This Holiday Season, Give Sustainably

December 21 2017

The holidays tend to be a time of indulgence as family and friends gather together to enjoy great food, exchange gifts and toast to the new year. With all of the holiday bustle and cheer, sustainable practices may easily fall to the wayside, with consumers less likely to consider the waste they create, from food scraps to wrapping paper to evergreen trees, as they might other times of the year. But even less discussed than discarded greenery and tinsel is the waste created through the products purchased for loved ones.

Apparel is a common holiday gift, but according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a staggering 85 percent of apparel ends up in landfills. It's crucial that the apparel we consume is created ethically and sustainably, performs well, and is built to last. In addition to the product, consumers should also keep in mind the sustainability practices of the companies they support. So as you're finishing up your holiday shopping this year, consider brands that prioritize producing durable, long-lasting apparel responsibly - including the brands below:


Iconic outdoor retailer L.L. Bean pledges to make clothing sustainably through the materials it uses and the way its products are manufactured and packaged. Designed to last, its collection doesn't need to be replaced often, limiting apparel waste and ultimately reducing environmental footprint. As the company puts it, "the most sustainable product is the one that's still in use."

As a business, L.L. Bean is committed to green building practices for its stores and facilities, energy conservation, recycling and composting at its headquarters, and responsibly sourcing its paper and packaging materials.

The North Face

Another outdoor retailer putting sustainability at the forefront of its business is The North Face, which manufactures some of its durable, high performance pieces with recycled materials and Sorona® fiber. Its Close the Loop program has brought more than 70,000 pounds of clothing and footwear to stores for reuse and recycling.

The North Face co-founded The Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations, and places great emphasis on resource efficiency, as both a responsible business practice and a means of reducing the company's carbon footprint.

Royal Robbins

Royal Robbins, a progressive outdoor brand, shows its commitment to sustainability not only through its core values (the company was founded by the world's first "clean" and responsible rock climbers), but also through the creation and disposal of its products. Royal Robbins' Rewear Program, its recycling initiative with I:CO, makes it simple for customers to send their used clothing back the store to be reworn, reused or recycled - with all of the program's proceeds benefiting The Yosemite Conservancy, which funds projects and programs essential to Yosemite's future.

Tagged: The North Face Royal Robbins L.L.Bean DuPont Sorona Holidays Gifts sustainability
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