Antipodean women are spoilt for choice with opportunities for adventure – and if you’re heading to the snow this winter, the New Zealand and Australian launch of outdoor apparel label Halfdays is perfectly timed.
Founded in Denver, Colorado in 2020 by CEO Ariana Ferwerda and former Olympian Kiley McKinnon, Halfdays was born from frustration at the lack of options designed by and for women in the male-dominated outdoor wear space.
That held true even at the lofty peaks of professional sport, as McKinnon, a freestyle aerial skier, found when she competed in the 2018 Olympics – wearing men’s skiwear.
“The outdoor industry in the US has been traditionally male-dominated and exclusive. It’s been a boys’ club through and through,” Ferwerda tells Broadsheet. “The outdoor apparel that exists for women is generally ill-fitting and lacks fashion influence. Additionally, exclusivity makes it difficult for newcomers to feel welcomed into the variety of outdoor sports and activities.”
In response, the friends created their own solution: high-performance outdoor gear that caters to a range of sizes without sacrificing fit and style. And, as of this June, it’s all newly available for shipping Down Under.
Available from XS to XXL in an on-point range of colour-blocked tones such as “Oat Milk”, “Granita”, and “Olive”, the Halfdays 2023 Ski and Snowboard Collection has all your winter layers covered.
There are seamless and breathable merino base layers, packable puffers, cosy fleeces, and merino beanies and neck warmers – all to keep warmth sealed in. The outer gear features a host of thoughtful details, from waterproof ski jackets and bibs that have Aquaguard zips, an attached goggle wipe and phone leash, to snow pants with adjustable waist tabs, boot-friendly gaiters and zippered vents.
Each piece is designed to enhance comfort and freedom of movement through optimal fit, whether you’re at high altitude, at an après-ski event, or back down at ground level. “While well-fitting products may seem like table stakes for apparel, it’s an area that many legacy outdoor brands are sorely lacking. We create products for a wide array of women’s bodies and are committed to perfecting this long-term,” Ferwerda says.
For any time of year, the label’s Hike collection is just as chic, comprising fleeces, cargo pants, shorts and light puffers in both neutrals and brights like pink, green and orange.
The accessibility and inclusion embedded in the brand’s collections also apply to its community. Halfdays extends an open invite to join an adventure-focused Slack channel and virtual get-togethers throughout the year, plus a host of other perks like early access to new launches and giveaways.
“We’ve been thrilled with the response from our community while filling the gap in the US, but we want more women to have access to technical gear that is made specifically for them,” notes McKinnon. “Our Australia and New Zealand expansion is just the beginning, and we hope that one day we can help women everywhere feel more welcome and included in an industry where they were once ignored.”
Halfdays now ships to Australia and New Zealand.