MTB brand and outdoor clothing brands that are environmentally friendly

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  • MTB brand and outdoor clothing brands that are environmentally friendly
  • anus
    Member

    I’m always keen to be as environmentally friendly as possible as often as possible which also translates into me being quite conscious about where I am buying things from, where it is made etc.

    I had not really thought of it before now but i’ve started to think about it a lot more with bikes, bike clothing and outdoor clothing, especially with the conversation about carbon manufacturing being pushed by Pole and other companies starting to talk about it more also.

    I’ve started to look more into different companies ‘about us’ pages and read about how they make their bikes, their recycling policies, material choices and so on and would be interested to hear about more companies that you have found that are trying to be more socially responsible/environmentally friendly/economical with materials etc.

    In my opinion that could range from any number of things such as…
    – Being made in the UK
    – Using recycled materials or recycling their materials
    – Creating products that have a real ‘lifetime guarentee’
    – Offering free repairs (or very cheap) on their products instead of making you buy new

    I will start with examples such as Houdini, a Swedish outdoor clothing brand making great clothing from almost 100% recycled materials amongst many other things and Pole Bikes with their stand against carbon manufacturing

    Premier Icon sweaman2
    Subscriber

    I’ve not looked in detail but Patagonia certainly imply they are socially and environmentally responsible.

    Possibly Findra?

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    Not uk made but vaude are or claim to be.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Paramo always promote themselves as being “ethical” and environmentally aware. A big part of it is that their stuff lasts and is easily repairable so should have a low impact over its life.

    I guess you can apply the same to most outdoor stuff, quality kit that lasts should be the winner from an environmental point of view.

    antigee
    Member

    sweaman2 – Member
    I’ve not looked in detail but Patagonia certainly imply they are socially and environmentally responsible.

    http://www.patagonia.com/environmental-grants.html pretty impressive over a number of areas: (in my opinion)”

    “By the Numbers:

    Quantifying Our Environmental & Social Work in Fiscal Year 2016 (May 1, 2015-April 30, 2016)

    7.1 MILLION: Dollars donated to fund environmental work
    78 MILLION: Dollars and in-kind services we’ve donated since we started our tithing program in 1985
    824: Environmental groups that received a Patagonia grant this year
    157,000: Dollars given to nonprofits through our Employee Charity Match program
    38 MILLION: Dollars allocated to invest in environmentally and socially responsible companies through our venture capital fund, Tin Shed Ventures
    5: Mega-dams that will not be built on Chile’s Baker and Pascua rivers thanks to a worldwide effort in which we participated
    192: Fair Trade Certified™ styles in the Patagonia line as of fall 2016
    430,000: Dollars in Fair Trade premiums paid to apparel workers since we introduced Fair Trade products in 2014
    300,000: Dollar amount of new and used clothing given through our clothing donation program
    100: Percentage of Patagonia products we take back for recycling
    20: Year anniversary of using only organically grown cotton in our cotton clothing
    14,000: Volunteer hours worked through our environmental internship program
    1,600: Number of employees who have taken part in our environmental internship program since its inception in 1994
    1,158: Hours employees at our Ventura and Reno campuses worked through Patagonia’s volunteer program
    80: Number of activists trained this year at our Tools for Grassroots Activists conference
    798,900: Single-driver car trip miles avoided through our Drive-Less program
    44,000: Clothing repairs performed at our Reno repairs facility, the biggest in the U.S.
    10,000: Number of Tools for Grassroots Activists books printed
    100+ MILLION: Dollars 1% for the Planet® has donated to nonprofit environmental groups since it was founded in 2002 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews
    95: Percentage (by weight) of waste-stream materials recycled at our Reno Service Center”

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Patagonia
    Paramo
    Vaude
    Montane are edging towards more sustainability
    Beeghaus are working hard, new range of ‘eco’.

    A few cottage industry companies making in UK

    Orange FS bikes

    otsdr
    Member

    The first point should be that they don’t outsource their manufacturing. Most, if not all, outdoor clothing brands fail at this.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber
    mattsccm
    Member

    But surely you would be better not falling into the consumerist trap and buying luxuries in the first place. Use it until it falls apart, mend it then mend it again. Eventually use something second hand from those with less concern maybe?
    I admire your principle but most leisure activities, and cycling is a very good example of this, are a huge part of the disposable society.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I forgot. Best thing we can all do is wear kit for longer. Stop buying the lightest / least durable stuff.
    Secondly, I’m challenging myself and family_oab to use train more this year to go on adventures.

    grahamt1980
    Member

    For snow gear Picture clothing certainly seem to be heading in the right direction by using a lot of recycled or offcut material in their clothes.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Keela. Made in Fife, so local and supporting a third world economy at the same time.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Patagonia runs a brilliant repair programme called Worn Wear which is all about repairing outdoor kit rather than throwing it away and has generally impressive environmental credential – Chouinard, who founded the brand, started One Per-cent for the Planet as well.

    Nikwax has never used fluoro chemicals in its treatments and is generally very environmentally aware. Nick Brown, who is the ‘Nik’ in Nikwax is really good guy, very principled. Paramo, its sister clothing brand, is produced in a social project in Colombia which rehabilitates ex-prostitutes and is one of the main reasons the brand exists.

    Fjallraven produces a (very expensive) waterproof fabric that’s both recycled and recyclable. Columbia’s flagship waterproof is super eco aware.

    It’s hard to know what’s tokenism though. When people talk about recyclable fabrics, I always ask them where the mechanism for recycling actually is. Patagonia has drop-boxes for old clothing in store, but I don’t think anyone else does.

    What isn’t always apparent is that the environmental costs in a production process may not be where you think. It could be shipping, but equally it might be packaging, the way the factory is powered – some brands are using solar or other sustainable power sources for their plants now – or something else. Polyester, Nyln etc are plastics, but you can take a natural material like merino and make it environmentally damaging by the way you process it.

    Dyeing fabrics is another damaging process. Conventional colouring of fabrics uses huge amounts of water and causes damaging pollution for example, Berghaus has started using a different process where the colour is introduced at a more fundamental level which vastly reduces those environmental costs.

    It’s complicated, but outdoor brands are becoming more aware and the likes of Greenpeace have gone after the outdoors sector with sharp teeth…

    Gary_M
    Member

    finestere are another environmentally responsible brand, nice kit too.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Obvious one:
    Green Oil
    (Duh, missed the word clothing!)

    northerntom
    Member

    that post above about how much patagonia are giving away, they can’t be that big that they’ve given away over $100m in 16-17 FY, unless I’m reading something wrong?

    I deal a lot with sustainability in my job, and am increasingly cynical. Mainly as no one can define what is sustainable and what sustainable means. Mass manufacture and production is often more sustainable as you have a more efficient supply chain around it, with less waste etc.

    Paramo & Nikwax definitely are. Finisterre and Patagonia are two others.

    Any brands that focus on durability rather than minimising weight at the expense of toughness – so although Buffalo don’t mention it, their clothes last forever and they’re made in the UK. What about Hope? Made in the UK, very long lifespan and serviceable (and they refurb kit at fair prices) – my brakes are 4 and 6 years old and I have no plans to replace them. Liteville frames have 10 year transferable warranties so they must expect them to last. Steel framed bikes go on and on and can be welded when they crack.

    Fluorocarbon water repellent treatments should be avoided.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    northerntom wrote:

    that post above about how much patagonia are giving away, they can’t be that big that they’ve given away over $100m in 16-17 FY, unless I’m reading something wrong?

    since 2002.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    I deal a lot with sustainability in my job, and am increasingly cynical. Mainly as no one can define what is sustainable and what sustainable means. Mass manufacture and production is often more sustainable as you have a more efficient supply chain around it, with less waste etc.

    Yep. I went to a series of annual conferences that became increasingly focussed on sustainability in the outdoors industry a few years back and I used to joke that the one thing I learned was that sustainability was so complicated that no-one could understand it. The best lesson I learned was possibly that we should simply make and buy ‘less stuff’. The sustainability man from Nike said they’d ‘considered’ that, but decided not to do it…

    I think one major issue is that although consumers say they value sustainability, they’re not actually prepared to pay a price premium for it. So, for example, a few years back, Rab produced an eco-focussed sleeping bag only to find that people simply wouldn’t pay the extra 20 quid it cost over less sustainable alternatives.

    Off-shore manufacturing is similar. Brands that used to produce in the UK like Berghaus and Karrimor eventually moved their production to the Far East because otherwise they simply weren’t competitive in the market place.

    A shout out for the guys at Dannah, who make really good stuff with an eco aware outlook and are aiming to produce a run of waterproof shells in Scotland. The problem is that manufacture in the UK will add 50 quid or more to the retail price of the jacket. Also, believe it or not, factories in Asia often have better machinery and production standards and technology than UK ones now.

    Anyway, it’s complicated…

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Fluorocarbon water repellent treatments should be avoided.

    Some brands argue that over the life of a garment, a less eco-friendly, but more durable and effective DWR treatment is actually more sustainable by reducing the re-treatment and washing costs. I’m not saying they’re correct, but it’s not always as simple as it appears to be. On top of that, it’s hard for consumers to know whether the brand they choose is using a non-fluoro chemical treatment, particularly at point of sale.

    VauDe does I think, some Haglöfs, Paramo, but looking at an individual jacket on the Patagonia website, it’s not clear whether the DWR is non-PFC and you have to dig down into the site to find out that they’re still using PFCs, but shorter chain, potentially less harmful ones, and that they’re still looking at alternatives.

    simply_oli_y
    Member

    Also for that year above Patagonia turned over around $800 million.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Endura also manufacture in the UK.

    Lomo for some stuff- particularly if you are into watersports.

    Some brands argue that over the life of a garment, a less eco-friendly, but more durable and effective DWR treatment is actually more sustainable by reducing the re-treatment and washing costs.

    I’d agree with that if the fluorocarbon repellants weren’t so poisonous and so slow to break down.

    Incidentally, we recently started using an EcoEgg for washing less stained/filthy clothes. It appears to work by using magic! 😉

    anus
    Member

    I was also talking about frame, component or accessory brands too! Maybe I didn’t word it so well now i’ve read it back again.

    oldtalent
    Member

    Crikey does anyone really take this into account when buying something they want?
    I mean Im quite happy to put my old pizza boxes in the recycling bin but thats about my extend of giving a damn about such matters.

    Premier Icon kayla1
    Subscriber

    Crikey does anyone really take this into account when buying something they want?

    It’s rule number one which is “don’t be a dick.”

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Patagonia runs a brilliant repair programme called Worn Wear which is all about repairing outdoor kit rather than throwing it away and has generally impressive environmental credential – Chouinard, who founded the brand, started One Per-cent for the Planet as well.

    *If* you live in US and can meet their marketing repair van and have it fixed.
    Anywhere else you have to post it to Portugal and back at your cost, for warranty and for general fixing. By which time you are into new item territory or use the wonderful Scottish Mountain Gear.

    I am falling out of love with Patagucci at present – I like what Chouinard stands for and their aims, just feeling like it is not as local and sustainable as first marketed suggested.

    munrobiker
    Member

    Some brands argue that over the life of a garment, a less eco-friendly, but more durable and effective DWR treatment is actually more sustainable by reducing the re-treatment and washing costs. I’m not saying they’re correct, but it’s not always as simple as it appears to be. On top of that, it’s hard for consumers to know whether the brand they choose is using a non-fluoro chemical treatment, particularly at point of sale.

    This is a big part of sustainability that I think leads to a lot of confusion. Things like packaging a cucumber in plastic – it seems wasteful and bad for the environment but in the grand scheme of things it’s more beneficial than not doing it.

    I suspect that carbon fibre frames from a well managed factory is going to be better than aluminium from most factories because you can repair the frame, and so it should last much longer. A crack or dent isn’t the end of the world for it. While I agree that ocean fill is a disaster, the best factories won’t be doing this.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    This is a big part of sustainability that I think leads to a lot of confusion. Things like packaging a cucumber in plastic – it seems wasteful and bad for the environment but in the grand scheme of things it’s more beneficial than not doing it.

    Wrapping cucumbers is a response to long supply-chains and distribution networks, lack of seasonal eating, and consumers driving to the supermarket for large, infrequent shopping trips. Obviously it’s much better than throwing the things away though…
    If instead you were to buy your cucumber from your local greengrocer, in season, you might find that the need to preserve its freshness is much reduced.

    birdage
    Member

    Howies?
    I’m not sure how sustainable Morvelo is but some of their products are and they’re local to me. I tend to buy second hand anyway. Reuse is the 2nd Law.

    Sustainability ain’t difficult, it’s making the links between social, environment and economy. So clothing where the people who make it are paid a fair wage, have good working conditions and there’s no detrimental environmental impact in producing it.

    northerntom
    Member

    Also for that year above Patagonia turned over around $800 million

    Well ruddy hell, i didn’t know they were that big. I suppose they are expensive to buy, but didn’t know that many people had that much cash. I thought this outdoors stuff was still a relatively niche market, evidently not.

    Still, mass production, done in as a sustainable way as possible, I believe is more sustainable than some of these smaller companies claiming to be so.

    Patagonia for example – where does their down, materials source from, and manufacturing take place? And is it really sustainable to post something from the UK, to somewhere abroad to get fixed, and then back?

    TooTall
    Member

    Patagonia has long fought with the demands of growth as a company, globalization and reducing their corporate impact on the planet. Read ‘Let My People Go Surfing’ to see that Chouinard was making the effort long before anything like greenwashing hit the industry.

    Their down comes through a Traceable Down Standard – their in-house developed system to ensure no force feeding and good animal husbandry.

    We need more big companies doing the right thing. That really makes an impact.

    anus
    Member

    NorthernTom (and others) – out and about it feels as if Patagonia has filtered down to the masses, as well as their technical kit they make a lot of steetwear, or maybe rather it is cool to be seen wearing their stuff on the street, so they have a big market with that audience too now it seems.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I was also talking about frame, component or accessory brands too! Maybe I didn’t word it so well now i’ve read it back again.

    Thread title confused me, after I posted.

    Gary_M
    Member

    It’s rule number one which is “don’t be a dick.”

    So everyone that doesn’t buy or can’t afford to buy products that are environmentally sound is a dick?

    You need a reality check.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Isnt there a certain sense of irony about environmentally aware companies?

    They sell expensive man made products to wealthy people who will drive nice big gas guzzling cars, and fly to whatever part of the world to get their outdoor fix.

    Premier Icon rhid
    Subscriber

    I don’t think its that hard to be environmentally friendly, and it doesn’t always have to be expensive. If you buy 2nd hand, its recycling. If you buy quality over quantity its environmentally much better.

    I am not in a position where I can spend a lot of big money on stuff but buying something more expensive which will last a longer time over 3 x cheaper things which will have to be replaced seems very sensible.

    With regards to cycling stuff I get it 2nd hand. Its going to get covered in crap anyways so I don’t see the problem!

    There are a lot more companies adopting a sustainable approach. Howies and Rapanui are both British and seem to put some thought into where there stuff comes from. It may be made abroad but its usually from somewhere where at least considers workers welfare, or materials are sourced from places which have considerations or the environment.

    I work in the waste industry and see the horrific amount of stuff discarded every day / week / year. Any small steps you can take to reduce this is a very positive thing.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Can anyone link me to facts on carbon frame ocean fill being harmful? The production doesn’t seem too bad compared with aluminium. The employment ethos of the companies concerned in all forms of construction will always be of concern.

    Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Subscriber

    eddiebaby – Member

    Can anyone link me to facts on carbon frame ocean fill being harmful? The production doesn’t seem too bad compared with aluminium. The employment ethos of the companies concerned in all forms of construction will always be of concern.

    Anything thrown into the ocean is harmful – causes issues with the food chain etc.

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