Getting out on the trails has never been easier with all the gear made today, but unfortunately much of the hiking gear people routinely use is produced with toxic chemicals and petroleum, which pose a threat to the very trails we hike on. Much of this gear is also thrown out once its worn out, but thankfully there are several companies stepping up to produce recycled hiking gear, some of which can be recycled again.
Patagonia is a company that has taken the lead in recycled outerwear. Their Common Threads Garment Recycling program was launched in 2005. This enables customers to return their worn out Capilene base layers, fleece, Polartec, cotton t-shirts and nylon 6 products. Patagonia then recycles these threads to produce recycled outerwear such as Capilene base layers, many of their mid-layers like their R1 Pullover which is made of 60 percent recycled polyester and many of their pants such as the all-recycled polyester women's Borderless Pants. Patagonia also makes some of their hiking shoes with recycled materials such as the Women's Finn shoes. They are made with a 30 percent recycled rubber outsole, 15 percent recycled EVA foam midsole and a 70 percent recycled synthetic cork foot bed. The Patagonia Drifter boots are made with 100 percent recycled polyethylene/polyurethane insole.
Marmot has made a line of EcoPro sleeping bags that are made of 100 percent recycled polyester fabric and insulation. They are also making quick-drying t-shirts and performance outerwear out of their 50 percent UpCycle (recycled) Polyester. Marmot makes clothing out of 100 percent recycled wool, such as the Women's Isa Full Zip Hoodie and Polartec Fleeces that are made with UpCycle stretch fabric.
This French company has been making recycled backpacking wear and packs since 1998. The Lafuma Eco 40 pack is made of 65 percent hemp and 35 percent recycled polyester. The Lafuma 28 pack is similarly constructed, as are many more of their products. Lafuma produces over 50 percent of their fleeces with recycled polyester and has a fleece recycling program with Ecotextile. They financially support the WWF (world wildlife foundation).
Article Written By Naomi Judd
Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.