Did you know that the 28 billion plastic bottles Americans throw away each year have the opportunity to be turned into clothing, rugs, toys, and more? Or, that one solar panel on a sunny day can run a single retail store’s LED lights? From using recycled materials to sustainable building practices, these brands put their best foot forward when it comes to protecting our environment. Look for each company to support while shopping at EMS this season.



The next time you pick up an Eastern Mountain Sports Techwick® T-shirt with REPREVE® on the label, you are, in fact, holding a garment made out of six recycled plastic bottles.

How does this work? REPREVE® is a company that recycles used plastic bottles. They then spin them into fibers used to produce polyester clothing and more products. To date, they have recycled more than 5 billion plastic bottles. Considering these factors, EMS has partnered with REPREVE® to create some of our beloved polyester items in a more sustainable fashion.


2. Flowfold

A local Maine company, Flowfold develops products designed for adventure. Their wallets and totes, for instance, are durable but lightweight and, like many of their items, use the material that makes racing boat sails.

This idea came about when founder Charley Friedman needed to replace his old, worn-out wallet. So, he grabbed a piece of sailcloth out of the trash. Racing sailcloth is non-biodegradable, and by repurposing it, Flowfold keeps the plastic away from landfills and out of our environment. Similarly, their dog leashes use scraps from another Maine brand, Sterling Rope Company.

Flowfold gets extra sustainability points for being local to many EMS stores. Working with nearby companies shrinks the amount of transportation needed, which in turn lessens the carbon footprint left behind.


3. PrAna

Organic doesn’t just apply to the food you put in your belly. It’s also a label to look for when buying clothing.

One of PrAna’s many environmentally friendly practices includes using organic cotton to craft their apparel. By eliminating pesticides, insecticides, man-made fertilizers, and genetically-modified seeds, organic agricultural practices help maintain clean water, soil fertility, and biological diversity. Ultimately, it’s healthier for the environment and farmers.

Adding another notch to its eco-friendly belt, PrAna has eliminated plastic polybags from its manufacturing process and ships over 79 percent of its products in plastic-free or recycled paper bags.


4. Oboz

Buy a pair of Oboz shoes, and the company will plant a tree. As one environmentally conscious effort, Oboz partnered with Trees for the Future to provide trees in areas that need them the most. These trees not only clean the air by using carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, but they also offer shade for crops, food and medicinal products, soil rehabilitation, and erosion control in African, Latin American, and Asian communities.

As another environmental bonus, Oboz works to offset unavoidable carbon emissions stemming from transporting its shoes. As part of this effort, the company funds projects through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which assists with lowering carbon emissions worldwide.


5. The North Face

Since The North Face had its first solar installation in 2009, the company has been geared toward developing buildings sustainably.

Their San Francisco headquarters proudly exemplifies this, featuring recycled building materials, a waste-reducing design, and energy-efficient machinery and lighting. In fact, all of the building’s energy comes from renewable resources, including five wind turbines and over 4,000 solar panels. As well, the building process included recycled and reclaimed products, such as 5,500 pairs of blue jeans used for insulation.

And, here’s the icing on the sustainability cake: The North Face helped co-found The Conservation Alliance. This business collective donates several million dollars to support organizations working toward permanently protecting wilderness areas.