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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

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renew energy char give green pack employee bldg organic boots
Known for its long-lasting sandals, Chaco donates 10% of annual after-tax profits to conservation and pays its employees to bike to work. It also purchases wind-powered Green Certificates to offset 100% of its annual electrical use. In 2007, Chaco introduced a 25% recycled EcoTread sole that will reduce its virgin rubber usage by 25,000 pounds a year.

All fabrics and yarns are treated with a natural finish derived from activated carbon in coconut shells–the same stuff that's been used for decades to purify water in municipal water systems and in the air filtration industry. The benefit in outdoor apparel is primarily odor control, where it replaces more petroleum-intensive chemicals. Marmot, GoLite, and Sierra Designs all offer Cocona-treated baselayers.

employee bldg end of life apparel organic char give
You'll now find garments made with soy fabrics and chemical-free organic cotton in ExO's apparel line. The Satellite, Soytopia, and ExSential collections use soy and soy blends, and two new jackets–the men's Canopy Trench and women's Tempest–are made from 100% recycled polyester.

char give organic boots
Five Ten
Five Ten is reclaiming thousands of pounds of rubber it once threw away as scrap from its handmade climbing shoes. Recycled Stealth rubber is now used for rands and a unique rand "paint" that adds friction and durability to shoe uppers. Five Ten also keeps seconds (shoes with imperfections) out of landfills by donating them to Los Angeles–area youth organizations.

green build end of life apparel organic renew energy
Fox River
Besides using organic merino wool and corn-based fibers, this sock maker has reduced energy costs by 30% and waste by more than 50% at its Osage, Iowa plant. The key change: Recycling more than 250 tons of materials each year. Water-reclamation and heat-recovery systems heat and cool the mill–and power shrink-treating processes that use 100% biodegradable materials.

renew energy char give green pack apparel packs organic employee bldg
Its Boulder headquarters are now 100% carbon-neutral thanks to energy efficiencies and NativeEnergy carbon offsets. GoLite uses certified Green-e renewable energy, efficient lighting, and "zero waste" recycling. It offers community-based product reuse/return, alternative transportation, and 10% or higher recycled content in packaging. All collateral is printed on recycled paper and with earth-friendly inks.

green pack apparel
Thirty-eight percent of its products are now GREENICCI–made from 100% organic or recycled materials–and four-fifths of packaging and hangtags are made of Green Seal–certified recycled, chlorine-free papers, printed with soy ink. All business reports and presentations are paper-free, which reduced internal paper use by 70% in 2006.

char give organic green pack end of life
All products are water-based, which equals less toxic chemicals in the ecosystem. Its waterproofing treatments qualify as ISO 9001 quality certified and ISO 14001 environmentally certified.

renew energy char give green pack organic employee bldg
Granite Gear
This Minnesota company's products are PVC-free and use minimal packaging, which is limited to glue-free 85% post-consumer recycled cardstock and reusable 100% recycled plastic jars (for its tarps and stuffsacks). Last spring, Granite Gear introduced a line of enviro-themed tote bags with 10% of sales going to and Save our Wild Salmon.

renew energy apparel organic
Green Guru
Based in Boulder, this small young company uses wind power and biofuels, as well as reclaimed, recycled, and other eco-friendly materials. It turns old inner tubes, banner advertisements, climbing ropes, soda bottles, and more into wallets, bags, and accessories, making waste into stylish gear.

green build renew energy organic end of life renew energy
Guyot Designs
In 2007, Guyot founded C-Minus, a program to take the company to carbon-negative. Products–including stainless steel bottles and Microbite utensils–come with verified greenhouse reductions greater than their carbon cost. Serial numbers on each product allow customers to access detailed reports on the offsets Guyot purchases.

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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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