Lately, we have noticed a trend in the outdoor clothing industry. That trend is seeing big brands shift to producing and promoting a more eco-friendly line of clothing and equipment.
Many big brands have dedicated clothing lines that are now using PFC-free waterproof coatings, recycled materials or even fully recycled garments in order to become more sustainable in their practices.
This got us thinking. How easy is it to create an eco friendly layering system that could see you through harsh weather? From cold climates to heavy rain downpours. Turns out, pretty easy!
A layering system works as is sounds. You build up your layers to create a system that both wicks away sweat, keeps you warm and keeps you dry.
We decided to look into a business that has been having a big turn around and boost in their eco-friendly credentials, Jack Wolfskin, as well as a few other items in order to create be cosy, comfy and dry when out in the winter weather.
We opted for our trusty Merino layer from Icebreaker. Fantastic at regulating temperature, as well as wicking moisture away from your skin, it makes for the perfect base to start your layering mix.
Layering systems can end up being pretty heavy if your not careful. So each layer you choose has to not only be perfect for the job you need it for, but also as lightweight as possible. For our mid layer we chose the Jack Wolfskin Echo fleece. Made from 100% recycled fleece and bluesign© certified, this fleece layer has a great warmth to weight ratio. So it makes for the perfect extra layer for warmth while still being breathable.
Now you need to think about serious warmth. Both recycled man-made fibres as well as natural fibres could be used here. The North Face’s Thermoball jackets are now made of 100% recycled materials, using plastic bottles that would have ended up in landfill. Equally, Patagonia’s Nano Puff offers fantastic warmth to weight ratio in a packable jacket that is both bluesign© certified as well as using post-consumer recycled content.
For the final layer, you need to look for something that offers the water repellency you require at the lightest weight possible. In the past, many waterproofing systems weren’t very friendly to mother earth. Thankfully these days most of the larger (and many smaller brands too!) are using more eco-friendly waterproofing. We chose to test here the JWP shell jacket from Jack Wolfskin. With it’s 100% PFC-free DWR (durable water repellant) finish, it keeps you nice and dry. It is also highly breathable, all while being made of 100% recycled polyester which helps to reduce waste as well as C02 emissions.
So, in 2019 it turns out it is very easy to create a more eco-friendly, sustainable layering system that can keep you warm, comfortable and dry. Many companies now offer recycled clothing lines that still offer the type of performance you need. The North Face, Patagonia, Jack Wolfskin, Passenger, Picture as well as a whole host of others are some fantastic companies doing more to make their business practices better for the planet.