- MAKE IT LAST: The most sustainable piece of clothing is one that doesn’t need to be purchased because you continue to use your current one. A quality-constructed garment that is repaired uses less resources than one that is made from 100% recycled materials. They have embraced a program they call Worn Wear, employing 45 people that perform an average of 40,000 repairs per year on their clothing. They even have a video series and a tour vehicle that travels the country doing on-site repairs. Check out a short video here.
- MAKE IT WELL: The fabrics that go into a Patagonia product are some of the most innovative pieces of materials technology in the apparel industry. Hemp is a durable fiber with a low environmental impact. Their organic cotton comes from fields not sprayed with harsh chemicals. Their recycled nylon, down, wool and polyester mean new materials don’t need to be sourced. A solid example of demonstrating the true ethos of sustainability is their use of Yulex®, a natural rubber substitute for petroleum-based neoprene in their surfing wetsuits. It doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, it’s produced in Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests, and just as important, performs better than the traditional material.
- MAKE IT KNOWN: It’s one thing to say you’re a protector of the environment, but it’s quite another to actually do it. Patagonia realized that their employees have a passion for protecting nature, so they created the Patagonia Employee Internship Program where they give any employee up to 2 months PAID leave to go work for the environmental nonprofit of their choice. In 2015 there were 34 individuals who took advantage of this opportunity, donating over 10,000 hours for 43 organizations.
For many people Patagonia embodies the very meaning of sustainability. It’s an organization that was founded on a set of principles as much as it was fulfilling the need for a product, climbing gear. Named for the iconic mountainous region in South America, Patagonia doesn’t just aim to make good clothing and outdoor gearing while “doing no harm,” but to actively involve themselves in issues and educate the public on how to make sure their actions can have a positive impact. These are just the tip of the iceberg...
Welcome to the first blog post of Forward Outdoor! My goal is to create not only an online forum, but a community of individuals, companies and organizations that share a common passion for sustainability, the outdoors and travel. We share a love of fresh air, new experiences and innovative new ideas that are making the world a better place.
This project came about due to a simple problem. I love activities like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and camping, but when I need a new backpack or snowboard and want to buy one that’s been produced with sustainability in mind, and I haven’t been able to find a website that breaks it all down. Fortunately outdoor companies are some of the most innovative organizations out there when it comes to environmentally and socially conscious manufacturing, but the information is scattered. I’m hoping to create a place online where you can find that tent made with fabric from recycled plastic bottles or the biking trip that benefits a local community in Peru.
As this website evolves, I hope to provide gear reviews, news, interviews or just share some awesome videos to help to take a mental break from the workday and put yourself in the outdoors. And finally, we need something POSITIVE in the world these days. With all the doom and gloom in the media, there are just as many amazing actions people are taking, and I think they should be shared.
Information & Inspiration for your adventures
Our belief is simple: we can make the world a better place by purchasing goods and services from companies that care about their impact on the environment and society while making a profit. When these companies succeed they raise the bar for the rest of their competitors, using the power of the consumer to send a message!