The Real Winner Behind Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Look: Vermont Outdoor Gear Company Burton

The Real Winner Behind Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Look: Vermont Outdoor Gear Company Burton

The homemade mittens worn by Senator Bernie Sanders to President Joe Biden’s inauguration may have captured the internet’s heart, but Burton Snowboards – the outdoor gear company behind the Vermont lawmaker’s utilitarian-chic jacket – is also enjoying its moment in the spotlight.
Sales of Burton’s Edgecomb down jacket soared on the day of Biden’s inauguration, doubling their numbers from the prior 17 days combined, while the taupe color worn by Bernie has already sold out, reported Bloomberg.
Burton, like Senator Sanders, calls Vermont home. The company was founded in 1977 by Jake Burton Carpenter, an early snowboard enthusiast who started out manufacturing snowboards by hand in a small workshop in the tiny Vermont town of Stratton. (Jake passed away in 2019 at age 65.)
Donna Carpenter, who helped build Burton alongside her husband for 37 years, is today both owner and chair. Donna became the company’s chief financial officer in 1989, led the growth of Burton’s distribution channels in Europe, and served as CEO from 2016 until early 2020. (John Lacy, who has worked at Burton since 1997, is now CEO.)
Under the couple’s stewardship, the small Vermont company expanded into a global apparel behemoth, with offices in six countries and more than 1,000 employees. As snowboarding gained popularity during the 1990s and competitors entered the market, Burton added ventures in skateboarding and surfing.
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Burton’s focus on social responsibility aligns with the political values of Senator Sanders. As an avowed Democratic Socialist who became a national figure as a 2016 presidential candidate in the Democratic primary, Sanders has become one of the most influential voices for social justice and proponents for a federal minimum wage, environmental regulations, and other similar policies.
Senator Sanders’ inauguration getup is the latest chapter in the cozy relationship between the lawmaker and the snowboarding company. In 2018, Burton unveiled a bespoke jacket and long-sleeve tee with Sanders’ face printed on the back in a collaboration between Jake Burton Carpenter and Sanders’ stepson Dave Driscoll, who then worked at the outdoor clothing company.
“Bernie really liked it, so Dave got him one – without his image – for Christmas,” Jane Sanders, the senator’s wife said on Twitter. That three-year-old coat is what the thrifty Sanders was wearing on Wednesday.
In the aftermath of becoming a global meme, and in a fitting end to the sartorial saga, Senator Sanders is now selling a crewneck bearing the famous image of himself for $45.
To the probable delight of Donna Carpenter, all proceeds will go to Meals on Wheels Vermont.
John Hyatt
I am an intern at Forbes covering billionaires. I am also a freelance journalist and NASDAQ contributor, writing about public companies and financial markets. I
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I am an intern at Forbes covering billionaires. I am also a freelance journalist and NASDAQ contributor, writing about public companies and financial markets. I previously worked in public relations for clients in financial services, investment management, and cryptocurrency. I am currently receiving my M.A. in business and economic reporting from NYU as a Marjorie Deane fellow.

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