Story posted September 08, 2010
The following appeared in Bowdoin magazine (Summer 2010).
On a humid training run in 2007, marathoner Jeremy Litchfield '99 was left covered in red dye and wondering what sort of environmentally harmful chemicals were leaching into his body from a shoddy running shirt.
"I just thought, this is it," Litchfield says. In response, he founded his own performance apparel company, Atayne, with a commitment to "never make a red shirt."
An environmentalist at heart, Litchfield thought about commerce as a viable way to effectuate his values, and set to work "building a company that leveraged business to solve environmental and social problems."
Litchfield recently moved his thriving startup to Brunswick and is in the process of shifting all Atayne production to New England, where it will be the only company of its kind using 100% recycled materials.
A focus on local production and distribution ensures that Atayne's sustainability efforts extend to its business model. During the difficult 2008-2009 financial year, Atayne doubled sales and received the Entreverge Award from PROPEL, a Portland-based network of young business leaders.
The Bowdoin Bookstore now carries Bowdoin-branded Atayne gear, and in keeping with Litchfield's principles, Atayne donates 10% of gross revenues from the sale of its Bowdoin apparel directly to Sustainable Bowdoin.