Expedition Everest Launches!

Wedgie Free At 28,000 Feet

Hanesbrands Inc and Jamie Clarke Announce Their Expedition to the Top of the World

A year ago when I met Jamie Clarke, he was auctioning off bras and underwear in the parking lot of the corporate headquarters of Hanesbrands Inc to raise money for the local United Way.

“With this underwear I can remain wedgie-free at 28,000 feet and you can remain wedgie-free at your desk right here in North Carolina!” exclaimed the Canadian mountaineer and explorer on a stage in front of a few hundred revved-up employees.

Hanesbrands doesn’t make a habit of putting hard-core mountaineers on stage to hawk underwear, but this was a special day: It was the internal corporate kickoff for “Expedition Hanesbrands,” an ambitious interactive expedition to Mount Everest in the Spring of 2010. Clarke and Hanesbrand’s CEO Rich Noll dreamed up the climb to inspire consumers and employees, and to showcase the company’s superior R&D capabilities.

Clarke and Hanesbrands representative took the stage again today, this time at North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles, to launch the expedition to the world. The leafy college campus was the perfect spot to launch “Expedition Hanesbrands.” In addition to having one of the best textile programs in the country, which works closely with Hanesbrands, NCSU has a student body that is exactly the audience Clarke wants to draw into the expedition. His mission, he explained, isn’t just about getting to the top of Everest. (He’s already done that.) It’s about inspiring others to define and work toward a goal, whether it’s earning money for college, losing weight, launching a solo sail around the world, or all three.

Then Clarke announced the fun part: Answer the question, “What’s Your Everest?” and upload a supporting video or statement to http://www.climbeverestwithus.com and you could win $10,000 toward achieving your goal. (Take a look at the site. It’s already packed with inspiring stories.)

But inspiration alone can’t get a man up a mountain, so Mike Abbott of the Hanesbrands’ R&D team unveiled the Champion technical layers (enhanced with Duofold technology) that Clarke will wear on Everest. The R&D team, along with Clarke, spent more than two years integrating the most cutting-edge fabric technology, garment design, and sports science to create Clarke’s four layers, from the next-to-skin base to an unprecedented, high-tech Super Suit, details of which will be revealed in January 2010. For a sneak preview, check out the 360-degree rotating image of Jamie (he looks like an animated paper doll) at www.climbwithus.com.

This spring I’ll be blogging about the expedition’s progress and interacting with viewers from Mount Everest base camp. Until then, fellow blogger Stephen Regenold and I will update the expedition’s progress at http://www.ClimbWithUs.com. Or stay tuned to my tweets @outsidegeargirl.

And don’t forget to upload your video or prose to win $10,000 at: http://www.ClimbEverestWithUs.com! —Stephanie Pearson


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