My closet is anything but sustainable. So much honesty must be. Fast fashion wherever I look. But second-hand and sustainable clothing are slowly mingling with it. The fact that not everything is fair and sustainable for me is not that bad that all my current consumer decisions are well-considered. I hardly buy anything anymore because my closet is full enough. If I want to / have to get something new, I look at flea markets, second-hand shops and clothes spinning tops, to name just a few.
From time to time, however, new parts have to be made, for example in the outdoor area. My outdoor equipment is still pretty manageable, because I only have the basics like hiking shoes, backpack, hiking socks and rain jacket. It was important to me that when I have to buy something functional that really works, I support a brand that is committed to sustainability and environmental protection.
So that you don’t have to do the same research as I did, I have compiled my results here in a clear, albeit long list.
What is sustainable outdoor clothing?
What is sustainable outdoor clothing anyway? Which sustainability seal can I trust? There are a lot of seals now, similar to organic foods. This does not necessarily contribute to clarity.
Sustainability is often mentioned in the same breath as environmental and climate protection. The aim is to protect the environment during production. It is a matter of mining and using renewable resources only to the extent that they can grow back themselves. But it’s not just about resources, it’s about responsibility on a social, ecological and economic level.
What is the difference between conventional and sustainable outdoor clothing?
Sustainability has almost become a buzzword. But before there is anything better, I stick to the word “sustainability”. In this article, I will focus on companies that claim to be sustainable and follow certain guidelines of sustainability seals. Sustainability includes not only the commitment to the environment, but also to the manufacturing processes and fair working conditions.
It was originally Greenpeace who, with their detox campaign, raised awareness of the use of per- and polyfluorinated carbon (PFCs), which are also called fluorocarbons . These substances are classified as particularly dangerous for humans, animals and the environment and are suspected of causing cancer. Once in the environment, they degrade only with difficulty or not at all. PFC-containing chemicals have long been used to make surfaces water and dirt repellent. They are still used today.
What contribution can I make to sustainability myself?
In addition to buying sustainable brands, as a consumer you can do everything you can to keep your garment as long as possible. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning again. Outdoor clothing is made from durable natural and synthetic materials, which is why it is worth maintaining and maintaining it. If something breaks, a lot of damage can be repaired. Patagonia, for example, even has a repair service. Both in the shops and online, your damaged clothing will be accepted for repair. For defective Vaude clothing and equipment, you can search for spare parts at ifixit.com.
If the waterproofing of your rain jacket wears off, there are fluorocarbon-free waterproofing sprays with which the waterproofing can be restored. Spray on, iron on or throw in the dryer and rain can no longer harm you.
Otherwise, there are always used outdoor clothing on numerous second-hand platforms, as well as in Facebook groups and outdoor women buying and selling (closed group). It doesn’t always have to be new.
The Californian company Patagonia is probably the most sustainable and environmentally conscious outdoor brand on the market. Not only do they take care to communicate and live ecological and social values in their production (and to be as transparent as possible to the customer), they are also involved in environmental projects. With the ” Telling the dam truth ” campaign, Patagonia shows the ecological effects of dams using the example of hydroelectric dams in the Balkans. Apart from that, it is also worth reading the life story of the founder Yvon Chouinard . #Fangirl ( Let my people go surfing and The responsible company )
Patagonia’s mission: to produce the best possible products that do no unnecessary harm. Patagonia’s collections consist of 50 to 100 percent recycled and organically grown natural materials. The company also respects human and labor rights across the supply chain and is a member of the Fairtrade and Fair Labor Association.
In addition, Patagonia supports environmental activists because they see themselves as an “activist company” and encourages their own employees to produce less C02. The take-back system, which allows customers to return used goods back into circulation, has been adopted by many other companies as a concept.
Bergans follows the bluesign seal for sustainability, which Greenpeace rates as a medium- strict seal. Like Fjäll Räven and Patagonia, Bergans offers a repair service and other solutions for worn products. The Norwegian label has established a code of conduct with sustainability reporting according to the guidelines of the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway. In addition, the company claims to reduce its ecological footprint.