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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 organic packs char give renew energy
Seventy percent of this pack maker's energy comes from renewable sources, with a goal of 100% by 2010. The company's ReSource urban daypacks and courier bags are made from a minimum of 70% recycled materials. The Atmos 50 midsize pack, Osprey's contribution to our Zero Impact Challenge (see page 40) is made with nearly 90% recycled content.

green build employee bldg organic packs bags char give renew energy
Pacific Outdoor Equipment
Its Eco Series features sleeping pads, backpacks, and drybags made from dye-free, earth-friendly carbonized bamboo. (The Eco Thermo Pad earned an Editors' Choice Green Award in 2007.) It offsets energy use with Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates and is launching a program in Spring 2008 wherein dealers can help offset the carbon cost of shipments. It will give participating retailers free compact flourescent lightbulbs to light displays in their stores and to raise awareness.

employee bldg organic boots apparel green pack char give
Pursuing a goal of making all of its apparel recyclable, Patagonia uses environmentally friendlier fibers, including recycled and recyclable polyester, recycled nylon, organic cotton, hemp, and chlorine-free wool. Patagonia footwear uses natural latex (read: no petroleum) in outsoles. The company also adheres to strict standards when sourcing leathers, and works with tanneries committed to reducing their ecological footprint. Patagonia donates 1% of sales to conservation.

renew energy employee bldg char give organic
Winner last year of Rock & Ice's Sprout Award for environmental contributions, Petzl operates on 100% wind power.

end of life organic
This company developed a post-consumer recycled fleece way back in 1991. (Called Polartec Classic 200, it was first used by Patagonia.) Polartec now offers more than 20 recycled fabrics, ranging from baselayer Polartec Power Dry (used in Patagonia's Capilene 4 and R1) to Polartec Classic (used in REI's Muir Woods) to softshell Polartec Power Shield. Through Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling program (an Editors' Choice Green winner in 2005), all Polartec products are recyclable for conversion back into yarn and new garments.

renew energy char give employee bldg end of life organic apparel
Since 2006, Prana has increased its use of sustainable materials by 23%. In addition to using organic cotton, recycled polyester, and hemp, it purchases wind power to offset the energy used at its headquarters, by offsite employees, and by key Prana retailers. In 2007, it tripled its support of wind power, offsetting the carbon emissions of 400 retailers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The company also offsets transportation by its sponsored athletes, which in 2007 equaled 520,000 miles.

char give end of life
Its EtaPower stoves (an Editors' Choice Award winner last year) capture 80% of the heat created during combustion. To offset the remaining 20% of lost efficiency, Primus makes a donation for each stove sold to BaumInvest, a company supporting long-range reforestation projects. Primus pressurized gas canisters are 100% aluminum and 100% recyclable.

A recently introduced insulation used in sleeping bags, outerwear, and footwear, PrimaLoft Eco is a 50/50 blend of traditional PrimaLoft fill and recycled fibers.

green build employee bldg organic tents green pack renew energy char give
An Editors' Choice Green winner last year for its pioneering sustainability initiatives, REI continues to push the envelope. Look for its new eco-label on house-brand items with a high percentage of recycled, rapidly renewable, and/or organic fibers. And expect to see more low-impact stores like the prototype it opened last October in Boulder, which features natural light, a solar hot water system, and green materials such as bamboo, recycled rubber, and cork. Through the Outdoor Industry Association's Eco Working Group, REI is collaborating with more than 40 other brands (including BACKPACKER) to develop a common framework to measure, report, and improve on the environmental impact of outdoor gear and clothing.

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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