As outdoor lovers, taking care of our planet means a lot to us. So it makes sense that we want to shop in a way that reflects those values. We’ve collated a list of outdoor brands that are doing their best for the planet – not only for the environment, but for the people in it too. Considering product, supply chain, and community impact, this is a collection of responsible brands who take a holistic approach to sustainability. If you’re looking to shop a bit more responsibly, browse our top picks and find out exactly what makes these 7 sustainable outdoor brands so great.

 

1. Cotopaxi

 

With a slogan like “Gear for Good”, it’s no wonder Cotopaxi are paving the way in terms of social and environmental responsibility. A certified B-Corp, Cotopaxi are a business built with the purpose of redressing social issues at their very core, producing quality outdoor gear that lasts and will make a lasting impact. Each year, a percentage of their revenue is allocated to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which provides targeted grants to nonprofits that are dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty, particularly in Latin America.

 

Product

Cotopaxi prioritise circularity in the production of their garments, with 94% of their products containing repurposed, recycled, or responsible materials. Products in their (Re)Purpose Collection use remnant fabric from other companies’ production runs, and brand products are branded “responsible” if they carry a third party sustainability qualification such as Fair Trade Certified™  or Global Organic Textile Standard.

 

Supply Chain

Cotopaxi have various supply chain commitments to ensure that human rights are protected at every level. This includes commiting to the UN Global Compact and Principles of Responsible Business, conducting annual audits, adopting the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Better Buying Guide, and providing direct grants to factory workers. They are fully transparent about the factories that they produce in.

 

Impact

1% of Cotpaxi’s revenue each year is donated in the form of multi-year grants to the Cotopaxi Foundation. The foundation focuses on investing in Latin America’s poorest communities in critical areas like health, education and livelihood. The foundation allows Cotopaxi to have closer relationships with their grantees, as well as running their own programs. Cotopaxi are also a member of 1% for the Planet.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Certified B-Corp
  • 1% for the Planet
  • Climate Neutral certified
  • Fair Trade

 

Shop Cotopaxi at Paddy Pallin.

Opening bottle wearing Cotopaxi fleece

2. Patagonia

 

When Yvon Chouinard’s Earth Is Now Our Only Shareholder was published last year, it kinda broke the internet (or at least the outdoorsy corner of the internet). Never before have we seen a business address their commitment to tackling the climate crisis so strikingly. But Patagonia don’t do things by halves, and donating all of their equity to climate and conservation efforts is exactly why they are hailed as one of the most sustainable companies in the world. After all, they are in business to save our home planet.

 

Product

89% of Patagonia’s products are made solely with “preferred” materials. This includes organic and Regenerative Organic cotton, recycled polyester and recycled nylon. They are market leaders at manufacturing with more sustainable materials, creating innovative fabrics like NetPlus (made from recycled fishing nets) and promoting Regenerative Organic cotton (in collaboration with farmers in India). Patagonia also offer a secondhand marketplace, Worn Wear, to keep their used garments in circulation for longer (currently only available in the US).

 

Supply Chain

Patagonia have a strong social responsibility programme to manage their supply chain and hold it to rigorous standards. Partnering with a range of organisations including Fair Trade and the Fair Labour Association, Patagonia are transparent about their supply chain and are making considerable effort to work towards a Living Wage for all garment workers. 86% of their products are made in a Fair Trade Certified Factory.

 

Impact

Patagonia have an entire section on their website labelled Activism, which sums up their commitment to environmental action. As a founding member of 1% for the Planet, they donate 1% of their revenue every year to grassroots environmental nonprofits, working on a range of local issues around the globe. More recently, with the establishment of the Holdfast Collective, every dollar of Patagonia’s excess profits will be used to fight the environmental crisis. They also created an online activist resource in Patagonia Action Works, helping individuals that want to take concrete action to connect with environmental organisations across the globe.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Certified B-Corp
  • 1% for the Planet
  • Bluesign system partner
  • Fair Labour Association
  • Fair Trade

 

Shop Patagonia at Paddy Pallin.

Zipping up Patagonia hip pack

3. Rumpl

 

Revolutionising the traditional blanket category, Rumpl creates boldly designed, technical blankets that keep you warm outdoors. One of Rumpl’s key values is “looking to the future responsibly”, and thus sustainable growth and social responsibility is at the core of what they do. Built up from humble roots, they have achieved B-Corp status and Climate Neutral certification, and are a member of 1% for the Planet.

 

Product

Rumpl’s entire core line of blankets uses only 100% post-consumer recycled materials. All synthetic insulation options are 100% post-consumer recycled, and natural insulation options use only ethically and sustainably sourced fibres. 85% of all Rumpl products contain at least one recycled or repurposed feature.

 

Supply Chain

Working with manufacturing partner Standard Fiber, Rumpl have achieved GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certification for all materials in their blankets. Workers receive wages greater than the legal minimum and calculated living wages.

 

Impact

Rumpl have been a member of 1% for the Planet  since 2017, donating 1% of sales each year to organisations focused on climate change, conservation, environmental advocacy, and access. Beyond this, they also partner with organisations outside of the environmental space, including Sheltersuit, First Peoples Fund, and High Fives Foundation.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Certified B-Corp
  • 1% for the Planet
  • Climate Neutral certified

 

Shop Rumpl at Paddy Pallin.

Friends drinking wine wearing Rumpl blankets

4. Rab

 

Founded in 1981, Rab is a trusted producer of quality outdoor kit for all environments and conditions. They’ve always been passionate about taking care of the planet and the outdoor community, but over the past few years, Rab have shown a huge shift towards more sustainable materials and impactful business practices. Their 2023 sustainability report details many of the incredible initiatives they are working on, with a real focus on materials transparency and product longevity.

 

Product

Rab launched their Material Facts transparency tables at the end of last year, detailing the exact percentage of recycled/fluorocarbon content in each product component. 80% of Rab’s AW23 products are fluorocarbon-free, whilst most of their products are created with recycled content and/or responsibly sourced natural materials that prioritise animal welfare. Rab are also pushing for and encouraging product longevity and accessibility, with the Rab Lab service centre completing 15,416 repairs/washes last year, and a Rab Rental service that allows people to rent more expensive technical gear for one-off expeditions.

 

Supply Chain

Rab are a leader of the Fair Wear Foundation, an NFP guiding brands towards responsible clothing manufacturing practices. The team visited manufacturing sites that account for 94% of their production in 2022-23, and 90% of production volume came from manufacturing sites that have been audited in the last three years. Rab’s annual social reports and Fair Wear Performance Checks, including factory locations, can be found on their website.

 

Impact

Rab have an employee volunteering programme that enables employees to make an impact on their community. They have a strong partnership with The Outward Bound Trust, an educational charity that helps young people get outdoors.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Fair Wear Leader
  • Climate Neutral certified

 

Shop Rab at Paddy Pallin.

Man wearing Rab jacket and beanie

5. Biolite

 

BioLite is on a mission to bring energy everywhere with products that both improve the lives of outdoor enthusiasts and the lives of those living in energy poverty, simultaneously. With their range of clean energy stoves, lighting, and charging devices, Biolite is providing accessible energy to those who need it most, with a commercially self-sustaining business model they term Parallel Innovation.

 

Product

Biolite stoves eliminate the use of fossil fuels in camping stoves and use clean biomass energy sources only, using their patented combustion technology. They also produce solar panels for renewable energy off-grid,  as well as solar and rechargeable lighting solutions.

 

Impact

Since their inception, Biolite have provided 5.5 million individuals with clean energy, and offset 1.3M tons of CO2e in 2022 alone (the equivalent of taking 290,000 cars off the road for a year). They provide grants and gear to community-led charities including Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps and Camping to Connect.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Climate Neutral certified

 

Shop Biolite at Paddy Pallin.

Biolite lamp on table

6. Icebreaker

 

We love merino baselayers for staying warm on the trail. One of the most respected producers of merino clothing in the world, Icebreaker’s product line is a symbol of sustainability in and of itself. Almost all of their garments are made with fully natural and responsibly sourced materials, and produced with a commitment to timelessness and versatility.

 

Product

95.8% of Icebreaker’s fabric composition is plastic-free (or natural). Their natural fabrics include merino wool, TENCEL Lyocell, linen, and cotton. They are moving towards regenerative farming practices to promote biodiversity, improve soil health, and reduce carbon emissions.

 

Supply Chain

Icebreaker are incredibly transparent when it comes to their supply chain, with details that can be found in their annual transparency reports. All of their growers are ZQ-certified – a certification that ensures a commitment to ethical merino production in line with the five freedoms, as well as audits every three years. Parent company VF engages with supply chain partners through their Global Compliance Principles and a partnership with Better Work, to ensure a high standard of working rights. A full list of growers and suppliers can be found in Icebreaker’s latest transparency report.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • ZQRX regenerative agriculture programme
  • Better Work

 

Shop Icebreaker at Paddy Pallin.

Friends helping each other with packs wearing Icebreaker baselayers

7. Nemo

 

Nemo are an equipment company that have always been obsessed with design – that has never changed. What has changed more recently, is their focus on the entire product lifecycle. They are constantly developing new technologies and designs that prioritise sustainably sourced high-performance materials, balanced with the ability to recycle the product when it reaches the end of its life.

 

Product

With their Endless Promise Collection, Nemo are taking responsibility for the full product lifecycle. Products in this collection are made with recycled materials, are easily repairable, and entirely recyclable at the end of their life, keeping waste out of landfill. A few years back, Nemo launched their proprietary high-performance OSMO fabric across their range of backpacking tents – made with 100% recycled materials and free from PFAS chemicals. They are also a bluesign system partner, meaning that they are focused on reducing their impact on people and the enivironment throughout the manufacturing process.

 

Supply Chain

Nemo implements a Code of Conduct across their supply chain, and details of their Tier 1 suppliers are available on their website.

 

Impact

Nemo supports the outdoor community by providing a range of outdoor resources and connecting outdoor enthusiasts with local outdoor communities. They are partnered with a range of organisations that improve access to the outdoors, such as the Big City Mountaineers and Outdoors Empowered Network.

 

Memberships & Certifications

  • Bluesign system partner

 

Shop Nemo at Paddy Pallin.

Friends pitching Nemo tent

 

If you’re looking to make more conscious purchasing decisions, hopefully we’ve inspired you with our selection of more sustainable outdoor brands that are paving the way for both people and the planet. Being a responsible business is more than simply transitioning from virgin to recycled materials – these brands are also using business as a force for good.

 

Shop our full range of more sustainable products at Paddy Pallin.

About The Author

Darcy Smith

Darcy is an outdoor lover from the east coast of Scotland who is trying out life in Australia. Having travelled through much of Europe and Asia, her favourite place in the world remains the Scottish Highlands. Darcy loves hiking, camping, bulldogs, brunch and sunsets.

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