Eco-friendly clothing and snowboarding go together like Vodka and Redbull
Much like my favorite Friday night beverage; when snow sports and eco-fashion come together I get pumped! Fortunately, this energizing combination does not lead me to a Saturday morning filled with regret and stomach ache.
What does eco-friendly mean, you ask?
It’s simple silly. Any product that is made, used, or disposed of in a way that significantly reduces the harm it would otherwise cause to the environment is considered Eco-Friendly. Making Eco-Friendly Products in the snow biz takes EFFORT, lots of effort. Hundreds of researchers, scientists, and engineers knock there noodles together in order to create materials that make your super snazzy outerwear as gentle on the environment as you; and in some cases, more than you. But that is another lesson for another day.
Luckily though, that day is today. Why should you give a damn, you ask?
Whoa, chill out bro. Yes, I know I’m not your mother or your environmental conscience. But I do have the moral responsibility to bang you on the head if you do not put forth some effort to respect Mother Nature and all that she gives us (ah hem…snow??). Waterproof/water resistant, breathable apparel typically is made from synthetic fibers. These fibers come from petrochemicals and take 30-40 years to decompose. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be skiing on landfills my whole life (hello, Buckhill, MN). As much as I love a pretty sunset, I’d much rather take a breath of fresh air over a smog filled sky any day. Even the dyeing and printing of fabrics has huge impact on our environment. Textiles alone account for 20% of the world’s industrial water pollution.
Try this on for size: You are what you wear.
I am not speaking in terms of how your clothes define you; rather, in the fact that we absorb the chemicals from our environment. Thanks to Biomonitoring, scientists have identified chemicals that do not flush through our system and the effects of toxic exposure. We are what we wear; we are what we eat, what we sit on, what we breathe. Take heed in what David Suzuki so famously remarked: We are the environment and it is us.
So, what should you be on the lookout for in eco-fashion, you wonder?
Most times, you’ll see the obvious ones like “Organic Cotton” or “Recycled Polyester”. What you may not know is that companies also use durable and long lasting Hemp, the dreadlocked granola eating godfather of Eco-Fabrics. Ooowww and then there’s Tencel, my favorite. Tencel is soft, antimicrobial, and naturally moisture wicking; made from eucalyptus trees. Those Koala Bears are on to something.
Do not forget about those nasty toxic chemicals going into your clothes; not to mention the soil, water and air? Look for PFOA-free – a man-made chemical used in waterproof/water-resistant textiles that can be harmful to humans and is currently being voluntarily phased out thanks to the initiative of the EPA.
Now that you have passed Eco-Fashion 101 with flying colors, you are now ready to handle the amazingness…
Holden Outerwear, founded by owners Mikey Leblanc and Scott Zergebel, launched with an Eco-Friendly Promise straight out the gates. Widely known for their Eco-Friendly Outerwear, they’ve developed waterproof and breathable fabrics made from Hemp and Recycled plastic bottles. For this innovation they have received global awards and inspired others to follow suit.
For 2014, Holden came out with the Snorkel snowboard jacket and Standard Skinny snowboard pants that both feature a 10K/5K PFOA free DWR with solvent-free lamination, recycled polyester lining, and recycled taffeta lining. Plus, it ships in a biodegradable bag. These features are echoed throughout their line.
Burton Snowboards, led by the world famous Jake Burton, has teamed up with Mountain Dew (how appropriate!) in producing a whole line of goods made from Recycled plastic bottles.
Check out the 2014 Men’s Burton Landing snowboard jacket, select colorways like the Raya above, is made with Recycled Bottle Polyester that will make you feel as good as you look.
So next time you’re thinking about chaining yourself to a tree to show your love for Mother Nature, maybe just pack eco-friendly clothing from The-House instead.