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The Outdoor Industry - A Force for Sustainability

No other sector embraces sustainability as much as the outdoor industry. Five years ago, the industry’s efforts to champion sustainability were recognized by the White House, and we are not slowing down.

Three of the biggest tradeshows of 2017 were all heavily focused on environmental and social responsibility. Cruelty free fabrics were the talk of Winter Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City in January. In June, Sympatex proposed the idea of “closed loop apparel recycling with no negative environmental impact” at the OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen. In July, leading brands showed off their sustainable innovations at the summer edition of Outdoor Retailer. (The BioLite Solar Home 620 was a firm favorite, transforming any off-the-grid structure, like a van or a tiny house, into a well lit home!)

The importance of sustainability is recognized by all outdoor industry stakeholders, and environmentally-orientated American customers drive positive change by making conscious choices. Shoppers look for cruelty free, sustainable materials, and support companies known for their responsible practices. Patagonia’s phenomenal success story is the best example. Across the pond, Jack Wolfskin set the bar high for constant evaluation and improvement within the supply chain, and the use of organic and cruelty free materials.

In the US, the drive for sustainability is a sector wide effort headed by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). In 2010, the OIA created Eco Index for which it was named a Champion of Change for Corporate Responsibility by the White House.  

The open-source, self-assessment tool was designed to help manufacturers evaluate their practices and strive for improvement. Its importance was quickly recognized by the wider industry, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (members include giants such as Walmart and Nike) used it to develop their own, more robust HIGG Index.

As apparel manufacturing is responsible for a large portion of environmental pollution, the outdoor industry stands in sharp opposition to the lack of values prevalent in fast fashion. Thanks to efforts from individual brands, as well as through collaborative action, the outdoor industry continues to lead the way in corporate responsibility by continuously asking one question: how can we get better?

As a proud member of the OIA, Climashield is committed to reducing our negative impact on the planet. We strongly believe that the future of textiles is cruelty-free and that synthetic insulation can provide a viable alternative to animal derived materials. On top of that, our products are extremely resilient to usage, storage and washing, and we dubbed this value Durable Warmth. By offering materials that last, we ensure that outdoor gear stays outdoors, but far away from landfills.

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