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More and more, outdoor industry choosing to take eco-friendly path

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by adkramoo, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    More and more, outdoor industry choosing to take eco-friendly path By Tom Wharton Tribune Columnist Article Last Updated: 02/07/2007 07:50:28 PM MST

    To borrow from an old Ringo Starr song, the outdoor industry is trying to "act naturally" these days. The words free trade, eco-friendly fabrics, natural fibers, carbon trading, recycled fabrics, organic and sustainability echoed through the Salt Palace at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, less than two weeks ago. "Sustainability and green business practices have become a more dominant priority for outdoor industry companies," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Outdoor Industry Association. "Today, it's not just about branding and customer appeal, it's about basic business competitiveness." Companies old and new promoted an ecologically friendly approach to manufacturing. And Outdoor Retailer, which sponsors the twice a year trade shows, got into the act, too. The company switched to a new badge printed with soy ink on recycled paper. The carpet running up and down the aisles was made of recycled materials. The organization purchased wind-power electricity credits. It was as if companies were scrambling to "outgreen" one another, trying to prove to customers worried about global warming, fair-trade practices and recycling that they are part of the solution. "The world is more green," said Natasha Matisse, sales manager for HT Naturals. "We are looking for eco-friendly fabrics, sustainability and carbon neutral manufacturing. We are using fabrics such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton." Big clothing companies are getting the message. Ex Officio introduced a new line of travel clothing made from soy fibers. About 40 percent of Gramicci's fall 2007 clothing line will be made from organic cotton, hemp and recycled polyester. Patagonia promoted "e fibers" as well as its underwear recycling program. All of Clif Bar's recreation vehicles used to promote the energy bar are capable of running on vegetable oil. The company also offsets carbon dioxide consumption by buying wind power. Add to that the pressure the outdoor retailer industry has put on Utah government officials to preserve wilderness and roadless areas, and outdoor manufacturers seem to be discovering their customer base wants and expects them to use the best practices possible, even if products cost more. ---
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