When you're out and about on a hike, breathing in all of that clean air the great outdoors has to offer, it's easy to feel smug about the environmental impact of your hobby. After all, compared with the people who'd rather spend their weekends driving about in their petrol guzzling automobiles, you're an absolute saint. Or are you? Over the last few years, there's been a significant increase in the demand for eco waterproofs and with good reason.
Waterproofs are traditionally imbued with a wide variety of laminates and solvents. This has consequences for the environment, none which can be considered positive. Because outdoor enthusiasts have a clear and obvious vested interest in preserving the planet, kit manufactured with sustainibilty at its heart is clearly the way forward. To help you make a purchase that's good for the environment, as well as your adventurous activites, we've compiled together six of the best eco waterproofs for you to take a look at.
Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket
Maybe it's just us but when we think of Scandinavian manufacturers, we immediately imagine brands that care about the environment. It's probably because when we think of Scandinavia, we tend to think of snowy forests, icy fjords, and clean living.
The Swedish brand Fjällräven are all about being eco-friendly, and the Keb Eco-Shell waterproof jacket is testatment to that. PFC-Free, made from recyclable polyester, and with any emissions racked up during production climate compensated. It's also a seriously stylish number, to boot. Allowing you to do your part, while looking the part.
Haglöfs Selja Jacket Men
What was that we were just saying about Scandinavian brands being adovocates for eco-friendliness? Well, in a bid to underline our point, let's talk about Haglöfs. They're not just friends with the environment, they're auditioning for one of its best mate spots.
The Selja waterproof jacket for men, which is one of Haglöfs flagship garments, is constucted from recycled and eco-approved material. Products made from recycled materials, like the Selja jacket, make our world a more sustainable place and that benefits all of us in the long run. This one will keep you well protected from bad weather conditions, offers superb functionality and versatility, and looks great.
Paramo Men's Enduro Jacket
British outdoor clothing company Paramo have been doing some great work on the eco and ethical fronts in recent years. As Tim Hunt, Co-Editor of Ethical Consumer magazine, put it after Paramo had been awarded 'Best Buy' status earlier this year: "It's rare to find a company like Paramo..." and "...not many 'walk the walk' in the way that Paramo do." This lot are top of the class when it comes to operating a business in a socially and globally responsible way.
Made at the Miquelina Foundation, an ethical factory in Bogota run by nuns for the local community, the Paramo Enduro jacket, like so many of Paramo's products, ticks all the right kind of boxes. The waterproof jacket is PFC-Free and constructed from fabrics that are recyclable. The involvement of Nikwax, who've won awards for eco-friendly projects, only serves to underline what this coat is all about.
Jack Wolfskin Troposphere Women
Earlier this year, Jack Wolfskin won the ISPO Award for Eco Achievement. They won it for their commitment to sustainability, and a prioritising of transparency in the business. Jack Wolfskin's entire strategy is built on social responsibility, environmental protection, and an ethical approach. Needless to say, these types of foundations mean that their a pretty good company to buy from if you're looking for an eco waterproof.
The Troposphere is 100% PFC-Free, so you can rest easy on that score if you buy this garment. It is also warm, waterproof, and highly breathable. Continuing with our listing of the features on this thing, there's a cable duct for your headphones, underarm venting zips, and an adjustable ergonomic hood.
Klattermusen Women's Allgron Jacket
It's been about two minutes since we discussed a Scandinavian outdoors brand that care deeply about the environment so, without further do, let's talk about Klättermusen. Klättermusen are, you guessed it, Swedish. Their gear, which uses organic and recycled materials, holds up well from a technical point of view and an eco-minded one.
The popular Allgron jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester, and is a great option for the outdoor enthusiast with an environmentalist outlook. What's more, when you're finished with it the Allgron can be recycled and made into new garments. The product itself is extremely waterproof, breathable, and is suitable for all occasions (except, as the Klättermusen website points out, your wedding day).
Patagonia Women's Stretch Rainshadow
Anyone with even a passion knowledge of outdoor gear, will know that Patagonia are right up there when it comes to brands that car about the environment. A visit to their website reveals a brand that's all about using recycled materials. Whether it be recycled down, recycled nylon recycled polyester, or recycled wool; they're all about recycling. Not only that, they're also advocates of sourcing wool in a way that doesn't negatively impact on animal welfare and doing things in an organic way. The brand promote fair labor practices, safe working conditions, and environmental responsibility.
The Rainshadow, from Patagonia, is an excellent eco waterproof. Made in an eco-friendly factory, that utilises glass walls to create a more pleasant and outdoorsy feel for the people who make it, this item will keep your conscience clear and your torso dry.