A down jacket made from fill gathered from old duvets. A quick fix for broken zips that could save masses of gear from going to landfill. A pack made from another brand’s leftover fabric. Even a face mask that doesn’t need washing. Our Green Gear Guide 2021, which we’ve just launched this week, showcases a lot of very interesting outdoor gear.
This year, we’ve worked hard to pick brands that we think are genuinely committed to lowering their overall footprint. In other words, we’ve been well aware of the ‘green washing’ that goes on – no items have had a free pass here just because their buttons are made from recyclable plastic. We were looking for items with serious eco-creds and we reckon we’ve found a very impressive 30.
It’s reassuring to see some of the stuff that’s going on. You could say the industry is in a sustainability arms race and things are really gathering pace. A few years ago, PFCs were the focus, with brands making a big song and dance about their new products with eco-friendly alternatives. Now, PFC-free isn’t enough, in fact, it’s almost expected. Brands seem to have now shifted towards trying to ‘close the loop’; we’re seeing more products that are made from recycled materials (the Rab Microlight Alpine for instance) and more products that can go on to be recycled as well (check out the BAM 73 Zero trousers).
There also seems to be good ground made recently in the search for new alternatives to the fossil fuel using materials that us outdoor enthusiasts have relied upon for so long. Check out the Haglöfs Duality and Jack Wolfskin Eco Loader for example, two brands that have found a more than adequate use for toxic algae.