It’s no secret that the apparel industry is a major environmental polluter, and many are starting to take notice of the effects of mass-production and fast fashion. Various brands are taking action to combat the industry’s environmental damage, taking the initiative to produce more sustainably.
Many outdoor brands are valiant participants in this sustainability movement, including:
- Green Guru
- Toad & Co.
One way they’re moving towards a more sustainable future is by using recycled materials. So without further ado, let’s discuss these 5 outdoor brands that utilize recycled goods to make new, sustainable adventure gear!
Patagonia’s mission is to “save our home planet,” which is why they partner with companies, like Polartec, that share that same goal. In 1993, Polartec was the first to create performance fabrics using post-consumer recycled plastics. Patagonia has been working with them since 1993 to produce fleece jackets using polyester from recycled bottles. With this eco-engineering technology, Polartec has kept 1.5 billion plastic bottles out of landfills. They also recapture and repurpose more than 95% of their remnants into things like floor mats and horseshoes. Polartec holds themselves to an even higher standard, using less water, energy, and CO2 each year, becoming more sustainable.
A leader in outdoor brand sustainability, Patagonia is on route to be using all recyclable or renewable materials by 2025. Did we mention they’re also a part of the Fair Trade Initiative and have a self-imposed Earth tax that goes to environmental nonprofits?
Green Guru uses old outdoor gear to make new outdoor gear — hello, upcycling! Shops and organizations will donate leftover materials and defective gear that Green Guru then processes, sorts, and sews them into new products at their Boulder, Colorado Warehouse. They even make sustainable gear for big brands, including Patagonia, REI, and Subaru! Since their start in 2005, Green Guru has upcycled over a million pounds of climbing ropes, wetsuits, tents, and bike tubes.
Cotopaxi’s Repurposed Collection “gives new life to leftover materials.” Factories will notify them about extra fabric, and they will use what they can to limit waste and make their limited-run products. Pieces from the Luzon, Mariveles, Bataan, Tarak, Teca, Uyuni, Iba, Mindoro, and Del Día collections are made with these repurposed materials. The Del Día collection takes this repurposing further, with 100% of the products being made entirely from fabric left from other companies’ large production runs. Employees have complete creative control, making each piece one-of-a-kind.
Toad & Co. says, “Go sustainable, or go nude.” The brand works to ensure that their clothes are made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials. Their eco icon indicates that the clothing is comprised of 80% sustainable fibers and fabrics, certified for responsible manufacturing by a third party. Using material known for low-impact growing and clean manufacturing, organic cotton, and recycled fibers, they reduced their CO2 emissions by 51 tons in 2018!
Sustainability is a part of their DNA, as Prana says. Their goal is to have 100% of their products made in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory by 2028. To do this, they have multiple sustainability practices and partnerships with organizations like bluesign® and Responsible Down Standard in place. To create their “clothing for positive change,” they use organic materials, as well as recycled wool and plastic bottles.
This year, more and more people are finding themselves exploring the outdoors. As we reconnect the world around us, it is also important that we recognize our impact. By buying more sustainable products, we help protect our planet from pollution and waste.
These 5 brands, along with many others, are working towards a more sustainable future through the use of recycled materials. Not to mention, their eco-friendly products are pretty cute too! So, go forth, live sustainably, and buy that Cotopaxi backpack. The Earth will thank you.