Friday, May 4, 2012

Outdoor brands: green by default? – Rank a Brand Blog

Outdoor brands: green by default? – Rank a Brand Blog

Outdoor brands: green by default?

With spring coming up and winter sportswear on sale, outdoor brands are doing great business. The products on their websites are surrounded by images of beautiful landscapes. This ‘natural’ branding makes you, as a consumer, trust them easily for producing their products with attention and care for our earth. But is this true?
Source: Patagonia website
Best practices
Setting an example with their environmental policy and therefore on top of our ranking is Vaude, specialized in mountaineering. They score 11 out of 16 points. Inspiring facts:
  • According to the ‘Green Shape’ principle, half of their products are produced out of at least 90% organic materials, like recycled PET-bottles or polyester
  • Since 2008 the brand is a ‘Bluesign’ partner and 35% of their collections is following the regulations for use of water and chemicals
Furthermore, an honorable mention for Timberland is in place here because of their climate change policy. The brand provides a clear overview of their ecological footprint and has an active policy to become climate neutral in future. Additionally, they take the environment into account during the production of their clothes:
  • 34% of cotton is organic
  • Natural resources like bamboo and hemp
  • Recycling of PET-bottles to produce ‘green rubber’ soles
Unfortunately they did drop a few stitches by not making clear specifically what part of the total consists of environmental friendly materials. Nevertheless, so far they are doing a good job!
Still disappointing
Patagonia is often praised as champion of social corporate responsibility. With an impressive list of initiatives they come across as environmentalists. They work with the four R’s:
  • Reduce: only produce sustainable products
  • Repair: offer free repairing within 10 days
  • Reuse: hand in your redundant clothes
  • Recycle: make new sweaters out of worn out ones
Also, they are Bluesign partner and they donate 1% of their profits to the preservation of nature. Plenty of beautiful words and campaigns, but they don’t score very well in our ranking. Where Vaude offers clear numbers, Patagonia doesn’t. They speak about ‘Carbon Footprint Chronicles’ but don’t tell us much about their own. Neither do they present us facts about the actual use of eco-materials. Therefore, zero points for their environmental policy.
What about Nomad? They only collected one point for environmental and climate policy together. While they claim to work following the principle “good gear, less waste” they don’t provide us enough specifics about their policies and targets. A lot of work left to be done, we would say! A positive remark: they set a good example with they policy for conditions in the workplace.
Promising words call for action
The esthetically impressive and green branding from outdoor brands creates the expectation that they take good care of our environment and nature. Unfortunately, not all brands do. Our advice is simple: give information! Tell consumers what products are green and what share of those products are green. It’s not that hard to be transparent about the environment and climate, being a nature lover – or is it?

I met a very interesting company two weeks ago..Northland Professional....

Every Northland product stands for high quality, but is produced under equally high social standards in manufacturing according to an environmentally sustainable program. Since environmental Protection and sustainability is very important to us, in 2008, the Northland ECO – line was introduced on the market. Northland ECO are products made from natural fibres like bamboo viscose, hemp, soy and linen which are grown without the use of pesticides, herbizides and other chemicals.

If you buy Northland ECO products, you directly contribute to protect our environment and keep our planet clean and protect the outdoor resource for the next generations. 

I asked Rankabrand to rank Northland Professional and Niels the Rankabrand CEO told me that they score ZERO points...... Not one single point?  Northland Professional With ECO Collection Bamboo and Coffee T Shirts..not one single point? Its all about Communication Northland does not tell anything about their Environmental Footprint its the same with the CSR...people need facts...the times when people just buy nice slogans is over.....

Companies like Northland Professional should give Rankabrand the information that they need to realy RANK them..and to give their customers honest information about their envionmental status quo....

Rankabrand should add many more brands to their list .. and create more pressure in order
to change the GREEN BEHAVIOUR of BRANDS... in order to STOP GREENWASHING.
Its time for all compainies in the industry to start using the ECO Index and to start communicating their environmental responsibility .

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