Happy Earth Day!

Sustainable-outdoor-gearHappy Earth Day, everyone! As outdoor gear enthusiasts, we’re especially enthusiastic about the great outdoors and taking good care of our planet. We always stock great products with sustainable practices, but we know it isn’t always easy for consumers to find out what’s sustainable and what’s not. Even some of the most environmentally responsible companies out there don’t shout their sustainability from the mountain tops, though they might get you there with minimal negative impact on the Earth!

Big changes are on the horizon because of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a group who have developed a tool called the Higgs Index┬áthat rates apparel and footwear on sustainability practices. They developed criteria for manufacturing that determines weak points in a company’s practices and product chain. Sustainable manufacturing processes can be the decision point for a lot of people, especially when you’re on the fence between one brand or another.

A lot of outdoor gear companies are leading the way for sustainable practices. In fact, without outdoor gear companies, rating indexes like the Higgs Index that are going to change the way we think about products wouldn’t be possible. Digging down into the sustainability of products is a tricky business for the consumer, especially when there isn’t always a lot of information about practices companies use to make their products. Even Marmot, one of the leaders in sustainability for outdoor gear products, doesn’t have a whole lot of information on their website about their practices.

We’re hoping that the Higgs Index will help move labeling in a direction where sustainability information will become commonplace on products. The day when consumers can compare products side by side without doing a lot of digging around in unreliable territory will be a big step towards more sustainable manufacturing processes.

We hope you have a wonderful Earth Day and here’s to hoping that next year we’ll be able to definitively tell you what’s the most sustainable product in our store. Until then, we’ll help you dig up the goods and get as transparently sustainable gear as possible!

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