Every adventure starts
with the right gear
However good outdoor gear is not always good for the outdoors.
The textile industry in general has a major impact on the environment, and the outdoor industry is no exception. The technical requirements for outdoor gear brings with it the dilemma of durability versus sustainability. Below you will find some examples of the hidden impacts of our gear on the environment.
To meet the high standards required of outdoor gear most gear is made of synthetic materials. Synthetic fibers are made from petroleum, which means that synthetic fibers contain carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a greenhouse gas. When gear is disposed of and incarcerated this CO2 will eventually find its way into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and all its environmental consequences.
Much of our gear is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR). To meet the high technical specifications of outdoor gear, many of the DWR’s include perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The long term effects of PFCs are still being researched, however early studies have shown PFCs to be harmful for living organisms. Traces of PFCs are already found in air, water, plants, wildlife and even human beings.
Read more about this on our blog: PFC-free Gear
Another hidden environmental impact of our technical synthetic gear is the accumulation of synthetic fibres or micro plastics. During use and washing, small plastic fibres are released into the environment. Since these microplastics are not biodegradable they accumulate in nature and end up in our food chain and drinking water.
Read more about this on our blog: Synthetic Microfibers – Leaving a Trail of Plastic
Within the textile industry less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. 73% of materials used end up at a landfill or are incinerated.
So, what can we do?
Fortunately, some brands are working hard to tackle these sustainability issues. Lets support their efforts by consciously choosing for companies which actively work on reducing the environmental impact of our gear.