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The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.

- John Muir

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Gear

Feb 28, 2017

5 Brands at ISPO 2017 NOT Just Jumping on the “Eco-Bandwagon”

ISPO Munich 2017 had no shortage of technically advanced—and neon coloured, outdoor gear and clothing.

WRITTEN BY

Alyssa Fowler

But it was the brands with eco-friendly and sustainability embedded in their DNA that stood-out most.

Each year, over 2,600 international exhibitors in the outdoor, health and fitness, and adventure sports industry make their way to Munich to present their latest and greatest—at an overwhelmingly large event. Knowing the week (or this article) would not be long enough to spend time with every brand and list what they were bringing to the world for 2017, we were instinctively attracted to the brands sharing similar core values as us at The Outdoor Journal.

Experience, enjoy and above all protect the outdoors.

lifestyle_angostura_phil_1
Photo courtesy of Berg Outdoor

While some companies have seemed to hop on the “eco-bandwagon” for marketing purposes (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, we’ll take their efforts either way), it was those that have these principles embedded everything they do that stuck out most during ISPO Munich 2017.

Patagonia

It comes as no surprise that Patagonia would be on this list. Known for decades as a heavyweight in the the outdoor industry as a company who’s pushed the boundaries on what a company should be and what it should stand for—especially by anyone who’s read Let My People Go Surfing, Patagonia has continued to question how they produce and how that affects the planet.

At this year’s ISPO, the Patagonia stand was not dedicated to their new ‘top of the line’ products and advances in design, but highlighted something that should go entirely against what a brand trying to sell, sell, sell, would do—get people to fix what they already own.


Worn Wear

The idea: take care of the clothes you already have so you don’t have to buy more. They also emphasise the stories behind your favourite clothes and how important it is to keep those memories—along with the jacket that you made them with.

Patagonia If it's broke

Patagonia CEO, Rose Marcario notes that this can be seen as a radical act, “fixing something we might otherwise throw away is almost inconceivable to many in the heyday of fast fashion and rapidly advancing technology, but the impact is enormous.” She said in a press release that “as individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer.”

This year, they’ll be touring around in busses, not only to colleges, to fix your clothes for free and educate people on the benefits as they go. Find out where they’re going and when they’ll be close to you!
USA tour dates
European tour dates starting March 24th and will be announced March 9th (stay tuned!)

Berg Outdoor

Born in Portugal in 2002, Berg Outdoor understands that as an outdoor brand, protecting nature needs to be one of their main interests. They are a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), raising funds to give directly to conservation projects. Their efforts to find the ideal balance between the high-quality products expected by their consumers and the need to contribute to the planet was clear in their latest ISPO award winning sneaker.

The Jindo
A functional, reinvented version of the original model made 100% from natural and recyclable materials, including artisanal Portuguese Burel wool and cork.

More about who Berg Outdoor is and what they do here.

Houdini

For many years, this Swedish company has been trying to redefine what consumption should be for people. Not only do they rent shell garments and offer second-hand clothes for sale in their stores, thus enabling more people to use fewer products, but have focused their efforts on promoting a circular economy, where products are produced, used and disposed of in a circular system instead of a linear. They have devoted themselves to using as many recycled materials as possible (often from their worn-out products), and making their products easily repaired or recycled after use—no waste. They have even teamed up with Albaeco and the Stockholm Resilience Centre to initiate a holistic environmental evaluation: the first ever corporate Planetary Boundaries Assessment.

rental_3110 Houdini
Introducing rentals in 2013, it is now possible to rent shell garments from all Houdini stores. Photo courtesy of Houdini

Two of their most recent, highlighted products coming out later this year:

Made to move
“Made to Move” with the Houdini Rollercaoster

Rollercoaster
A completely circular product. It’s made from recycled polyester and is fully recyclable. The jacket also features a wax-based water repellent that’s completely free of fluorocarbon (a toxic substance often used as a coating or inside the fabrics themselves which causes harm to both people and the environment). The coat is designed to be easily repairable, but is also intended to be a breakthrough in it’s wearer feeling free to move more than any other before it.

“When we created our most advanced hard shell we wanted to change the way it feels to wear a shell. To achieve a feeling of full freedom of movement, we had to rethink the foundations of the design process. Instead of a traditional 2-dimensional pattern construction, we decided to drape the garment from a single piece of fabric on a body replicating the movements of mountaineering and freeride skiing.” says Jesper Danielsson at Houdini Design Team.

The Cloud
This progressive insulation garment is fully recyclable—at the same level as a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, and made with recycled polyester. Also using the same fluorocarbon-free water repellant as the Rollercoaster, it is designed to keep you warm and dry whether you’re walking around the city or on a mountaineering expedition. It’s many buttons even enables the wearer to transform it into a blanket, elephant foot for your sleeping bag, a pillow and a baby sleeping bag.

Find out more about all the projects Houdini is involved in to protect our most valuable resource here.

Picture Organic Clothing

Started by three childhood friends from very different backgrounds, the goal was to build their dream outerwear company up from a base of being an environmental action outdoor brand—all product design and principles had to stem from that purpose. They are continuously challenging design practices which has earned them multiple product innovation awards at ISPO, their latest highlight being their most eco-friendly wetsuit.

Picture Organic wetsuits

Picture organic wetsuitPicture Eco Suits
Searching for an alternative to the rarely recyclable and polluting neoprene found in most wetsuits (other companies like Patagonia and Vissla making a big push towards this being set as the norm in wetsuits as well), they cut their carbon footprint in half by inventing NaturalPrene stretch technology—85% natural rubber from a Malaysian plantation and 15% synthetic chlorine-free rubber (made from plants), and adding micro particles to allow it to stretch up to 4 times its size. It boasts maximum comfort and ultra-fast drying. They have the suits available in a wide-range of styles and for both men and women.

For the story behind Picture Organic Clothing and everything else they’re up to, check out their website.

prAna

responsible-forrest-rtPrAna
Forests before fabrics. Photo courtesy of PrAna.

As they’ve done for more than 20 years, this Californian brand centres itself around clothing and gear made with intention—carefully designing every detail to both complement people’s active lifestyles while still considering the needs of tomorrow. Their very first products were even labelled with homemade tags made from recycled paper and the orders shipped in leftover fruit boxes from local grocery stores. As of one of the first major apparel companies to offer Fair Trade certified clothing, they have continued with their commitment in offering more bluesign® certified lines, introducing the use of traceable, responsible down (according to the independent Responsible Down Standard – RDS) and PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) into production. They have also done a lot of work to promote working with hemp in their own clothes and trying to give it a new, up-graded reputation in the industry.

responsiblePrAna
PrAna products are 100% Responsible Down. Photo courtesy of PrAna.

Hemp
Being called a “kind of wonder crop”, hemp doesn’t require any chemical pesticides, fertilisers or treatments during cultivation, harvest and processing. This makes it safer for the farmers that grow it as well as the land it’s grown on and makes it easier for people to answer the questions consumers are starting to care more about: where did this come from and what is its impact?

To find out more about PrAna’s commitment to sustainability and all the many ways they’re making a difference, head to their website.

Are there any brands we didn’t speak to that you think have always had eco-consciousness and sustainability at the core of what they do? Let us know who they are and why in the comments.

 

Feature image courtesy of Berg Outdoor.

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Adventurers & Explorers

Jun 29, 2018

Nixon Regulus: Timekeeping on the Engagés Greenland Expedition

During May of 2018, The Outdoor Journal reported on five French entrepreneurs who were traversing Greenland’s toughest terrain.

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WRITTEN BY

Maxime Lainé

Their goal was to complete 700km in 30 days. In the face of much adversity, the expedition finally made it home to Paris, having being trapped at the finish line without food, and unable to extract themselves due to bad weather.

You can read about those final few days here, and how Maxime Lainé reflected on the journey here.

Before leaving, Max and the Engagés team had to make key decisions regarding the kit that they would carry. One of those choices regarded timekeeping, and Max shares his experience of using a Nixon Regulus watch below.

The is the most impactful experience of my life… for now.

I crossed Greenland, from west to east, along the Polar Circle with 4 other entrepreneurs. It took 31 days to cross more than 550 kilometres of ice by foot, experiencing the harshest environment we had never faced. For this reason, we invested 6 months of preparation, mentally, physically, and planning our equipment. We tested and choose every piece of our equipment very carefully because eventually, our lives could depend on it.

We are very touched that some companies supported us in this crazy adventure, all in their own way. This was the case for Nixon, the watch brand. Via my role as co-founder of Weesurf, I have already had the chance to work with them.

I was very impressed by their will to take risk, and to give a chance to a young startup. That’s what I liked. As such, I decided to knock to their door again, this time with the opportunity to share with them another, but a very different adventure.

Juliette, Angélique and Louis from Nixon, provided each member of the Engagés team with the Nixon Regulus 46MM.

This watch was with us throughout our adventure, it faced the same extreme conditions that we faced, and today I’m still wearing it in one piece as I write this article (which isn’t the case for my toes). For this reason, I want to share with you some key points about this watch, and what makes it’s different.

Resistance

This is the most resistant watch I have ever had. As a surfer, I used to have a lot of them, but no other had ever convinced me that it is truly resistant. We were consistently facing extreme temperatures reaching up to -40°C, and still I never had any battery or display problems.

Weight

At first glance, it might look quite heavy, but is actually surprisingly light. For obvious reasons, this was a key point for us, we needed to carry as little weight as possible. The Regulus passed the test.

Features

The Regulus has what you need: a clock, stopwatch, alarm and timer. However, there is one feature that I particularly appreciate, much like the world clock on our phone, you can set two different times. It was very helpful for us to know what time it was in France, when we wanted and needed to think about our friends and family. When we were thinking about what they were doing at that very moment while we were on our side of the world facing the harsh environment. It helped us keep moving forwards, no matter what. It helped us overcome those daily challenges, and make it to the other side of Greenland.

Bracelet

Throughout the whole expedition, I didn’t take it off, when were setting up the camp, when we were walking, when we were sleeping, when we were cooking, when we were fixing stuff… it never broke. There is an extra element that keeps the bracelet well locked, as if it was made from just one piece, so it fits perfectly to your wrist.

Design

The watch might look quite big off the wrist, but the buttons are smoothly incorporated into the watch, so clothes did not stuck when we had to remove or put them on quickly. More than anything, the buttons are easy to tap, even when wearing gloves. This is a huge advantage because that last thing that you want to do is remove our several pairs of gloves when it was -40C.

Style

Robust and modest. It just rocks.

If you would like to find out more about the Nixon Regulus, then you can do so here.

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