With environmental and social issues showing up more and more in the news, public lands coming under threat, and climate change registering a bigger concern especially among the outdoor-loving public, outdoor industry brands with a conscience are also becoming more and more popular. While the prospect of affecting change or fixing big issues on a personal level may feel daunting, there are brands out there who are leading the way. Whether they are planting trees, picking up trash, or supplying light to those without it, when you buy from brands like these, not only do you get an awesome product, but you can feel a little bit better about helping a company that is actually looking a little further beyond the bottom line to improve the planet. And the best news? You can get any of these products from your local EMS. 


1. United By Blue

United by Blue’s motto reads “Conscious Goods, Cleaner Oceans” for good reason. For every product sold, a pound of trash gets removed from the world’s waterways—So far the number has surpassed 1,638,501 pounds. How? Organized cleanups have been a part of company culture since 2010. Plus, their products are made with sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, and even their office materials are 75 percent recycled content. As a certified B-Corp, the Pennsylvania company has since expanded to 400 outlets nationally.

This is a sustainable company that pays it forward in a big way: You can feel good about your purchase from start to finish…plus their designs are pretty awesome too.


2. Oboz

Oboz’s promise to plant a tree for every pair of shoes sold has resulted in the company planting over 2 million trees. These trees help reduce pollution, repopulate reforest land, and improve the lives of families in the developing world. They do this with their partner Trees for the Future (who you can donate to even if you’re not looking for a great pair of shoes). Their One More Tree Event takes place annually at select EMS storefronts (Concord, Nashua, North Conway, West Lebanon, Portsmouth, Lake Placid, Rochester and Warrington) on May 25th, where you can plant a tree yourself for every pair of Oboz you try on! You either get a sapling to take home (while supplies last) or Oboz will do it for you.


3. Saola

This eco-fashion shoe brand has two main values: Eco-design and wildlife preservation. These innovative shoes are made from sustainable materials like recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, cork and algae foam. The company has vowed to donate 1 percent of its sales towards supporting wildlife projects so that we can continue to enjoy wildlife like the Saola—one of the rarest animals on earth found in the mountains between Vietnam and Laos—as, according to their stats,  our planet has lost over half of its wildlife in the past 40 years.

“Disheartened? So are we. But we are also optimistic, because there are incredible people in the world who put all of their energy, experience, and skills into preserving wildlife and biodiversity,” says the brand.  This is a new-ish brand to our online and select in-store inventory that we’re especially excited about.



Founded in 2012, this Brooklyn-based company is doing big things. Built on a sustainable business model, the brand’s goal is to empower the three billion people worldwide living without reliable access to electricity.  Their namesake Luci lights are solar powered, inflatable, and collapse down to an inch for easy storage. When you buy one, you’re not only buying into sustainable energy, but also supporting a mission aimed at providing people worldwide with an affordable and reliable light source (you can also donate directly through their Give Luci program): So far they have impacted 3+ million lives!  These lights are awesome to bring along on camping and hiking trips and it feels good using it knowing you are also lighting the way for others.


5. Toad & Co.

“Choosing sustainability isn’t the easy route, it’s the only route.” 100% of Toad & Co.’s products are made with eco-friendly materials in facilities on the forefront of sustainable production. They use eco-materials such as organic cotton, hemp, tencel, lenzing modal, sustainable stretch polyester, recycled polyester, recycled cotton,  and recycled wood. This West Coast company has clearly done their homework and cares about sustainability and accountability. They’ve even been able to incorporate reusable shipping containers. In 1996, Toad & Co. partnered with Search, Inc. to co-found Planet Access Company, a warehouse that trains and employs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their environmental partners include the Conservation Alliance, Los Padres Forest Watch, The Environmental Defense Center, Yosemite Facelift, Portland Trails, Ventura Land Trust and Community Environmental Council.