February 12, 2020 Judges Vote Sustainability
Sustainability continues to rake in the awards – as the 20+ sustainability-themed award recipients at the OR Innovation Awards and ISPO Awards can attest. We’ve narrowed down our 6 favorite winners.
Klättermusen Farbaute Jacket
This tough and functional down jacket is, according to the Swedish brand Klattermusen, the first completely organically insulated outdoor jacket. The outer fabric is made of tightly knit Katla Cotton (using Klattermusen’s own special weaving technique), which is 100 percent organic cotton that is both windproof and impermeable to the down it encases. On the inside, white goose down, Swiss wool and organic polyester provide great insulation.
Bergans of Norway future.labs.05.A Backpack
A new collaboration between the Norwegian brand Bergans and the Finnish fiber producer Spinnova has resulted in this circular economy concept backpack – made from wood. Instead of the chemical process common to the industry, Spinnova uses a revolutionary mechanical process to break down plant cellulose into useable fibers. The backpack concept also involves an innovative co-ownership approach, whereby the consumer “owns” the material, and can return the backpack at a later point to be made into something new.
The latest in AKU’s ongoing battle to reduce impacts, Minima by AKU takes on multiple fronts: The upper and lining and footbed are made using 100% Zero Impact® leather from Dani tannery, a tannery that doesn’t use chrome or other heavy metals. In addition, Dani runs a reforestation program that offsets the emissions from its tanning process, hence the name Zero Impact. The midsole is made of post-industrial recycled EVA and cork, and the footbed also includes post-industrial coconut fiber.
OR Innovation Awards
Today, nearly all ski waxes are made from petroleum and many contain fluorinated substances – harmful chemicals that ultimately end up in the snowpack, rivers, and then bioaccumulate in living organisms, including humans. Seeing that these have no place in the mountains, mountainFLOW developed North America’s only line of biodegradable, non-fluorinated, plant-based ski waxes that its makers claim works as well as conventional ski waxes.
For centuries, if not millennia, leather tanning has been a water-intensive process. After 5 years of research, the ECCO Leather Applied Research team developed a process that uses the moisture already present in the raw hides, resulting in a process that saves 20 liters of water per hide and 600 tons of sludge from land fills per year. The resulting quality is claimed to be indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, stability and lead-time. DriTan™ technology is essentially easy to implement, and ECCO plans on sharing the technology with the tanning industry.
Ignik Gas Growler
Millions of camping propane bottles end up in landfills each year, and the majority won’t be recycled – making them an extremely resource and energy intensive single-use item. The Ignik Gas Growler takes what is essentially a regular refillable bbq propane canister and downsizes it, making it a convenient solution for any car camping chef. It also has the added bonus of being low-impact on your wallet: While the Growler contains the same volume of 5 regular green propane bottles, re-filling it only costs the amount of 1 bottle.
Salomon Recyclable Concept Shoe
With the Salomon Recyclable Concept Shoe, the world’s largest ski boot manufacturer has taken an innovative step towards its goal of having all of its products designed according to the company’s circular economy principles by 2025. The concept shoe is made entirely of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which at end of life can easily be ground down and used to construct an alpine ski boot shell.