Key sustainable trends 2019
KEY SUSTAINABILITY TRENDS FROM OUTDOOR BY ISPO 2019
"Focus on textile innovation and climate positive initiatives"
Having recently returned from OutDoor by ISPO 2019, the LTP team were impressed with the fair’s increased commitment to sustainability and asked independent design consultant Anne Prahl to share her three key sustainability trends from the show.
Recycled & recyclable materials
Recycled nylon and polyester for outdoor apparel has evolved into much more than a trend, as recycled fabrics and components are becoming expected in line with the outdoor industry’s growing commitment to sustainable solutions. This shift was highlighted by numerous collections from niche brands and start-ups, as well as global brands.
As attention continues to be on recycled fabrics made from post consumer ocean waste, such as plastic bottles and fishing nets, companies are also exploring additional waste streams. Highlighting the connection between sustainability and outdoor pursuits, The North Face presented their collaboration with National Geographic, which collects plastic litter from national parks across the United States and resulted in 384,000 pounds of plastic bottles being converted into t-shirts and hoodies.
Utilising recycled materials has been the first step for many brands, as the more ambitious long-term goal is to produce fully recyclable products. While PYUA has been pioneering the development of fully recyclable technical outdoor gear since 2009, more brands are following in their footsteps as new recycling technologies and processes are becoming more accessible.
Halti’s Hiker Next Generation jacket, winner of the Outdoor Lifestyle Apparel category, is part of the company’s ‘Born to be recycled’ concept, which utilises recycled materials, is easily repairable and 100% recyclable, thanks to fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment, a recyclable polyester membrane and recyclable snap buttons and zips.
Another continuous trend is around wool-based textiles, where developments explore new types of blends, as well as construction methods or finishing technologies. Traditionally seen as more of a base or midlayer fabric, wool is being re-invented for use in hybrid and shell garments, such as Houdini’s Lana jacket, which is made from a light, densely woven 100% pure merino wool fabric and offers natural breathability as well as wind- and water resistance.
Ortovox have long pioneered the use of wool, which plays an important role in each and every piece of apparel in their range, be it first, second or third layer products. On top of an impressive range of first and second layer qualities, third layers benefit from the high-tech Merino Guardian Shell, which sandwiches Toray’s Dermizax EV membrane between a merino lining and polyamide shell and stretchy merino wool and corn based polylactide insulation.
Another great example is Devold of Norway’s Cover Zip Neck, a lightweight mid layer designed for high intensity outdoor activity. Thanks to body mapping and the combination of a woven merino wool, nylon and elastane blend shell with soft single jersey 100% merino wool internal panels, the style is engineered to provide outstanding comfort, wind resistance and breathability.
Climate positive initiatives
A number of footwear and apparel brands took the opportunity to raise awareness about the bigger picture of climate change and how innovation around materials, processes and systems can contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions to enable long-term climate protection.
One of the first steps to reducing a brand’s carbon footprint is carbon offsetting, a concept which Canadian brand tentree has made the focus of their business model. The company plants ten trees for every item sold and since their launch in 2012, has reached 15 million trees in its first five years of business.
In addition to carbon offsetting, various brands demonstrated their commitment to setting themselves targets to reduce their carbon footprint through improved manufacturing and business practices, as well as investing in more disruptive innovation projects to develop a carbon positive future.
One such example is Patagonia, who shared inspiring insights into their regenerative organic agriculture pilot, which addresses the negative environmental impact of traditional chemical agriculture, believed to be one of the main causes of climate change. Showcasing a collection of men’s and women’s tees and shorts, the company demonstrated the three-step journey from cotton in conversion and certified organic cotton to regenerative organic certification cotton, which can rebuild healthy soil and trap carbon to help slow down or stop climate change in the future.