Built for Purpose: Brand Origins and an Interview with Robert "Bernie" Bernthal, Founder of Beringia World

Where the Pacific meets the Arctic lies the Bering Strait. A convergence of arctic winds and untamed sea, the Strait encapsulates a bitter and unforgiving climate, reserved only for those brave enough to bear the relentless weather. The greater proximity of the Bering Strait, from the coasts of Russia to the edge of Alaska represents Beringia, the geographical designation that inspired the formation of Beringia World. Beringia was a connector between two continents - an area of land before geographical borders. Beringia World embodies this same spirit, by connecting outdoor athletes to the earth with garments designed to stand up to conditions as harsh as those in the Arctic Sea. 
Founded in 2019 with a focus on minimalist design and innovative fabrics, Beringia seeks to redefine the landscape of traditional outdoor wear. The brand originated in Bozeman, Montana when Robert ‘Bernie’ Berinthal met Nori Suzuki, a textile developer and designer from Japan while skiing in the Bridger Mountains. Headquartered in Montana with a design lab in Tokyo, Beringia's products are a testament to the lifestyles of those who stand behind the brand. Key tenets like continual evolution, dedication to quality, and passion for the lifestyles of true outdoor athletes drive Berinigia to distinguish itself amongst an ever growing array of outdoor inspired gear. 
Bernie, Beringia’s Founder, is a veteran in the outdoor industry who sees through the facade of mass-produced outdoor garments. Bernie views outdoor activities as more than a hobby, but rather a complete lifestyle, believing the highest quality products come from people who embody the brand’s identity. At Beringia, a deeper and more spiritual connection is sought by creating gear that facilitates an unrestricted and enhanced connection to the natural environment. Whether skiing untracked powder, trekking alpine trails in the rain, or checking the surf from the parking lot, Berinigia’s products connect the wearer to the world around them.  
Beringia has a focus on the use of low-impact, technologically advanced materials optimized for high output in harsh conditions. Polartec Power Stretch Pro fabrics are present among many of the brand’s textiles designed to balance weather-resistance, breathability, and durability. Additionally, Beringia has developed an exclusive collection of superfine merino textile blends, with a chlorine free finishing process that results in incredible loft, softness, and washability. These exclusive wool products are a part of the “Masters of Bishu” collection, in which Beringia is currently launching directly to consumers via their webstore. 
We have the unique opportunity to distribute select specialty sample items from Beringia thanks to our insider at the headquarters in Bozeman, Joseph Cleary.  These pieces will be for sale on the Terrane Shop website exclusively August 3rd.
We sat down with Bernie and asked him a few questions about Beringia, their connection to Japan, textile development, and authenticity within the outdoor industry. 
T.S. - What inspired you to start Beringia? What gap in the outdoor industry are you trying to fill?
Bernie - “Nori [Japanese Associate] gave me a down hoodie that was so beautiful, so simple, and I could ski in it. There was a gap in the high-performance mountain gear market, and I was disappointed with the results of working with some previous brands- inefficient, unreliable, and wasteful. These brands were not able to deliver the quality of product that we wanted. [Beriniga] is a combination of great design, great fabrics, and great manufacturing. By partnering with our Japanese manufacturers we were able to create and deliver a product that met our standards.” 
T.S. - What is the mission you envision for Beringia?
B - “Build, design, and distribute products for the most demanding conditions in the world. To present a brand story that people can wrap their head around and make gear that helps you connect with the natural world, purpose built for an outdoor function. To experience an unmediated state of ecstasy - the unmediated experience.”
T.S. - Any plans to partner with athletes in the future?
B - “Absolutely - from mountain guides to ski patrol to photographers - Beringia seeks to partner with individuals that embody the principles of the brand” Bernie stated. “Chemistry is key, not just [social media] outreach”.
T.S. - What do you think is the most innovative or special fabric you get to work with?
B - “We are most excited about the wool product - the world’s only completely recycled wool shirt. The Japanese Masters of Bishu line is the best wool baselayer in the world.” Coming from a background in wool, Beringia opts out of using chlorine in the wool finishing process, resulting in a machine washable baselayer, unadulterated with chlorine. As a surfer, I want to eliminate chlorine from the textile development process entirely, knowing that chlorinated wash never leaves the water. All Bishu wool is made in Japan with special protein additive techniques that have less environmental impact and present an unmediated wool product with no corners cut. The Masters of Bishu collection features the Farallon plaid shirt, constructed with regenerated wool, taking industrial scraps and used consumer wool to create new fabrics and yarn. The end product is a shirt that repurposes what would otherwise be waste.
T.S. - How did you establish your brand with Japanese textile manufacturers?
B -  “Beringia is heavily involved with their Japanese partners for sourcing, design, manufacturing materials and textiles. I have personally traveled to Japan to oversee the development and sourcing of raw materials.” Connected by their passion for powder-hunting in the backcountry, Bernie and his Japanese partners struck a chord with brand vision and combined their knowledge and resources to purpose-build outdoor garments. “[We want to] bring together global marketing and branding with technical designs and unique development”. The team at Beringia seeks to combine collective knowledge and experience to bring their forward thinking apparel to those who will put it to the test.
Shop Select Pieces from Beringia Here.
This collection is a creative partnership between Terrane Shop and Beringia World. For more information on Beringia and their current offerings, please visit beringia.world.