Like all good outdoor adventurers, we tingle at the thought of cracking open some brand new gear and ferrying it off to the mountains to get nice and dirty. But with shiny new toys comes an uncomfortable amount of waste and pollution – a side-effect quite at odds with our drive for environmental preservation and protection. Luckily, with the widespread growth of ecological consciousness, brands are expanding their offering and revolutionising their practices to increase sustainability and provide eco-friendly options for consumers.
Here are a just a few of our favourite brands and products that you can enjoy with a clear conscious:
Luckily for all the rope nuts out there, there are a number of companies who have turned to sustainable manufacturing processes and recycling systems for their climbing ropes.
Edelrid’s ropes are produced in accordance with the notoriously strict bluesign® standards – a Swiss system that ensures environmental and social responsibility in textile production through a focus on resource productivity, consumer safety, water emission, air emission, and occupational health and safety. All of Edelrid’s ropes and accessory cords, as well as a selection of slings and harnesses, are certified eco-friendly. Edelrid has shown their commitment to sustainability in a number of other areas as well, including installing a solar powered system at their factory in Germany in 2010.
In 2007, Beal introduced a fantastic initiative that plants one tree in Madagascar for every dynamic rope sold. 700 000 saplings have been planted since the implementation of this system. Furthermore, all dynamic Beal ropes are fully recyclable, allowing customers to send their used ropes to the Beal recycling plant where they will be sorted, stored and broken down so that the raw materials can re-enter the manufacturing circuit.
Mammut’s newly launched Crag We Care Classic rope is a 9.5mm single line with a sheath made entirely from recycled yarns produced by their manufacturing process. This not only reduces waste, but also ensures that each Crag We Care is a unique product with its own special design. Furthermore, this is a bluesign® product that supports your adventure while protecting our planet. Furthermore, all of Mammut’s new ropes – including the Alpine, Gym and Crag ranges – are bluesign® products, meaning they’ll support your adventure while protecting our planet.
When it comes to sustainability, prAna is up there with the best. From their fair trade and bluesign® certifications, to their use of renewable raw materials and implementation of plastic-free packaging, they’re ticking boxes left, right and centre. The result is a range of exceptionally comfortable, high quality apparel and accessories that look fantastic, last for ages and promote the journey towards eco-friendly living.
We just adore Vaude for their unshakeable commitment to environmental sustainability. Not only has their headquarters been certified carbon neutral since 2012, but they also work exceptionally hard to ensure that their manufacturing processes are socially responsible and kind on the earth. They even developed their own system, the Vaude Green Shape, for ensuring sustainable practices across the board. As a cherry on top, Vaude products are made with durability in mind, so you can equip yourself with reliable adventure buddies that will stick with you ‘til the end.
Fun fact: Vaude took on Edelrid as a subsidiary in 2006, which explains the companies’ like-minded approach to environmental and social issues.
With the foundational principles of yoga firmly rooted in a love for the earth and its various creatures, it only makes sense to invest in yoga products that support the preservation and protection of our beloved blue marble. Asoka comes to the rescue with their gorgeous range of mats, including their Performa Alignment and Eco Yoga mats. These fantastic flow buddies are made from a base of sustainably sourced tree rubber and, as an added bounce, they are 100% recyclable and partly degradable. Is there any better way to ensure a peaceful and positive session?
While we love our sustainable international brands, we cannot stress enough the importance of supporting local producers for both environmental and social sustainability. Not only does this eliminate the need for harmful freighting, but it also helps to support your fellow Saffas and uplift the communities in which they exist.
We have a host of fantastic South African brands that are offering exceptional products manufactured on your doorstep:
This bunch of swell scoundrels produces a range of gorgeous hand-crafted hangboards and training products. One of their most exciting products is their mono finger trainer, produced in collaboration with Dream Higher to raise funds for their outreach programmes.
Lovingly made by some local legends, Bonez Climbing offers a selection of blocks and boards to get your fingers strong and ready to send. A fan favourite is the DogBone – the ideal tool for proper warm-up in the gym or at the crag.
A long-beloved product that has come to the rescue of many a wrecked climber, this carefully developed healing oil is made with a selection of indigenous ingredients that work to support and soothe hard-working muscles and joints.
When it comes to South African design, nothing captures the spirit of the nation quite so well as vibrant shweshwe. Now, thanks to Skwamu, you can carry the vibe wherever you go with you with their selection of stunning artisanal chalk bags. And, while you’re at it, snag yourself a striking rope bag, hand-made with a dazzling array of material offcuts that ensure no two designs are alike.