You’d think being ecologically sustainable would be a given in every outdoor company. That’s not the case. There are numerous brands that cause more harm than good when it comes to pollutants, water consumption, energy waste, C02 emissions and animal cruelty.
However, there are also businesses that consciously make the decision to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability—and actually profit from it.
Woolpower has their own factory in Östersund and makes use of renewable electricity. The waste fabric from their production line gets recycled into felt insoles and sit pads. And the sheep that produce the wool are treated humanely, are well-fed, live natural and healthy lives, and are not subjected to harmful practices like mulesing (removal of skin strips around the sheep’s anus—without anesthetics—to deter the blowfly from laying eggs).
Smartwool is another sustainable wool clothing producer that make sure the sheep that produce their wool are treated humanely, the wool growers are treated fairly, and the farms work to minimize their impact on the environment. They also have the Second Cut program, where you send in unwanted socks (any brand) and they turn them into new goods rather than ending up in the landfill.
Kupilka is eco-dishware made from biomaterial and manufactured in Finland, achieving zero C02 emissions during the manufacturing process. At the end of the life span, Kupilka products can be recycled, incinerated for heat energy or returned to the manufacturer for re-use.
KEEN, a footwear manufacturer, has been on a journey for many years now to eliminate pollutants and use materials that favour sustainability. At this point, they are 95 per cent PFC-free and have eliminated over 150 tons of fluorinated chemicals from being released into the environment. They also created insoles that are infused with Eco Anti-Odor that uses probiotics, not pesticides. Good for the bees and still good for controlling foot odor. KEEN also uses tanneries that reduce chemicals, energy usage and water pollution.