Which are the most 'ethical' gear companies?

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

  1. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    As much as I agree with recycling I still hate the idea of paying for the same thing twice. :angelic:
    oreocereus and Fossil Bluff like this.
  2. Fossil Bluff

    Fossil Bluff Section Hiker

    :D :D :D

    Thread ends - You win!
    Teepee likes this.
  3. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Ultralighter

    They have a similar philosophy to Ternua, MSR and Nemo. If anyone's interested, just do a search for brand name + sustainability, it usually pulls up their sustainability/environmental policy.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  4. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    Put me off camping the thought it.
    Fossil Bluff and Lempo like this.
  5. SteG

    SteG Ultralighter

    Yes they have a good rep for customer and repair service.
    Fossil Bluff likes this.
  6. turkeyphant

    turkeyphant Trekker

    Both companies have done some great work and the new Parque Patagonia is a fantastic project but there's no two ways about it, any company encouraging people to buy new stuff for commercial reasons cannot be ethical.

    Even as much as companies encourage not buying new gear for the sake of it or invest in reuse/renovation/recycling, that's the simple truth.
  7. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    I feel most “ethical” options are really just a “this one is maybe a little less bad for x cause I care about.” Which is to suggest nihilism or apathy, but it’s worth reminding myself when spending days researching options.

    Wool is potentially more sustainable, but there are a lot of animal rights questions there. Down is the same, and pretty impossible to justify if you’re a vegetarian.

    They’re not petroleum based products (down shells are, though), so have potential to be produced responsibly, sustainable and ethically. It’s rarely the case, but in terms of (lightweight) outdoors clothes there aren’t really any other options in natural fibers. There is some potential in some plant based materials.

    If one cares about animal welfare, then there’s the synthetics issue. If you own one sleeping bag, one rain jacket, one apex shell and keep them for 10 years, I’m not sure the fossil fuel use is so bad that it’s worth the suffering often intrinsic in the animal products industries - unless you’ve personally already cut out most other fossil fuel derived products in your life.

    If going the natural fiber route it’s worth trying to make sure everything in it is biodegradable. synthetic glues or threads may compromise the compostability.

    Paramo claim their shells (recycled I think?) and treatments are less harmful. That may be true.

    There are now some recycled silpoly options out there. Yama mountain gear (the only cottage I’ve seen with any meaningful environmental policy) use it. Ripstop and adventurexpert sell it.

    recycling is probably best, but still very energy intensive.

    ————
    personally I feel the most ethical option is consume less of this stuff where possible - probably don’t need to own four tents.

    buy second hand where possible.

    Learn to sew and fix things where possible.

    Treat gear with the intention of keeping it working well as long as possible.

    Don’t buy disposable gear where possible.

    Try to divert “dead” products from polluting waste streams where possible.



    If must buy new, then sure look for the companies environmental, animal rights and workers rights histories.

    But ultimately if you’re consuming as little “new” as you can, the amount of energy spent reading for hours upon hours about which rain jacket has the highest proportion of recycled materials as possible are more constructively spent changing bigger, more impactful parts of our lives.

    Driving as one person in a car less often (train, car pool - when there’s less risk of infection - cycle, walk, moped, etc), engage in local environmental politics, try to get more food seasonally from a nearby farmer with a commitment to regenerative agricultural practices, take a train to Scotland or the Pyrenees instead of a plane to do a week on the AT. Start with the low hanging fruit with big impacts before getting into consumer decision paralysis.
    Giel, JimH, Deek and 5 others like this.

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