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If you’re anything like us, you probably love your home planet a whole lot and appreciate her all 365 days of the year. But heck, appreciating isn’t the same as celebrating! So in honor of Earth’s celebratory day, let’s all go outside and hug a tree, plant a tree, pick up some trash, or whatever you fancy. Make sure to share and let us know how you celebrated!
Also, in light of today’s festivity, we want to assure you of our shared understanding that our Earth is essential for more than recreation. It is our hope that outdoor recreation fosters a sense of connection and responsibility for this awe-inspiring planet which keeps us alive in every sense of the word. We at Pathfinder are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through using efficient lightbulbs, reusable dishware, using evironmentally safe cleaners in our bike shop, bike commuting, and recycling everything possible; supporting local environmental organizations; and carrying brands that align with our values.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share some environmental info about some of the brands we carry—we can’t include them all because then we’d be writing a book—it’s too long as it is, so just skim over it! If their actions inspire you, check out Friends of the Cheat (local) , Friends of Deckers Creek (local) , Your Forests Your Future (federal public lands initiative) for some ideas on how to help.
Get involved and let your voice be heard!
Patagonia is best known for pledging at least one percent of sales or 10 percent of pre-tax profits—whichever is more—to environmental groups. However, their earth-friendly ethic doesn’t stop there. Keeping relevant to research within the past year, Patagonia is taking the problem of microfibers shedding from synthetic materials seriously by committing significant resources to learn more about the scope of the problem and determine what steps to take to help create impactful solutions.
Taking action on the materials they source isn’t new for them. In 1994, they made the decision to take a stand against chemically intensive cotton and switch to organically grown cotton throughout their line. In 2014, beginning with their fall product season, all of their down products contain Traceable Down, all of which can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed and never live-plucked. More recently, they are working diligently to develop a new wool supply chain that reflects high, and verifiable, standards for both animal welfare and land management.
Delivering environmentally conscious products isn’t the end of it either. Patagonia’s Worn Wear program, keeps your gear in action longer through repair and reuse, and recycles your garments when they’re beyond repair.
2) The North Face
The North Face is dedicated to using less water, less chemicals, and less energy in their manufacturing process, as well as recycled polyester, responsible down, and carbon offsetting. Their product stewardship philosophy is based on creating products that last a lifetime. They back this up by offering a lifetime guarantee for apparel and equipment with the goals of keeping products out of the landfill, reducing the need to purchase replacement goods, and minimizing environmental impact.
Their warranty and repair department handles items returned by customers, as well as anything that may have been damaged during transport or stocking. Their first goal is to repair products to a “like new” standard and to get them back into the hands of customers, outlet stores, or donation partners. The remaining items they are unable to fix are repurposed as much as possible. Finally, whatever cannot be reused or recycled is downcycled.
Outside of their own manufacturing process and product cycle, they are an active leader and supporter of various environmental stewardship organizations. In 1989, The North Face®, in conjunction with Patagonia, REI and Kelty, founded The Conservation Alliance, an organization dedicated to funding and partnering with organizations to permanently protect land and waterways for their habitat and recreation values. Since 1989, The North Face has contributed more than $1 million to the organization’s grant fund and $1.75 million to its Legacy Fund Campaign. The North Face also helped the Access Fund found the Land Conservation Campaign, a revolving loan program that provides local climbing organizations with the funds and expertise needed to act quickly to save threatened climbing areas. The North Face also supports the Leave No Trace Nature Keeper program through their Explore Fund grants, which brings Leave No Trace principles to kids at camps across the nation.
From their beginning in 2002 they were committed to building the best performing products for wilderness athletes, in the least toxic, lowest impact way. Since then, they continue to make high quality products in local factories they live near, essentially eliminated toxic PVC foam from the PFD industry, and continue to put nature first in all their business and product decisions.
Burton has a strong Restricted Substances List requiring everyone producing our goods uses only chemicals and materials safe for people and the environment. No harmful substances like heavy metals and phthalates are allowed in their products, and suppliers are required to meet the strictest global standards. Their partnership with bluesign® ensures the inputs into our product are made with the safest chemicals and air and water emissions from their processes are clean. For 2020, they have committed to 100% PFC-Free Durable Water Repellency (DWR) across our full product range due to PFCs lasting and uncertain impacts on the environment.
Völkl has continuously evolved their efforts in everything from choice of raw materials and resources, to their treatment and manufacturing, up to the employees in organization, development and distribution. Beginning with production and manufacturing, pollution and output of toxins as well as use of other noxious substances have been steadily reduced. As far as possible, harmful materials such as plastics and solvents continue to be replaced by recycled products or organic alternatives. Examples include: edges from recycled steel, recycled base materials, prints with water based colors, wood cores from sustainable forestry, pollutant-reduced production & manufacturing – e.g. no overspray, minimized use of resins and other toxins, minimized water use & recycling in factories, optimized packing with eco-friendly materials, chlorine free wood & paper, ISO energy efficiency standard, Eco Responsibility Awards, amongst other for the ECO Rental Project, Eurosima Award for Ecological Innovation, Softgoods & Apparel following Global Organic Textile standards, and various charity events.
While dying processes at mills can damage the environment, the majority of Endura’s products have been dyed in mills located in pollution-controlled environments which are OEKO-TEX® certified. These products are identified to the consumer with a small recycled hangtag. Their header cards/hangtags are now recyclable and they use non-coated materials that can be recycled. All stock ships by sea unless there is urgent requirement and updates to their inventory planning and prediction system have considerably reduced air shipments. Their headquarters has an Environmental Work Group who monitors waste and recycles cardboard, polythene, plastics, paper and sends surplus fabrics to childcare organizations that use them for craft play.
MSR builds gear to last as long as possible, so that excess resources needn’t be used up to replace it. They are a founding member of the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group, a coalition of more than 300 outdoor brands, suppliers and manufacturers dedicated to addressing the industry’s most important sustainability challenges. This group launched the Higg Index, the industry’s first sustainability measurement tool. MSR uses the Higg Index to examine their practices in material traceability, chemical management, social responsibility, and other core competencies.
MSR also participates in the research, development, and distribution of safe drinking water technologies to communities all around the world.
Thule focuses on durability and reducing the need to replace items. Products are tested the Thule Test Center in Sweden using their Thule Test Program, which includes vibration, crash, fatigue, and environmental tests. They work on improved corrosion resistance and easier product repair through replacing or repairing key components.
Thule reduces manufacturing impacts through conscious choice of materials, energy-efficient manufacturing, optimized packaging, and high usage of recycled materials. They require their suppliers to adhere to their Code of Conduct concerning the environment; follow UN Global Compact, ILO, and OECD guidelines; and are a member of bluesign®. They are working to reduce energy consumption, use more renewable energy, and set a 2020 goal of using 100% renewable energy. Already, they have been investing in ways to become less dependent on fossil fuels. Currently, solar panels on their buildings in Connecticut cover around 25% of their electricity needs and their assembly and development unit, in Hillerstorp, Sweden, is using renewable energy for both heating and electricity. To make logistics more efficient, they are working to reduce transportation distances, optimize packaging, and make the best use of capacity. They also do what they can to replace road freight with rail shipments and cut down on air transport.