps towards constant and substantial improvement. In our commitment to becoming Climate Neutral Certified, we have measured and pledged to offset our entire 2020 carbon emissions and created plans to reduce emissions moving forward.

See all 686 products!