This article is part of our series of 2020 Ski Clothing Gear Guides, in partnership with Collett’s Mountain Holidays. We tested key products from our ski collections in the heart of the Dolomites – giving you advice and insight about the best kit for snowsports this winter.
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Many people who love the mountains are keen to find ski gear that is produced with sustainability in mind. Luckily, although every product we buy will have some impact on the environment, there are more and more brands trying the create eco-friendly ski gear. Many different approaches exist: recycled materials, more efficient production, new fabric innovations, or supporting environmental charities. That means plenty of options if you want to do your bit for the mountains, but still want that new kit.
For our 2020 Ski Clothing Gear Guides we selected key brands with exciting approaches to sustainability. These highlights demonstrate a few approaches that lessen environmental impact while still producing high-performance gear.
As a rider-owned clothing company Planks have supported the close-knit skiing community since they were founded by pro skier Jim Adlington in 2009. From this foundation and a deep love of the mountains Planks have always evolved their products and processes to reduce their impact. The simple message behind this approach? Be More Friendly.
Central to their aims for environmentally friendly production is REPREVE®, a leading manufacturer of recycled yarn. Taking plastic bottles bound for landfill and repurposing them into a recycled fabric means less waste being discarded and less new material needed for a new garment.
By blending Repreve and existing materials Planks can achieve the same comfort and performance in their outerwear like the Good Times Jacket, while other styles also include recycled insulation like the Cloud 9 Insulator.
For Pyua, sustainability is the first guideline considered when designing new gear for the mountains. The company has pioneered new fabrics to deliver performance and durability while being true to their core value of a conscious responsibility for the environment.
One example is the CLIMALOOP™ laminate that is not only made from recycled materials and without environmentally harmful fluorocarbons, it is also recyclable within a closed loop system.
Used in our tester’s favourite Release ski trousers, CLIMALOOP makes a supple, durable fabric that breathes well while protecting you from the elements. Should you manage to push beyond its considerable lifespan the materials can be recycled, preserving the value of the performance fabric for multiple applications.
A newer brand on the ski scene, Untrakt focuses on using materials that are both recycled and recyclable to create their eco-conscious big mountain apparel. Importantly these fabrics still deliver high levels of protection and performance, such as 15k waterproof and breathability ratings. That means a highlight like the Obsidian jacket is a reliable and well-built garment with a more sustainable footprint.
Untrakt also realise that no-one is perfect when it comes to being eco-conscious so it is important to keep working on positive change and progress. Along with a collective of ski businesses in the French Alps they are part of One Tree at a Time, a non-profit that educates and supports system change. From ski shops to chalet companies, One Tree businesses have set a pledge that outlines their current and future targets to reduce their operational impact on the environment.
A new addition to the One Tree family is One Sleeve at a Time – an initiative to repair and resell quality second-hand ski clothing, with all proceeds funding the work of One Tree at a Time.
Our winter kit testing is just a glimpse into the work that brands are doing across the ski industry to address the impact of their products on the environment. Many more brands are using new innovations, and others are introducing some of these approaches into their ranges, such as recycled materials.
Let us know your favourite sustainable ski brands or specific kit innovations in the comments below!