Each season, when pouring through countless outdoor gear buyer’s catalogs, performing field research, and scrolling through seemingly endless spreadsheets in order to handpick what we think is the best outdoor gear for our customers, we always keep good ethics and sustainability in mind. What we look for specifically with the many brands that we stock is at least some decent effort to acknowledge their environmental impact and make efforts to improve it. In truth, you cannot make something new without making some impact on the environment and there are many steps ethically which should be considered, especially in the mass-producing outdoor clothing companies out there.
Montane has become a company that has stood out for the efforts put in place to make a product with as little impact on the environment as possible whilst only dealing with producers who treat their gifted gearmakers fairly and with great respect. Today on the TL Blog, we will be sharing some of Montane’s efforts in compiling a list of what they have achieved so far in this ethical, sustainable direction. Read on as we unpack a range of good habits that are shaping Montane to become an outstanding, sustainable manufacturer of terrific outdoor goods, made for harsh outdoor environments and with an underlying encouragement for all to enjoy the outdoors both joyfully and responsibly.
Montane is led by four guiding pillars
These are Built to Last, Ethical Trading, Commitment, and Sustainability. We will be covering all four pillars in detail below starting with…
Though a seemingly simple premise, the more durable an item, the longer it will last before needing replacement. Montane here strives to make products that will not be replaced quickly causing additional environmental impact with the need for another garment. This process not only diminishes the impacts associated with production but also cuts down on the frequency of landfill associated with other garment practices such as “fast fashion”. For example, in a product such as within their highly-acclaimed range of insulated jackets, we can see significant signs of Montane’s durable design and manufacturing philosophy such as carefully chosen, hard-wearing materials which not only are made for serious exertion through hard terrain but are also easily repaired if torn instead of needing to be thrown away. This durable design process is integrated across Montane’s entire range.
Montane is proud to work with some of the leading technical apparel and equipment factories in the industry, many of which they’ve partnered with since their founding in the 90s. They only work with manufacturers who respect both their high standards, and the rights and well-being of the people who make their products.
In October 2019 Montane became a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). The FWF is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with brands and manufacturers to improve labour conditions and workers’ rights in the global textile and apparel manufacturing industry. FWF has become the world-leader in ensuring ethical employment practices in the outdoor equipment industries and is one of the marks that we often look for in choosing our brands.
Montane has acknowledged that simply improving their own supply chains is not enough to protect the outdoor spaces that they and we as outdoor enthusiasts love. Over the years, Montane has partnered with some superb environmental organisations such as the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the BMC Climate Project. They also support good practices closer to home by encouraging staff and suppliers to care for their own personal environment through litter picking and cycling instead of driving to work where possible. Steps like these are seemingly small but do their part in shaping others to respect the environment about them, often big change starts out small.
Montane is committed to utilising the most sustainable, ethically-sourced materials and processes available. Whether that’s by incorporating recycled fabrics into its products, implementing the Responsible Down Standard across its entire down collection, or choosing to use 100% organic cotton in all its t-shirts, Montane is working hard to reduce its environmental footprint without compromising on product performance.
Through these practices, we see real change being implemented across the outdoor industry. Many responsible brands like Montane are making new pledges to improve their products sustainably in order to improve the products which enable us to get out and cherish our time in nature, the earth’s most important asset. Steps like this should be seen as simply jumping on the bandwagon as we have seen the impacts of the companies before it who do not make such pledges. This is why we’re very proud to have outdoor brands like Montane who acknowledge their impact and seek passionately to correct it. Heading into a cooler season, Montane is certainly on track to keep winters good and chilly as they should be.