outdoor gear


Ethical Consumer Magazine is today calling on the outdoor gear industry to wake up to its environmental responsibilities and improve both its environmental and ethical record.

In the first research of its kind Ethical Consumer have surveyed the environmental and ethical policies of over 60 leading outdoor gear companies. The results reveal that virtually all the companies pay little regard for environmental issues with most having woefully inadequate environmental and ethical reporting policies.

Tim Hunt from Ethical Consumer and co-author of the buyers' guide said:

“It's the ultimate irony that whilst outdoor gear companies depend upon a pristine environment for their profitability the vast majority show a total disregard for the environmental impact of their businesses.”

Despite having a  healthy and wholesome image the outdoor gear industry is in reality heavily dependent upon oil-based chemicals for the production of everything from tents to walking jackets the production of which results in highly polluting toxic waste.

The buyers' guide also reveals that virtually all the companies surveyed have inadequate policies in place to ensure fair and decent working conditions for the workers who make their gear, the majority of whom are based in China and the Far East.

Bryony Moore from Ethical Consumer and co-author of the buyers' guide said:

“Whilst High-Street fashion brands have rightly come under the ethical spotlight recently the outdoor gear industry has escaped this scrutiny. The result is that most companies have no policies in place to protect workers' rights. Questions therefore must remain over the ethical credentials of the companies we surveyed.”



1 Ethical Consumer Magazine surveyed over 60 of the leading outdoor companies in the  following categories: walking boots, fleeces, rucksacks, sleeping bags, tents and waterproof jackets.

2 Ethical Consumer recommends only the following companies as a Best Buy:
Paramo: fleeces, waterproof jackets
Ethical Wares: walking boots
Vegetarian Shoes: walking boots

4 Launched in 1989 Ethical Consumer is the UK's leading ethical and environmental magazine. In each issue Ethical Consumer examines the ethical and environmental record of the companies behind everyday products and services from bead to banks. For more information visit the Ethical Consumer website: www.ethicalconsumer.org