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COP26 | Outdoors brand Osprey overhauls sustainability measures to promote recycled clothing

Mon 01 Nov 2021 | 11:12 am GMT
Rob Hutchins | Products of Change Writer

Osprey is on a mission to be most sustainable outdoor hardware brand worldwide

Osprey has detailed its intentions to become the ‘most progressive, transparent, and sustainable outdoor hardgoods brand worldwide,’ in a new issuance of sustainability measures to coincide with the opening of COP26 this week. Recognising the immediate need for ‘all of us to make changes to way we live’ and to do so ‘right now’, the outdoor brand has outlined its three core pillars of sustainability, spanning its materials used in clothing, chemistry used in its clothing coatings, and overhauling its corporate social responsibility measures. In a statement issued to consumers and outdoor enthusiasts ahead of the opening of COP26 in Glasgow earlier this week, Osprey Packs senior director of product, Mark Galbraith, said: “Sustainability can be high-tech, leading edge innovation that performs at or above the previous standard.” The company has stated that by spring 2022, over 60 per cent of main body materials will use recycled content with 65 per cent of those main body materials being bluesign approved. Meanwhile, the firm states that already it has helped divert some 21,471 pounds of waste through its Renewal Workshop partnership from ending up in landfill. The company states that by the end of 2020, it had diverted more than 300,000 plastic bottles from landfill in Europe alone. It has now set a target that more than 85 per cent of its main body materials will use recycled content by 2023.
Osprey's SecondLife platform acts to refurbish old packs to keep them in the circular economy.
Meanwhile, the company is reconfiguring its chemical usage to waterproof its clothing. “Our pledge is to begin the move towards green chemistry across our entire pack range,” said the team in its sustainability statement. Currently, Durable Water Repellent coating used across its products acts as a barrier against rainfall. However, although an effective type of chemistry, it is not sustainable as long-chain chemicals can run off clothing and equipment into the environments they operate in. Osprey is therefore looking to move to a PFC-free Durable Water Repellent coating; but this doesn’t come without its own challenges. “It’s not as long-lasting as a fluorocarbon based coating, and doesn’t have the same level of repellency against dirt and oils,” explained the team. “However, the environmental impact of fluorocarbons in the environment is well-documented. “As a responsible brand, we have to move away from these chemicals and towards a more sustainable alternative. Due to this, by 2023 all of our products will use 100 per cent PFC-free durable water repellent coatings. “We will also ensure every product is 100 per cent compliant with bluesign’s restricted substances list, whilst also working hard to become a bluesign systems partner by the end of 2021.” Addressing its supply chain, Osprey has most recently partnered with the Worldwide Ethic Alliance to perform factory audits that ensure compliance and transparency and has detailed its latest environmental project in partnership with the Nimsdai Foundation. “At Osprey, we are dedicated to the outdoors. A key approach of our sustainability strategy is the protection and conservation of all natural environments,” said the firm. “Most recently, we have partnered with the Nimsdai Foundation which has been established to give back to the mountain communities of the Himalayas; supporting educational, technological, and capacity-building initiatives which will guide the way for climbers of the future.” The team is also continuing to push its SecondLife programme, a platform that refurbished used packs to help keep them within the circular economy.
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