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The Best Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear

With the weather starting to get colder, many of us are thinking about how we can enjoy the great outdoors and feel good about the clothing we choose to wear. Recognizing the negative environmental impact that clothing manufacturing can have, more and more companies have committed to creating clothing and gear that not only looks super stylish and performs well, but that is eco-friendly. Below are some of my favorites.

Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan

This terrific fleece is perfect on its own or as a layer on colder days. You will look stylish and feel virtuous in this jacket that is made from 100% recycled polyester and is fair trade certified. The Alpenex II™ fleece is warm, soft, constructed with wicking fibers and has a unique texture that gives it the look of wool. Gusseted underarms provide freedom of movement and laminated pockets help secure small essentials. Arc’terx has also developed its own ReBIRD system to address waste. ReCARE means items are made to last: ReGEAR provides an opportunity to resell used clothing and ReCUT turns old textiles into new pieces. This fleece makes you look good and feel good.

Smartwool Socks

Best known for high-performance and extremely comfortable socks, Smartwool makes socks for multiple sports including hiking, running, skiing and snowboarding. Their socks manage moisture, help regulate temperature and are odor resistant. All of Smartwool’s products are made of ZQ-Certified Merino wool. Merino wool is renewable since it is made up of proteins and amino acids that naturally break down in water and soil. The wool is sourced from ZQRX wool growers who are committed to supporting key initiatives such as restoring waterways, protecting native species, offsetting carbon and enhancing local communities.

Klean Kanteen Water Bottles

Getting rid of single use water bottles can have a significant impact and reduce plastic usage. Choosing a Klean Kanteen has added environmental benefits. Recently, the company began manufacturing water bottles using certified 90% recycled stainless steel and has committed to using recycled steel in 95% of its products by next year. Recycled steel means lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced energy usage and a lower ecosystem impact. In addition, Klean invests 1% of all revenues in organizations dedicated to sustainability. Their insulated bottles keep drinks hot and cold for hours and come in multiple colors and configurations.

Nomadix Blankets

If your outdoor adventure requires a blanket, check out the collection of outdoor blankets from Nomadix. These versatile blankets come with snaps: use one snap to wear it as a cloak or wrap for hands-free warmth or snap all of the sides for a minimalist sleeping bag. The outer layer is made of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester and the inner material is recycled polyester fill. Nomadix is committed to using post-consumer recycled materials in all of its products, with impressive results. About 12.7 million plastic bottles have been diverted from landfills, almost 2 million gallons of wastewater has been saved and the company has donated $32 million to green organizations devoted to helping the planet.

Icebreaker Base Layers

If you need high-quality base layers, look no further than Icebreaker where the clothing is made from sustainable merino wool and the emphasis is on keeping their sheep producers happy. Icebreaker is committed to making sure that the sheep are well taken care of and growers need to guarantee that the sheep whose wool is used have access to clean water, adequate food and shelter, are free to roam in open pastures and that they are handled in a way that avoids unnecessary stress and pain. The result is super soft clothing you can feel good about that comes in multiple styles and colors.

Patagonia’s Downdrift Jacket

Patagonia’s commitment to environmentally conscious clothing is well known and one of the reasons consumers love their products. If you are looking for a super warm down jacket that has a reduced environmental impact, this jacket is a perfect choice. The weather resistant shell and 600-fill power down will keep you toasty and dry. The shell is made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean plastic pollution, and the jacket is insulated with recycled down. The entire jacket is Fair Trade Certified™ sewn, which means the people who made it earned a premium for their labor.

Eddie Bauer Pants

If you are looking for pants that are perfect for outdoor adventures, try these Guide Pro Pants. These are ideal for both hiking and lounging; they are lightweight, easy to pack, made of a two-way fabric that makes it easy to move and have a durable water-repellent finish. The Guide Pro Pants have been made from bluesign® certified fabrics, which indicates that a safe and sustainable textile production process has been used. This means the process is safe for workers, safe for the environment, and safe for customers.

Norrøna Powerstretch Gloves

These gloves can be used for all types of outdoor activity and are incredibly warm and versatile: they can also be used as glove liners. They dry quickly and the Polartec Powerstretch fabric makes them super comfortable. The Bluesign® approved fabric is made with a functional blend of 57% recycled Polyester, 33% Nylon and 10% Elastane. The Bluesign® designation means they are made in factories that are committed to eliminating harmful substances from the production process and are committed to control standards for a sustainable and safe production of everything made.


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