DENVER, CO – After pressure from consumers and brands in the outdoor space, the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show formally held in Salt Lake City has found new digs in Denver. Although Colorado is not the “greenest” state in the nation, it is known for being eco-friendly, and most everyone that calls Colorado home, especially the transplants are there for a common reason, access to the outdoors.
In years past we have given out awards for Editors Choice, Best of Show and so forth. This year I wanted to take a different approach and highlight products that are being made with green ethical standards, brands that are working toward reducing the harm we have placed on the environment and most importantly manufacturing of sustainable goods.
#1. Ruffwear – Restcycle™ Bed
First up on the list comes from our friends at Ruffwear. Ruffwear created the Restcycle™ Bed, a super comfy Baffled dog bed that’s filled with recycled foam that normally ends up in a landfill. The factory Ruffwear uses for manufacturing, also makes backpacks for another brand, so when Ruffwear saw a bunch of waste, they had an ah-ha moment, let’s use these punch outs to fill a dog bed. Say goodbye to dead spots as the Restcycle™ Bed will always have amble padding even if you have the sort of dog that likes to spin in circles endlessly before laying down. Even the removable cover is made of recycled good, kudos Ruffwear.
#2. Astral – Hemp Footwear
We can grow marijuana in the United States of America, however, we cannot legally grow hemp? Luckily brands like Astral are willing to source hemp from other countries to bring a line of hemp, recycled polyester shoes. The Hemp Baker, Hemp Loyak, and Hemp Maria shoes not only look good, they feel incredibly soft. Hemp takes less water to produce than cotton, offers great anti-microbial properties and can be used for hiking, casual walking and just about everything in between. If you haven’t tried on a pair of Astral’s your truly missing out.
#3. Toad&Co – eC0 standard
Starting in Spring of 2019 Toad&Co is taking an even more sustainable approach by announcing that 100% of all styles will not meet the companies eCo standard. Currently, 90% of their products are eco-friendly, made with organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, wool and more. Terms like bluesign® or STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certifications will soon become the norm within the outdoor space. Does your favorite clothing brand have a similar message? If not it’s time to see what organic, natural materials feel like against your skin. Be sure to keep Toad&Co on your radar as this company is growing quickly with great products and a strong environmental – socially conscious brand message.
#4. Costa Sunglasses x Bureo – Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses
It’s estimated around 640,000 tons of discarded fishing nets are left in the ocean every year. Old fishing nets are bad news, they have been known to kill dolphins, harm reefs and ever worse leave pollutants in the ocean which are worse than any other plastics out there. So when Costa Sunglasses teamed up with Buero to manufacture a line out high-end sunglasses out of used fishing nets, we got really interested. Turns out the sunglasses are made by recycling the old fishing nets into tiny pellets which then get molded into frames for sunglasses. How cool is that?
#5. SOLE – Recycled Cork Beds
How many corks does it take to make a pair of sandals? I’m not sure but what’s really cool is when a brand like SOLE can take a bunch of old wine corks and blend them together to create a pair of sandals or foot-beds out of the recycled materials. Do you recycle? Most likely the answer is yes, so the question becomes how much gear do you own that’s actually recycled? Ponder that for a second.. With recycled cork footbeds and sandals like these from SOLE, the feel is a bit on the stiff side which works best for people that have less mobility in their feet.
Kelty teamed up with Preserve, for their Camp Kitchen line which is 100% recycled Everyday Dishes that can be used and reused forever. The Camp Kitchen from Kelty is the first product in the Preserve’s line specifically designed for the outdoors. And it surely won’t be the last. Preserve not only makes stuff out of 100% recycled goods, they want your #5 plastic—such as yogurt cups and other common household containers to be recycled—via Preserve’s Gimme 5 program. All recycling and manufacturing is done in the USA taking #5 plastics and turning them into new Preserve products. Win- Win.
#7. Sherpa Adventure Gear – Lapka Jacket
The Lakpa Jacket from Sherpa Adventure Gear is a great high-end sustainable piece of outerwear that will rival all the big name manufacturers. Named after Lakpa Rita, the first Sherpa/gear tester to climb all the 7 summits, the Lapka Jacket is waterproof, breathable and has Nepalese inlays making this a super stylish jacket. Sherpa Adventure Gear got its OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification which means the Lapka material, along with everything from the threads used for sewing to the inserts and even all non-textile stuff like buttons, zippers, rivets and more has been certified. Since 2003 Sherpa Adventure Gear has helped to provide quality working conditions and educational opportunities in Nepal including the Empowering women through meaningful employment in Nepal program.