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Outdoor enthusiasts need to be sure that their products perform well - since they often have to rely on them in tough conditions. As a result of this, material quality and performance is one of our main considerations. Alongside this, though, we've made it our mission to ensure that each product's negative environmental impact is as small as possible. Balancing these two factors is what drives our work with materials and pushes us to collaborate and innovate.
Products made from trash
Different fabrics are needed for different purposes, but all fabrics are made from materials that in some way or another require natural resources. This usually means the kinds of natural resources that are increasingly scarce and precious, such as clean water and cultivable land.
At Haglöfs, we are convinced that it’s possible to find new ways of making high-quality materials with zero environmental impact. Our goal is for all of our products to be sustainably produced and using recycled materials is a good way to accomplish this. When we use fabric made from recycled fibres instead of newly produced fibres, we’re reducing the use of natural resources and helping to keep worn-out products out of landfill. What’s more, it takes less energy and water to make a new garment out of reused fibres.
So why don’t we exclusively use recycled materials? There are still some availability and quality issues to overcome. The conversion of old fabric into new involves breaking it down into its smallest components – fibres. Only then can you make new thread to weave into new fabric. This is a complicated process and it’s still more expensive than making most new fabrics. This is something we want to change.
The technologies used to recycle fabric are still in their infancy and the development potential is huge. For us who are driven by innovation it is second nature for us to find, support and use new innovative material solutions. We use recycled polyester in many shell materials and backpacks; our insulation materials are always made of post-consumer recycled material, and we use recycled wool in midlayers and accessories. The proportion of recycled materials in our collections is increasing, season by season. In this way, we are part of a major transformation into a circular economy.
Bluesign®, Sustainable Choice, and phase-out of fluorocarbons
Haglöfs is a bluesign® system partner since 2008. This is the strictest voluntary initiative for textile and material manufacturers to improve their production to the highest environmental standard available in the market. the bluesign® system focus guarantees the application of sustainable ingredients in a clean process that prohibits almost 900 hazardous chemicals at whose end stands a safely manufactured product. As a result, the textile industry manages the natural resources soundly and responsibly, limits the use of raw material, reduces water and air emissions, improves its waste water treatment and generally reduces its ecological footprint.
Our intention is also to ensure that all new products in our range are labelled with our Sustainable Choice certification and to have phased out all fluorocarbon DWR treatments from our materials by 2020.
Innovation for a sustainable outdoor industry
The development of new ways of producing sustainable materials is just starting to gain momentum and there are encouraging signs that we’ll be seeing many new solutions in the very near future. We fully intend to be involved in this development. Together with our friends in the industry, we are taking step by step towards a sustainable outdoor industry.
A sustainable outdoor industry.