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Burgeon Outdoor Builds Outdoor Clothing Brand With a Purpose

Published Thursday Mar 21, 2024

Author Matthew J. Mowry

Rudy Glocker, owner of Burgeon Outdoor. (Courtesy of Burgeon Outdoor)

Rudy Glocker knew he wanted to do something that would make a difference. He initially thought of being a lawyer but in college found himself drawn to the world of business. After working for Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, a friend enticed him to become a partner in a children’s shoe company that he helped to grow into a global brand. But he eventually decided he wanted to run a company that would benefit communities.

He chose NH’s White Mountains, which he has visited often over the years, as the perfect home to build his dream company and in 2019, Glocker launched Burgeon Outdoor in Lincoln.

Glocker, an avid outdoorsman, decided he could make outdoor sports apparel aimed at hikers, skiers and others that need lightweight, breathable but rugged gear. “Our target market is active outdoor enthusiasts. We focus on products with certain characteristics—flexibility and breathability,” Glocker says.

Despite a global pandemic throwing the new company off kilter (Burgeon pivoted to making masks for a few months, producing 10,000 that it gave to various organizations), Burgeon Outdoor has managed to, well, burgeon.

When a Gortex-certified factory closed that made highly technical apparel for the military and industry, Burgeon Outdoor was able to expand to take over the space in Gorham and even hired some of the employees, gaining skilled workers. That allowed the company to roll out new products like the Tuckerman jacket, made from Polartec Neoshell, a waterproof, breathable and flexible material. “That catapulted us forward.”

“Since then, we’ve had big brands ask if we would consider making a line of clothing for them. None of those have moved forward yet, but it speaks to how people view us as a young upstart company and we are really excited about it,” Glocker says.

The company now has a dozen employees and makes a variety of outdoor clothing, including hoodies, t-shirts, Polartec Thermals shirts, pants and jackets for men, women and children.

“We focus on having great materials,” Glocker says, including those that are wicking, naturally anti-odor and quick drying. Its Flume base-layer line is made from a sustainable plant-based fabric, and its Washington outer layer line is 100% recycled polyester. Among its most popular items is the Sunseeker hoodie, which sold out its initial run within two weeks when it launched last summer.

The young company has grown revenue 35% annually between 2022 and 2023 and is hovering around profitability, Glocker says. But Glocker says Burgeon Outdoor is a company with a purpose. “Our mission is to help mountain communities flourish,” he says, hence the name of the company. “We want to create a better tomorrow for outdoor communities and create opportunities here for people. We want to have an impact on these towns [Gorham and Lincoln] and the region economically, environmentally and socially.” 

Burgeon Outdoor also supports several nonprofit organizations, including local ski and racing teams. “Our first step is to be New England’s outdoor brand,” he says. “After that, we want to be seen as the largest made-in-America outdoor apparel manufacturer. Step three is we want to be the preeminent aspirational outdoor brand.” For more information, visit

(Burgeon Outdoor will be exhibiting at Business NH Magazine’s Made in NH Expo on April 5, 6 and 7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown.)

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