Cascade Designs, Inc., long-time industry leader in outdoor equipment, hosted a visit from U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and State of Washington Dept. of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender, spurred by the company’s recent work to bring low-cost portable water treatment solutions to the global health market.

Cascade Designs’ 42-year commitment to U.S. manufacturing was also impetus for the visit. Founded in 1972, Cascade Designs builds, in their words, “innovative, useful and long-lasting equipment,” manufacturing the majority of products in their Seattle, Wash., and Cork, Ireland, facilities. From the original self-inflating Therm-a-Rest camping mattress to the first multi-fuel stove, the company has developed products that explorers, travelers, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and weekend campers rely on. Cascade Designs has also expanded into making products for Medical, Military, Global Health and Disaster Preparedness markets.CascadeDesigns_Froman

Widely known for engineering technically advanced products for the outdoor recreation market, they are now leveraging design and manufacturing expertise to develop innovative products for global health and disaster relief applications. One of Cascade Designs’ most promising new technologies is the Smart Electrochlorinator (SE200), a water treatment system that runs on a 12-volt car battery and uses salt to create a chlorine solution in just five minutes, which then can treat 55 gallons of water.

“We’re honored Ambassador Froman chose to visit Cascade Designs,” said Pete Haggerty, vice president of Cascade Designs. “Even a small company like ours is very connected to the world, global health, and issues of commerce. The visit provided a great opportunity to talk one-on-one with the ambassador about our immediate needs to help grow exports, increase manufacturing, and create more jobs here in Seattle.”

“Global health plays an important role in Washington’s economy. Companies are now looking at new health applications for existing technologies,” said Lisa Cohen, executive director of the Washington Global Health Alliance. “Cascade Designs is an example of an outdoor gear company that saw need and opportunity, and then designed and manufactured a product that not only provides clean water to vulnerable populations, it opens up entirely new markets.”

Cascade Designs’ partners in global health and disaster preparedness include PATH, Laird Norton Family Foundation, World Vision, DARPA, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

For more information on Cascade Designs, please visit cascadedesigns.com.