ODLO was born in Norway over 70 years ago out of a need to create quality performance clothing that could function in notoriously harsh conditions. We are the original inventors of functional sports underwear and have been innovating ever since, creating exceptional products for active lifestyles all year round. We strive to stay one step ahead, weaving our Norwegian heritage and Swiss engineering into modern, functional and comfortable sports apparel.
Odlo was founded in Oslo in 1946. Its founder Odd Roar Lofterød Senior was the driving force behind the company until 1979. His favourite saying was "always make sure you're one step ahead": Lofterød had a reputation for being a creative, unconventional thinker who took off in new, previously unimagined, directions.
In 1963 he developed a warm, stretchy, high-performance suit for cross-country skiers and speed skaters using Helanca synthetic fibre. The Norwegian Olympic team wore the revolutionary new clothing at the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck and by the time the Winter Olympics in Sapporo came around in 1972, there were 22 national teams competing in Odlo gear. The following year, 1973, the company introduced Odlo Termic onto the market, the first fully synthetic range of functional sports underwear. Speed skaters were once again the inspiration behind this innovation. Cotton underwear had proven to be impractical, so skaters tended to just wear a pair of briefs under the Helanca suit, even when it was minus 20 degrees.
In 1987 ODLO launched the groundbreaking Athletic Clothing System, based on the three-layer principle. The first layer, the underwear, is designed to ensure optimum moisture management. The second layer helps to regulate the wearer's temperature, while the third layer provides protection from wind and rain.
In 1994 Odlo launched its Running and Outdoor collections. Over the years, Odlo has always designed its clothing in line with the principle of "from the skin up". Every range of clothing is designed from the inside out, because athletes can only really enjoy their sport and perform at their very best when they feel good - from the skin up.
The company achieved another major breakthrough in the area of fabric technology in 2002 with the development of the Effect by Odlo fabric and the launch of the first underwear range to incorporate odour-reducing silver ions.
The company's investment in research and development was paying off. In 2006 another milestone was achieved with the launch of Cubic. This ultra-lightweight, knitted fabric has a three-dimensional cubic construction to ensure optimum temperature regulation. Cubic was integrated into the sports underwear range and has been recognised with a number of awards.
In 2007 Odlo applied its knowledge and experience to creating a new Kids collection. For the first time, Odlo offered children a collection encompassing all three layers. The company continued to grow and invested in additional retail space.
In 2010 Odlo won two international awards for the seamless race suit worn by top Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen. The Red Dot Design Award was given for the suit's outstanding design, while the Plus X Award was presented for innovation and functionality. At the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Odlo was one of the most popular Nordic ski sports brands amongst athletes.
The launch of the Evolution Blackcomb underwear range for the Winter 2015 season saw the Greentec concept being revisited and integrated into the new Blackcomb range. In January 2015, this stylish, high-performance, sustainable underwear range was awarded the prestigious ISPO Gold Award in Munich.
70 years on, Odlo is still demonstrating how innovation is one of its greatest strengths.