Vaude Sparks Chain Reaction with Low Impact Gear

Bike outfitter Vaude shares what goes on behind the creation of low impact apparel for gravel cyclists, mountain bikers, and everything in-between.

Outdoor brands have a sense of responsibility when it comes to ensuring their products have low impacts and going one better is by sharing the wealth of their knowledge with other so they can also act more sustainably. German-based outdoor apparel brand, Vaude, caters for outdoor enthusiasts who want gear that matches their ethics. Think lower-impact, easily repairable, and timeless clothing, shoes, and accessories that don’t follow fast fashion trends. But Vaude doesn’t stop there; the Brand established its very own Vaude Academy, which supports other brands in their process towards sustainable management. They live by the motto that, after all, it’s not a competition but rather a team sport.

What goes in to making a brand more sustainable?

The first step for Vaude is concrete action and accountability; every social movement begins with someone taking that first step. Vaude products are made with less waste during production and can be easily recycled or repaired at the end of the product’s life, not skipping the integral parts in between. The birth of Vaude’s Green Shape label shows the Brand’s commitment to all-round sustainable action, including fair working conditions and wages.

The Green Shape label, which can be seen across all Vaude’s Bike products, uses preferred materials that include bio-based plastic and Nylon. These alternatives use castor oil instead of petroleum, which doesn’t compete with the food chain and grows without supplemental irrigation on poor soil. Not only does this make the product more sustainable, but bio-based Nylon is lighter, less absorbent, and stronger than conventional Nylon. A win for both the planet and the consumer.

Did you know your Vaude gear may be made from recycled tires? In keeping with the circular economy, Vaude opts for post-consumer recycled items that go into the creation of yarns, zips, and buttons. Working alongside the bluesign® system, Vaude can achieve an energy-efficient process when creating its gear – all without harmful substances.

Fair working conditions are determined by how the product is manufactured – not where. Vaude ensures its factories pay the living wage, not minimum wage, and that good working conditions are implemented. These factors are all monitored by independent Fair Wear auditors. Vaude is keen on its commitment to fair working conditions to positively influence other brands.

To monitor the Green Shape label, Vaude works with well-known experts who provide technical advice, to ensure that gear will be developed to the highest standard and to ensure it meets the strictest specifications in the textile industry. The next steps are to increase the credibility of Green Shape, by receiving external verification.

Vaude’s HQ has been Climate Neutral since 2012, and all its products have been Climate Neutral since 2022.


Photo: Vaude / Paul Masukowitz


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