Outbound Collective logo

Are Your Clothes Friendly To The Environment?

We all need clothes and gear to explore the outdoors. A cold and crabby hiker is good for nobody, especially the folks sharing the trail. Here's how you can make purchases that have the least impact on the places we love to play.

By: Toad&Co + Save to a List

If you're anything like us, you love the feeling of picking up some fresh new gear. Whether it's a new flannel for chilly fall nights around the campfire or a new pack for your next backpacking trip, admiring the pristine materials and anticipating the experiences you'll have using the new piece is always exciting. But did you know that the textile industry, AKA the industry that makes all of your gear, is one of the highest polluting industries on the planet? That's right. Nearly 12.7 million tons of textiles end up in landfills every year. 

So should you stop buying new gear? Should you vow to hike naked (definitely not!)? What can you do to help combat the huge impact of an industry that all outdoor enthusiasts can't help but support with their purchases? Well, luckily Toad&Co is devoted to making clothing from materials that minimize their impact on the planet. Their Men's Flannagan Long Sleeve Shirt is made from organic cotton that starts with 100% GMO-free seeds. The Women's Airvoyant Puff Vest uses 100% recycled polyester made from post-consumer plastic waste and shirts like the Women's Profundo Pullover use Tencel® that is made from responsibly forested trees in a closed loop system. We could talk sustainable materials all day...these are just a few examples of the eco-friendly textiles Toad&Co uses.

We know it's tough to fully understand the impact you're having with every purchase, so we made it a little easier on you. This cheat sheet can be a super helpful resource - especially on the go - for deciding whether that new apparel is "great" or "not so great" in terms of its impact on the environment. So cut this cheat sheet out, commit it to memory, screen shot it, send it to your friends and family, tattoo it to your arm… whatever you have to do. We hope it helps!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold