It’s no secret that “green” has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the snowboard and ski industry, with outerwear manufacturers being no exception.
From brands such as Patagonia, which has a long-term record of environmentally-friendly practices, to big names such as Burton and Roxy, which have begun rolling out eco-friendly products throughout their lines, Sierra Snowboard is proud to carry a number of outerwear options for riders and skiers looking to reduce their impact on the earth when purchasing new clothing.
When it comes to outerwear, environmentally friendly “usually means that the products used are recycled,” said Beth Haley, Sierra Snowboard clothing buyer. “A lot of companies, like Patagonia, are using recycled bottles to make their fabrics. Usually they’re pretty durable, and often a little higher priced. It’s definitely a growing trend in a lot of brands right now.”
On the other hand, “If you’re looking for a more natural insulating or base layer, look for wool or silk,” Halley said. “The way that they can refine wool these days gives it the same feel as a cotton shirt, but a lot warmer.
And brands such as Patagonia have committed to producing merino wool base and insulating layers without using chlorine or other harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process.
According to Haley, Patagonia is the company most committed to reducing the impact their products have on the planet. As they say in their catalogue, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm.”
Patagonia boasts that 65 percent of their products can be recycled through their Common Threads Recycling Program and remade into new clothes. In addition, Patagonia pioneered the use of fleece made out of recycled plastic bottles, and is always looking to refine their manufacturing processes to lessen their impact on the earth.
A few examples of Patagonia’s eco-friendly clothing include: Men’s Sidewall Jacket & Pants, Women’s Sidewall Jacket & Pants, Men’s Micro Puff Vest, Women’s Down Sweater Vest, Women’s Fitz Roy Down Vest, Women’s Cap 2 Zip V Neck Thermal Top, and many more.
Industry giants Burton and Roxy may not have been pioneers when it comes to sustainable clothing lines, but with their massive market share and global appeal, recent moves toward producing more eco-friendly items will have an impact, and will be great for consumers who already own items from these companies and are looking for matching pieces.
Roxy’s Greenprint line of jackets and pants incorporates polyester fabric made from recycled PET plastic bottles as well as naturally sustainable materials such as hemp.
According to Roxy’s catalogue, “We've created Greenprint because the choices we make as designers - and the ones you make as shoppers - can make a big difference in the world. We hope that someday soon we'll be able to say that all Roxy outerwear is made with 100% sustainable fabrics.”
In addition to using eco-friendly fabrics, Roxy finishes off its Greenprint garments with natural dyes and a low-impact waterproof/breathable laminate.
Finally, at the urging of Burton Global Team Rider Nicolas Müller, Burton now offers a full line of snowboard outerwear in their Green Mountain Project line utilizing recycled materials and environmentally-friendly waterproofing technology in everything from shell fabrics to finishes, insulating materials, linings, shock cords, elastic, and labels.
Rather than developing a specific line of eco-friendly outerwear, Burton took the approach of integrating eco-friendly options throughout its outerwear line, meaning that certain colors/patterns in many different styles are made using Burton’s environmentally friendly processes.
Burton Green Mountain Project items available at Sierra Snowboard include: Esquire Men’s Jacket (Bendix Plaid pattern), Slub Men’s Jacket (in Curacao), Vent Men’s Pants (Bendix Plaid pattern), Bliss Down Women’s Jacket (in Curacao), Lucky Women’s Pants (Yarn-Dyed Plaid pattern).
“I brought in Roxy’s green product and some of the Burton green products, and Patagonia is all green. So we stock it when I can find it and it looks good,” Haley said. “I’m hoping that a lot of companies start jumping on the [eco-friendly trend], because the way they can refine plastic bottles into fabric now is just as good as virgin fabric, so why not take all that waste and reuse it?”