Can gear make the world a better place?
Celebrate 47 years of Earth Day with outdoor gear brands that honor the modern environmental movement every day of the year.
Here’s a snapshot of some of our favorite ecologically responsible companies that range from eco-conscious pioneer Patagonia, to relative newcomer Sunski.
Since 1973, Patagonia has led the way in environmental activism through their line of sustainable outdoor clothing, support of a variety of social and environmental initiatives, and donation of their sales (1% of total sales, or 10% of profit- whichever is more) to environmental groups.
Patagonia practices what it preaches. More recently, its shift to using traceable down (2014), creating values-based guidelines for wool sourcing (2016), Re\\collection recycled apparel (2016), donating all 2016 Black Friday Sales ($10 million) to grassroots environmental groups, and withdrawing from Outdoor Retailer (2017) in protest of Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s resolution to rescind Bears Ears National Monument demonstrates Patagonia’s commitment to ecological responsibility.
Learn more about Patagonia’s environmental initiatives at their website.
Cotopaxi’s focus on sustainable poverty alleviation drives both its philanthropy and business model.
From the Luzon Del Dia backpack, to its innovative Kusa collection that utilizes llama insulation (llama fleece contains no lanolin and does not require chemical agents when processed), very single piece of Cotopaxi gear is connected to a humanitarian cause in an economically deprived area.
In addition to providing 10% of its earnings to specific causes, Cotopaxi’s participating on the Made in a Free World program ensures complete transparency in its supply chain. Cotopaxi has their entire impact statement and more about their program at Cotopaxi.com.
Named after conservationist John Muir, the aptly named MiiR company launched in 2009 with one thoughtfully designed product- a steel water bottle that could fit in cup holders and feature an easy one-twist opening ideal for chugging water without spilling. Proceeds from each bottle sale were donated to environmental organizations that would help provide clean drinking water to one person for one year.
Combined with public transparency, MiiR’s social and environmental performance earned the company B Corporation status in 2014. MiiR has since expanded its hydration line while also adding bikes, and eco-friendly bags and accessories. Sales from each product go towards water, bicycle and education projects. Learn more about MiiR’s programs on their giving page.
Sunski began as a Kickstarter project in 2012 that focused (pun intended) on quality and stylish performance eyewear that doesn’t break the bank.
A proud member of 1% for the Planet, Sunski annually donates a percentage of its revenue to giving projects that reflect its core values of seeking outdoor adventure and maintaining a healthy planet. Recipients include Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, Save the Waves, and Leave No Trace.
Each year, one of the nation’s largest outdoor gear retailers, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) invests millions of dollars in programs and organizations that maintain outdoor places and seeks to improve its own environmental footprint.
REI’s stewardship is vast and includes community, sustainable operations, product sustainability and workplace in its corporate responsibility.
From using energy from clean and renewable sources (it uses 26 solar electric systems), committing to use only 100% bluesign® certified fabrics in its REI-brand apparel by 2018, and aspiring to become a zero waste-to-landfill and climate- neutral organization by 2020, REI continues to set the industry standard for responsible business practices. You can learn more about REI’s programs on their stewardship site.
Celebrate Earth Day every day by supporting environmentally conscious companies that love the outdoors as much as you.