Why Black Diamond Is Halting U.S. Manufacturing

Jul 30, 2019

Black Diamond has forged carabiners at its Salt Lake City headquarters since the company moved there from Ventura, California in 1991, just three years after its founding. They’re among the products that launched the fledgling gear maker when it broke off fromChouinard Equipment nearly 30 years ago, and they remain one of the brand’s bestsellers.

Come this fall, that production will mostly move overseas, along with the manufacturing of hexes, stoppers, ice screws, ascenders, wall irons, and crampons.

Rumors first began last week when an anonymous Reddit user posted a screenshot of a social-media post outlining the announcement that had just been made to employees. On Tuesday, the brand confirmed that it had laid off 70 of the 132 workers at its in-house factory, as it shifts all machining of metal out of the U.S. and transitions its Salt Lake facility to an assembly plant. The downsizing will officially take effect sometime between September 1 and December 31. Remaining staff will build Camalots, ATC Pilot belay devices, skins, gym quickdraws, and ice screws from parts forged in other countries.

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