Which are the most 'ethical' gear companies?

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by Fossil Bluff, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    Who would you rate as an outdoor company that seriously limits environmental impact on the planet?

    Quality recycled shelters and tent materials, is that possible?
    OneBeardedWalker likes this.
  2. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    Patagonia are pretty vocal about recycling materials for clothing and has a used clothing store and even make new custom clothes from parts of old Pata clothes that can't be repaired.

    TNF owner originally bought quite a bit of land in South America to protect it, but then donated it (back) to governments and sold the company I think.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  3. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Ultralighter

    Ternua - their logo is a whale's tail, they have adopted 4 of them! They make their stuff from recycled bottles, fishing nets, down and all sorts of other stuff. They even do an anti-odour treatment using recycled coffee grounds. They have lots of info on their sustainability ethic on their website https://www.ternua.com/com/ I started using their clothing a couple of years ago, it's lightweight, looks good and lasts well.
    Baldy and Fossil Bluff like this.
  4. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    I think Patagonia were certainly doing this long before many others, I think they were really leading the way. I like the look of the Ternua gear :thumbsup:

    The clothing goes some way for us to contribute, but what about equipment, shelters etc - DCF, Silnylon, PU coated polyester etc - aluminium, carbon? I have not one clue about what can or cant be credibly produced from recycled materials...
  5. OwenM

    OwenM Section Hiker

    Aluminium can be recycled that's about it.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  6. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    So we aren't too hot on looking after the planet with shelters and such like then? I don't have a bee in my bonnet or anything... just curious :)
  7. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    Well, one way of recycling and being sustainable is to build quality products, have good warranty and then there's the second hand market for quality product.

    That pretty much excludes majority of AE kit.
    lentenrose and Fossil Bluff like this.
  8. Barua

    Barua Backpacker

    It's very difficult to recycle mixed materials, it pretty much all goes to landfill if it's not reparable. The technology to recycle nylon is very new and not widely available. 100% polyester is probably the most low impact, easily recyclable material used in outdoor gear.
  9. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    Thanks - Yes that’s sort of my question, not what have I got that can be recycled but when making a purchase decision, which companies use ‘recycled’ or at least lower environmental impact textiles :thumbsup:
  10. Barua

    Barua Backpacker

    I don't know but I'd really like to see brands moving in that direction. The problem with a lot of fabrics that are made from recycled materials is a bunch of other stuff has to be added, laminated layers, coatings etc then the end material is only part recycled materials anyway AND isn't itself recyclable, so it would go to landfill once its life as a tent was finished.

    Another problem with making big things like tents is fabric waste, because the pieces are so big there is a lot of leftover fabric that is unusable and goes to landfill.
  11. Barua

    Barua Backpacker

    I posted a thread recommending a book called "Keeping Dry & Staying Warm" it has some good information about the environmental impact of different materials.
    cathyjc and Fossil Bluff like this.
  12. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    Thank you :) I’ll have a peep.
  13. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    I appreciate we all have a responsibility to learn and make informed choices.

    But I suppose there is some responsibility on the part of manufacturers- even a potential marketing thrust to demonstrate that their product creates ‘x’ amount of environmental impact (including manufacturing, shipping etc).

    As @Lempo says AE are probably peddling high impact gear - but then you buy it straight from China. If you buy a widget Acme top brand soemthorother from the US, maybe it was manufactured in China and marketed from the US and then it’s shipped to us in the U.K. - does this outweigh any potential environmental impact reduction?

    I don’t suppose any of us really know... It’s, just thoughts really :)
  14. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Wool (merino) is ethical - if produced responsibly.
    And it goes on the compost heap when it's worn out.
    Leather too.
    Canvas tents anyone .......
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  15. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Norrona
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  16. Stube

    Stube Summit Camper

    Cotton is not particularly green - even if it is compostable - since it takes huge amounts of water to produce.
    20,000 gallons for a pair of jeans.
    The Russians have drained the Aral Sea (formally one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world) growing cotton in the region.
  17. HillBelly

    HillBelly Section Hiker

    Finisterre. Based in St. Agnes, Cornwall. They have gone a bit 'posh fisherman fashion' over the years, rather than outdoor pieces, but quite ethical in their products.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  18. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Klattermusen. https://www.klattermusen.com/en/klattermusen/sustainability/

    Klatt stuff lasts forever even with some recycled content (and costs so much you don't buy much of it anyway).


    Recycled shelter fabrics are common. Cuben fibre is made by melting old crisp packets from hedges into sheets and then charging £50/m for it. :D
    Chiseller, Fossil Bluff, JimH and 2 others like this.
  19. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Ultralighter

    Quao Outdoor make tents and tarps from recycled bottles, but at 1kg just for a tarp, my conscience isn't pricking enough to go that route yet!

    MSR and Nemo both have a good sustainability ethic, sourcing locally and making by hand. Although they don't always use recycled materials, they try to use materials which can be recycled where they can and concentrate on making a quality product that doesn't wear out - reflected in the price, but I've only ever heard good things about their stuff. They also promote returning their stuff for repair or replacement of damaged parts rather than throwing out something that can be fixed up.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  20. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    Recycled or actual crisp packets?
  21. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    That's just the sort of thing really :thumbsup: I didn't know that :)
  22. SteG

    SteG Ultralighter

    Vaude? Patagonia?
  23. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Don't know. They look recycled, but sound like crisp packets and they have walkers in them.
  24. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    and in the dead of the night you can see Lineker's dreary outline on the tent ceiling...
    Rmr likes this.
  25. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    [​IMG]

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