Sustainability is a hot topic for outdoor brands at the moment and rightly so. There’s no denying our world is changing and doing what we can, where we can to help might not stop things but it will slow the damage. So are the brands we love that provide us with the kit to enjoy the outdoors doing their bit too? During our time at ISPO we spoke to a few to see what the brands are up to.
An estimated 2.5 billion paper cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone. That is a scary statistic. There are a few companies out there trying to change this by introducing re-usable coffee cups. However most of these are made out of cheap plastic which very quickly builds up residue. Klean Canteen have taken a different approach creating a stainless steel tumbler with an electropolished interior. This creates a surface that is incredibly easy to clean (even is you just use water) but also means it will truly stand the tests of time. They can also be used for beer – very cool!
The surf industry is ironically a bit of an environmental disaster when it comes to creating the boards themselves due to the glues, epoxy etc. used. However some brands are out there to change the game. Starboard have set out to revolutionise this with a new concept board (shown above) that is aiming to be completely renewable. Unfortunately it won’t (as of yet) go into production but it will allow them to test the limits of what sustainable materials will work so it is a huge step in the right direction and hopefully other brands will follow suit.
This close up of the board showcases the deck pad on the Starboard SUP renewable concept. Those waffle like pads are actually recycled wine corks!
Columbia are on a mission to make ultra renewable products. They’re not just dipping their toe – they are literally going all out. Their eco line features 100% recycled fabrics and 100% recycled insulation. They’ve even gone as far as to use dye-free fabric which saves an insane 79 litres of water per jacket! It’s a bold look going pure white like this and not aiming at the fashion market but they are sticking to their guns to truly be eco friendly which you can only applaud.
As outdoor brands go, Montane would not be our first thought when it comes to a sustainable and environmentally friendly brand. They are a purely hardcore alpine and ultra endurance running brand – or so we thought. However after chatting to the team their we were pleasantly surprised to not only find that yes they are a truly hardcore brand but also they are an incredibly environmentally friendly brand. When asked why they didn’t shout about this they told us that they simply felt it should be a given that all outdoor brands should be as environmentally friendly as possible. All of their down is responsibly sourced (and has been for years), they offer repairs on products damaged within their intended use to prolong the life of all their goods and they even take their employees on sustainability trips in the hills to help raise awareness of the issues.
We are also currently testing the Montane Icarus jacket (shown above) which will be released later this year so more to come on that very soon.
Our Overall Thoughts
It was refreshing to see how many brands are really pushing the limits of sustainability and doing everything they can. Not only that but they understand it is not a quick fix. Small changes, lots of research and education are required to make a true change and the brands really showed all of those at ISPO so now we just hope they keep that up and bring it to the public in the near future.