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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

Green Gear Report Card 2008

The first industry-wide survey about which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment

by: Berne Broudy

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

green build employee bldg char give organic boots organic end of life char give renew energy
Teva has eliminated unnecessary hangtags, switched to corn-based sandal hangers, and converted its shoeboxes to post-consumer recycled fibers and soy-based inks. It has reduced packaging waste by more than one million petroleum-based plastic bags and boxes by shipping 10% of its products in biodegradable cornstarch "bio-bags." The new Curbside collection features outsoles made from 50% recycled car tires and factory scrap rubber, and liners made from recycled soda bottles.

organic boots organic
The North Face
Some of its footwear features metal-free suede uppers, bamboo linings and shanks, cork-blended midsoles, plant-cellulose fiber, recycled rubber, and recycled soda bottles. It has eliminated hangtags, and it now makes boxes from post-consumer recycled paper. Inside tissue wrapping is made from cornstarch resin, which will biodegrade within three months.

green build employee bldg end of life organic boots organic char give renew energy
This eco-leader makes a line of shoes that is high in recycled content, and the company won an Editors' Choice Green Award in 2006 for its "Green Index." The index is a measure of the environmental impact of Timberland's products–and a bold move towards transparency. It reports on greenhouse-gas emissions, hazardous chemical usage, and the percentage of recycled, organic, and renewable materials. The company prints this data on a "nutrition label" on shoeboxes that also tells consumers where products are manufactured.

Timbuk2's Grown Collection bags use eco-friendly buckles made of PLA resin (mostly from corn and other veggies) and Timbuk2-durable waterproof fabric made up of 66% hemp and 33% PET. Timbuk2 has eliminated PVC from its entire product line; it is now using waterproof, durable TPU instead.

renew energy char give organic end of life employee bldg
In 2007, the world's largest manufacturer of synthetic fibers and textiles introduced recycled nylon. It is also launching an environmentally friendly membrane for waterproof/breathable outerwear. The key: a plant-derived polyurethane coating that reduces CO2 emissions while still providing air permeability.

organic boots organic
Its shoeboxes use 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard and soy-based inks, and its boots are no longer shipped with paper stuffing. The company's new running shoes feature recycled materials, plus leather that comes from ISO 14-0001 and BLC-certified tanneries. Vasque has eliminated its consumer catalog and other printed materials, and when it does use paper, it is produced with renewable energy and certified by Smartwood as coming from sustainable, non-virgin forests.

Vibram makes outsoles for nearly every boot brand out there. Its Ecostep soles, introduced several years ago, have 30% recycled content, which reduces landfill waste and the use of virgin material.

char give organic apparel
White Sierra
This spring, White Sierra introduces Happy Planet Earth Friendly fabrics, including bamboo, recycled poly, and linen. One new material, Soda Bottle Weave, diverts five soda bottles per garment from landfills. Linen is naturally easy on the environment; it uses only half the water required by cotton.

green build renew energy char give employee bldg
In April, Yakima will launch Planet Payback, an initiative to reduce CO2 emissions across all of its operations. Consumers will get to vote on the type of offsets the company should support when they register their product purchases at Its popular cargo rooftop boxes are made of up to 80% recycled ABS plastic. Cargo boxes, scrap from cargo-box manufacturing, and aluminum and steel parts are all recyclable, as well as the steel tubing and plastic fairings on Yakima's cargo baskets.

renew energy organic char give
Zamberlan USA
This bootmaker uses environmentally friendly glues and primers to limit impact and prevent worker exposure to harmful substances. Zamberlan also contracts only with leather tanneries that use pollution-free components.

Want more? Click here for an extra 19 green companies, plus an interview with Big Agnes's Bill Gamber.
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Nov 24, 2012

Going green is alive and well in today's ecological aware society. Having a laptop case that is well built to satisfy the needs of consumers is of great importance as well. As a photographer, I require a bag that I can hold my camera gear as well as my laptop. Going green with a laptop case may pose some challenges, avoid nylon and going with cotton or hemp material may be the start, if they are available.

Jul 15, 2008

Having tents and other gear made in China is not Green!

May 19, 2008

Osprey Packs can be found at this address:


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