Do you know that feeling of being emotionally attached to a piece of gear? It’s obvious that music carries emotional weight, as the music of our protagonist in this story certainly does. However, you probably also know that feeling of enthusiasm for a particular jacket or pair of pants. They will most likely have accompanied you during the very best, the most awesome or maybe even the most challenging moments of your life. Who would want to give away a piece of GORE-TEX gear that they are so attached to?
It is a two-layer ePE Mountain Hardwear (MHW) GORE-TEX jacket made with recycled fabric that has the potential to play a historical role in the life of Bobby James.
Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.
Bobby James in his MHW Exposure Parka, Photo Credentials: Colin Rex
Bobby is 33 years old. The story of his “MHW Exposure GORE-TEX Parka” began some 30 years ago. This was back in 1993 when Mountain Hardwear’s distinct, functional style was born.
Bobby is a rapper whose way of life has recently changed dramatically. Actually, it happened out of the blue, when a friend asked him if he could come to Aspen, Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, to take care of her house for a few weeks. Well, Aspen, here’s your new resident!
As I chat with Bobby via video call, I see lots of woods in the background. I can even see some amazing mountain scenery out of his window. I am sure there are worse places to live.
He’s talking to me about considering whether such a drastic change of scenery really was for him. Somehow, he knew that he had to seize the opportunity, even though it meant a huge change of lifestyle. He was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and loved being in the woods and spending time outdoors. Nonetheless, mountain sports were never really for him. Now that he is living in the mountains, he has started to try out sports like hockey and cross-country skiing, and has even got a job in a local sports store.
The Mountain Hardwear Exposure GORE-TEX Parka moved house with Bobby James.
This was the style that accompanied him on his first trip on cross-country skis. It is this jacket that has kept him warm and dry while he has checked out his new home, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views (and some quite cold winter weather).
“I love the Exposure GORE-TEX Parka from Mountain Hardwear. It’s sleek, technical, just outdoor wear that looks cool.” - Bobby James, Rapper
It was Mountain Hardwear’s first technical, premium mountaineering shell and it was made with guides and world-class climbers like Ed Viesturs in mind. Now, using the GORE-TEX ePE (expanded polyethylene) membrane, a lighter and thinner, yet strong material innovation that’s PFC-free and has a reduced carbon footprint, MHW has taken 30 years of wisdom and come up with an original style for the modern planet.
Photographer: Colin Rex
How much does Bobby care about sustainability in clothing? That is what I asked him next: “Sustainability in clothing is everything. I need things to last forever, especially if it means something to me. It’s the MHW jacket that I wore when I changed my life moving here. I love pushing the limits and I think everyone should make gear that is sustainable.”
Bobby’s music has also been inspired by his new environment. “I’m so excited to drop new tunes! It’s the first few months being in a new place, soaking in so much, processing and figuring out how I feel.” After three months in Aspen, he has come to the conclusion that this is where he is meant to be and definitely wants to stay for the summer. What about the emotional attachment to your MHW jacket, Bobby?
“It’s definitely gonna stay with me forever.”