Considering the fact that outdoor brands encourage their customers to go outside and spend time in nature, should they not all be concerned about the environment and the welfare of the people producing their products? In an ideal world that would be the case, but unfortunately, not every outdoor company has sustainability at its core. Here are a few brands I expect to have a cleaner conscience and are seriously making an effort:
- Brew Company, my Brew-in-the-Bags
- DogHammer Shoes, my Guide Vegan Shoes
- EcoStoof, my Slowcooking set (with a 10% Discount code)
- Exped, my Exped Synmat & AirPillow
- MSR, my WhisperLite International stove & TrailShot Water Filter
- On Running, our Cloudrock- and Cloudventure shoes, Waterproof Anorak and Merino Beanie
- Pyranha Kayaks, my 9R II
- Rooster, my Combi Gloves
- SuperFeet Insoles, my Carbon & Trailblazer Comfort insoles.
- Thule, my Guidepost 75 liter backpack
- Vaude, my frameless daypacks
- VTex Watershoes, our Shark Knit waterproof shoes
- Ethical Wares,
- Save the Duck
Rationality & ‘The big picture’
We each have a contribution to make that fits us as an individual. As a marketeer, I see necessary changes on a level of European wide cruelty free and sustainable ethics and closing borders for non-compliant products / eliminating legal protection of ‘geographical indication protected’ goods, if this doesn’t comply with cruelty free and sustainable ethics / stop financing cheap transport by air / worldwide distribution of wealth, et cetera.
I do however see the need to encourage big companies and retailers to support these ethics. Fastfood chains and supermarket chains aren’t our enemies: they are the places that can make a difference! (Small steps, on a big scale, do help.)
An absolute must and one of the important codes for the outdoors! I dare to claim I can follow the code for almost a 100%.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare: see Elements
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: see Elements
- Dispose of Waste Properly: see Elements
- Leave What You Find: see Elements
- Minimize Campfire Impacts: see Elements
- Respect Wildlife: see Elements
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors: see Elements
An absolute must and one of the important codes for the outdoors!
Considerate people observe wildlife from afar, give animals a wide berth, store food securely and keep garbage and food scraps away from animals. Remember that you are a visitor to their home.
No Animal Cruelty!
The logical, sensible and undeniably the way to go. So I do not use animal products anymore. Now this is where it gets more complicated…..
Gastric Sleeve (personal)
At home I only have a view issues to deal with, the biggest being eating enough proteines. Because I have had a bariatric sleeve gastrectomy (I only have 10% stomach left). Going vegan after bariatric surgery is possible and can be safe, however, vegans ought to be highly committed to taking proper supplementation. The priority being protein. For optimal health, your body needs all the essential amino acids in the right amounts. Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy are similar to the protein found in your body. They are considered complete sources of protein because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to function optimally. However, plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts are not complete, as they lack one or more essential amino acids that the body needs. Some sources report that soy proteins are complete. Two essential amino acids are only present in small amounts in soy, making it incomparable to animal proteins. Vegans must often “combine” different plant proteins in order to consume all the essential amino acids our bodies require. In addition to that, several vegetarian options usually expand in the new stomach and cause the patient to feel very full or too fast.
Here is one of the biggest problems for the outdoor industry to deal with.
Many of the materials we use are animal-derived. Within our food industry, our accepted standards/industry standards we deem to be okay, are actually very cruel and murky. I dare anyone to view actual footage showing standard practice (not considered abusement) in the animal industry.
Leather, down and wool are staples in many outdoor brands, but:
‘Much of the Australian Merino wool comes from farms still practising unanesthetised mulesing (the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from sheep, to create scarring).
And leather and wool are both heavily polluting: They are at the very top of their list for cradle-to-gate pollutant impact.
So, we are looking for eco-friendly alternatives. Unfortunately, not all vegan-friendly alternatives to leather, wool and down are made with the environment in mind. Did you know that every time you wash polyester or other kinds of synthetic clothing, tiny pieces of plastic are released into the water? Many vegan alternative materials are in fact plastic-based, so it is important to read up, and find brands that consider not just animal rights, but also the environment.
Most industries lack transparency and the outdoor industry is no different. Lacking transparent labour policies on issues like child labour, forced labour, worker safety, the right to join a union, and payment of living wages. These issues often come with an overall different view on ethics. Outsourcing production and buying raw materials from places where ethics are low/different does not help the planet.