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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

renew energy char give organic boots
Select new styles feature bamboo sockliners and recycled rubber outsoles. Hi-Tec is the first outdoor shoe company to use "ion-mask," a waterproofing process that produces minimal waste.

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Hot Chillys
In 2008, its baselayer packaging will be made with recycled materials and printed with soy-based ink. New fabrics contain recycled and renewable yarns.

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In 2006, its Woodstock, VT, headquarters converted to 100% Cow Power, one of the country's fastest-growing renewable energy programs, in which local farms convert methane gas to energy.

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In making its merino wool clothing, this New Zealand company purifies and recycles water, recaptures heat, and salvages lanolin for other manufacturing uses. Icebreaker customers will soon be able to trace new Icebreaker garments through a website that takes you through each step of production from farm to factory.

organic bags
Integral Designs
All products are made in Integral's factory in Canada, using fabrics that comply with strict emissions standards. Packaging is minimal, and most scrap fabric and insulation gets turned into smaller products like stuffsacks.

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A number of its women's outerwear pieces contain recycled materials, as do its hangtags, catalogs, and in-store displays. Since 1999, Isis has been a primary sponsor of the Breast Cancer Fund and its save-the-environment initiatives.

renew energy end of life boots organic green pack
Kamik's boot liners are made from recycled polyester and polypro fibers. All scraps are collected and reused, and shoeboxes and hangtags are made of recycled materials. Catalogs are printed on 100% recycled paper.

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Water-soluble glue, pesticide-free cotton (most pesticides are petroleum-based), and recycled polyester webbing help this shoemaker limit its CO2 output. The company also buys leather from tanneries with sustainable business practices.

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All of Komperdell's surf, canyoneering, and kayak suits are lined with bamboo for moisture absorption and warmth. It also makes socks and gloves from recycled polyester and bamboo.

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L.L. Bean
The Maine giant has eliminated its use of PVC and increased its use of recycled fabrics. Its Trail Model fleece, for instance, is made of up to 85% recycled Polartec polyester. Bean recently completed a greenhouse-gas inventory for its U.S. operations, and is building new retail stores to LEED standards. In January 2008, Bean switched to 20% recycled content in mail order catalogs, and in February, the company re-launched its Continental Rucksack, a favorite pack for 20 years, now with recycled 600 denier polyester.

employee bldg renew energy char give green pack apparel boots organic end of life
Its eco-product line, which has doubled in size in the past four years, contains organic cotton, hemp, natural rubber, and vegetable-tanned leather. Lafuma has also trimmed 1,500 kilos of rubber waste per month from its footwear manufacturing, and 120 kilometers per month of plastic wrap through simpler packaging. In 2008, Lafuma will complete a full carbon assessment, and the company will label each of its products with the ecological impact of the product's raw materials, transport, manufacture, and waste. It donates a portion of sales to World Wildlife Fund.

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La Sportiva
Its U.S. headquarters in Boulder are powered by wind, and the building is a zero-waste facility. The company also recycles or donates used shoes it collects.

char give bags apparel organic
Through its new People, Product, Planet program, Marmot has added lower-impact fabrics including organic cotton, soy, bamboo, and hemp to more than 40 men's and women's styles. In 2007, it introduced sleeping bags made from of 80% to 100% recycled materials.

organic boots green pack
Some of its shoes use naturally woven hemp or leather from tanneries that meet strict environmental criteria. Shoeboxes are 100% recycled, with soy-based inks.

green build char give boots organic renew energy
Its distribution center is solar-powered, and its packaging and retail displays use sustainable or recycled materials. This spring, Miön products will feature Round 2 Rubber, a recycled compound made with scrap, and Sol Farm 14, a polyurethane compound that uses 14% natural seed-oil polyoils. Miön shoeboxes have a green index label, which details a product's environmental

green build employee bldg renew energy apparel char give
Mountain Hardwear
Currently, 46% of Hardwear's waterproof/breathable fabrics are solvent-free; 80% of its cotton knits are organic; 20% of its Mountainwear collection use sustainable fabrics; and biodegradable Chitosan is used for antimicrobial treatments. All corporate travel is offset, and its offices are 100% solar-powered.

end of life packs organic
In 2006, it introduced two recycled-fabric lumbar packs. In 2007, it added 35 more recycled products.

green build employee bldg end of life apparel organic char give renew energy
This young company has garnered substantial press for its strict sustainability standards, which require the use of recycled polyesters, organic cotton, and organic wool; offsets for 100% of carbon emissions generated in product distribution and employee travel; offsets for shipping emissions; and a 5% donation option from each sale to an environmental nonprofit of the customer's choosing. Its stores use energy-efficient building materials, and all energy is offset with wind and solar power. Nau's offices are in a LEED Gold-certified building.

char give organic boots green pack
New Balance
PVC is gone, and packaging is 100% recycled. By fall 2008, all footwear sold in the U.S. will use mesh, lining, and laces with a minimum of 25% recycled polyester content. In 2006, its Massachusetts headquarters recycled more than 2,280 tons of waste. In 2007, New Balance reduced solid waste with a leather supplier by 27 tons. And in the past 12 months, the New Balance Foundation has distributed more than $1 million to local environmental initiatives/causes.

char give renew energy boots green pack end of life green build organic employee bldg
In Belgium, Nike installed six wind turbines to power its 2-million-square-foot European distribution center. They generate a total of 22 million kilowatt hours of energy–enough to power 8,000 households. Nike replaced all SF6 gases used in its footwear air cushioning with climate-change-neutral nitrogen. Its Considered program consists of products with reduced waste and toxins, and environmentally preferred materials. Nike is a founding partner of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, through which it reduced its 2005 facilities and business travel CO2 emissions to 18% below 1998 levels.

renew energy end of life organic char give employee bldg

Nikwax contains zero fluorocarbons, which can build up in the food chain and become harmful. Nikwax also offsets impacts from its manufacturing with contributions to programs that rehabilitate depleted forests and protect existing ones.

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A new outdoor footwear company, Oboz plants a tree for every pair of shoes it sells. It works in partnership with Trees for the Future, which has planted 50 million trees since 1988, removing one million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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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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