Mobilization and Events

Ask Hope: What are the best socially and environmentally conscious brands for women?

So glad you asked! As women, it’s often easy to purchase our outdoor apparel and gear in a lustful frenzy. We want the latest items, in the hottest colors and fashions, and we want them NOW! However, this thoughtless consumerism comes with a price that our planet inevitably pays. How ironic that some of the clothing and gear that we rock in the outdoors actually contributes to ecological and social devastation during the life of it’s production.

Luckily, many outdoor brands are stepping up and taking personal responsibility for how their products are made by choosing to use recycled and sustainably produced materials, insisting that the people who make their products are treated fairly and paid a living wage. Some are even going so far as to insist that consumers only purchase their products new if it is absolutely necessary and partnering with used clothing initiatives to bring their gently-used, pre-loved, items to the masses.

So, if you wanna go green and feel confident that your outdoor clothing and gear isn’t being made in sweat shops here are the brands for you!

Green Guru
As adamant lovers of the outdoors, the founders of Green Guru wanted to make sure that the manufacturing of their products does not have a negative impact on the environment. Their solution? Upcycling climbing ropes, bicycle tubes, wet suites and more to create backpacks, wallets, messenger bags and paracord bracelets for outdoor adventures. Their backpacks are perfect for all of your travel needs, including multi-day hiking trips, road trips, or plane rides. If you’re trip includes bringing along your road or mountain bike, Green Guru also makes plenty bike accoutrements that will get you down the road in eco-friendly style.

This outdoor giant is probably one of the most well known “green” companies and made headlines with their now famous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” marketing campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to commit to buying used products through their Common Threads Initiative. To read more about Patagonia’s commitment to ecologically and socially responsible items, check out their facts page.

Another giant in the outdoor industry, REI may still have a long way to go before they’re truly green, but we give them props for their efforts thus far.  Some of their initiatives include becoming a zero-waste-to-landfill organization and climate neutral by 2020.  Their stores are often retro-fitted with solar power and their REI brand uses recycled materials, and in 1993 the company as a whole established the Code of Conduct to ensure that any gear items sold in REI stores are manufactures under fair labor guidelines.

Based out of Portland, Oregon this company is committed to producing fashion functional eco-wear for “the modern mobile life.” Nau’s products are comprised of sustainable fabrics that are low-impact and durable. They also have a Restricted Substance List to ensure that their products don’t harm their workers during the manufacturing process.

Wanna check out your favorite brand and see where they rank sustainably? Read up on the Higg Index. This is a free tool available for public download that breaks down brands so that you can make more conscious choices.

Be green, practice consumer consciousness, and stay wild!