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8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands for the Eco-friendly Explorers

Are you an eco-conscious adventurer looking for brands that align with your values? Look no further! Check out these sustainable outdoor brands.
8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands for the Eco-friendly Explorers

This Article is 100% Organic: Written and Researched by Real Humans.

Your footprint is more than the temporary one that you leave on a trail or the beach. Your carbon footprint can grow heavier or lighter depending on your choice of gear and clothing. Choosing sustainable outfitters is like giving a big salute to the very planet you love exploring! 

While most people know about heavyweight outdoor brands like Patagonia, there are plenty of others who specialize in everything from everyday adventure wear to extreme exploration gear. 

While greenwashing – the process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products are environmentally sound– has become rampant across industries. We’ve got the insight to allow you to make a sound and educated choice on the best truly eco-friendly outdoor brand. 

Zestain is reader supported. Purchases made through our site links may result in an affiliate commission for us, without affecting your own costs. Find out more about our rigorous brand rating process.

Zestain's Top Picks

A Quick Look At The Best Sustainable Outdoor Brands

How We Choose These Eco-Friendly Outdoor Brands

Every link within the supply chain holds the possibility of environmental impact, presenting challenges in practicing ‘complete sustainability.’ 

Nonetheless, certain brands are dedicated to the cause, striving to create outdoor equipment that’s not just eco-friendly but also designed to minimize harm. As consumers, it’s essential to acknowledge and support these initiatives, as they align with our commitments to environmental responsibility. Here’s what we look for: 

Supply Chain

It’s not just about the cool color blocked throwback coat you got for your next ski trip; it’s also about how it got to you and where it goes after it’s run on the slopes. Consumers should seek out companies that not only talk the talk but also walk the walk by providing clear, detailed information about their brand.

A brand’s commitment to sustainability is truly demonstrated by its transparency about production practices, including the origin of materials, how they’re crafted, and even the impact of shipping methods. 

Waste

Considering the end-of-life fate of outdoor gear is fundamental. When choosing products, we checked to see if they can enter a circular lifecycle, meaning they can be recycled or biodegrade naturally once they’ve served their purpose. Alternatively, does the company offer a long term warranty, repair, or takeback program? 

Transparency

Tell us everything! We love a company that will tell us what they do well as well as what they’re still working on – whether that’s better shipping materials or increasing the amount of sustainable materials in their product. 

Actions Aligning with Message

Lastly, we chose outdoor companies whose sustainable actions aligned with their messaging. These companies stand out by advocating for environmental stewardship and implementing tangible practices that reflect this ethos, from tree planting programs to aggressive carbon footprint reduction targets. 

Full List of Sustainable Outdoor Product Brands

Clothing

Clothing - 8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands For The Eco-Friendly Explorers
1
Outerknown Image 1
Image by Outerknown
Best for hip outdoor clothing

Outerknown

  • Pricepoint: $$
  • Sustainability: Fair Trade Certified, Regenerative Organic Certified, and B Corp Certified.

Outerknown exudes a laid-back, sustainable, and effortlessly cool vibe that speaks to the environmentally conscious and classic outdoors person. A clean, ocean-inspired aesthetic is perfect for surfers, adventurers, and daydreamers alike.

The brand has excellent transparency in its supply chain, with special attention to fair labor practices and the sourcing of eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton and recycled fibers. From the use of ECONYL® regenerated nylon in their boardshorts to their partnership with B Corp and implementation of Regenerative Organic Certified practices, Outerknown’s efforts are a beacon of progress in the industry.

2
Coalatree Image 1
Image by Coalatree
Best for urban outerwear

Coalatree

  • Pricepoint: $$$
  • Sustainability: Regenerative and recycled materials and a variety of local environmental initiatives.

Coalatree, often recognized for its eco-minded approach to outdoor apparel, exudes an aura that hovers between the innovative and the rustic.

Its appeal comes from blending urban streetwear with practical outdoor functionality, creating products that suit the hybrid lifestyle of the modern adventurer. Unlike Outerknown’s beach-inspired, laid-back elegance, Coalatree leans into the domain of the eco-conscious city dweller. 

This brand focuses on eco-friendly products like trailhead pants, adventure blankets, and hammocks that are multifunctional, compact, and designed with the versatility to transition from cityscapes to mountain trails. 

The company is a great choice in terms of putting action behind its messaging with partnerships with the US Forest Service, Save Our Canyons, and even a program to donate surplus fabric to create warm blankets for the homeless in their hometown of Salt Lake City.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bag 8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands For The Eco Friendly Explorers
3
Rei Image 1
Image by REI
Best for sleeping bag variety

REI

  • Pricepoint: $-$$$$
  • Sustainability: Carbon Neutral, Fair Trade Certified, facilities run by renewable energy and various zero waste initiatives.

REI has a ton of tricks up its sleeve when it comes to hosting the newest most innovative, sustainable brands under the umbrella of its massive marketplace. When it comes to sleeping bags they can’t be beat on diversity of choice from the below zero Thermarest to its eponymous classic Magma Down Trail Quilt Sleeping Bag

REI’s reputation as one of the most respected eco-friendly companies globally stems from initiatives such as gear trade-in and rental programs that keep things circular to LEED-certified buildings and zero waste policies in shipping. Always a solid choice!

4
Big Agnes Image 1
Image by Big Agnes
Best for specialty sleeping bags

Big Agnes

  • Pricepoint: $$$
  • Sustainability: 100% renewable energy-run facilities and Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps member

Just like REI, Big Agnes is another company that stands out in the outdoor market, particularly for their commitment to environmental sustainability. They produce an innovative line of sleeping bags that utilize solution-dyed fabrics, recycled materials, and DownTek™ water repellent down insulation for extra durability and longevity, and an excellent warranty and repair program. 

Tents

Tents - 8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands For The Eco-Friendly Explorers
5
Nemo Equipment Image 1
Image by Nemo Equipment
Best for specialty tents

Nemo Equipment

Nemo Equipment, much like its counterparts, takes a robust stance on sustainability, particularly within its tent collection which features the perfect match whether you’re mountaineering, car camping, or backpacking. 

Known for innovation, Nemo implements advanced design philosophies where functionality meets eco-conscious manufacturing. The tents are designed to be lightweight yet durable, reducing the environmental impact from production to disposal. Nemo has also risen to the challenge of sustainability by utilizing recycled materials and minimizing the use of toxic chemicals that harm the environment.

6
Kammok Image 1
Image by Kammock
Best for recycled materials

Kammock

  • Pricepoint: $$$
  • Sustainability: Low-impact materials

Kammok is an excellent example of how recycled materials can be just as tough, durable, and effective as their predecessors. Committed to minimizing their environmental footprint, Kammok utilizes Gravitas™ fabric, which is made from 100% recycled materials. 

Kammok’s ethos of “adventure grade and better made” means they stand behind their products enough to offer extended warranties and generous repair programs. 

Gear

Gear 8 Sustainable Outdoor Brands For The Eco Friendly Explorers
7
Cotopaxi Image 1
Image by Cotopaxi
Best for packs

Cotopaxi

  • Pricepoint: $-$$$
  • Sustainability: B Corp Certified, ethical sourcing, and waste-conscious practices.

True gearheads know that an outdoor adventure isn’t complete without the creature comforts of a hydration backpack, travel cooler, travel organizers, and even the gear hauler itself. Cotopaxi has you covered with all of that and more and does it in a way that Mother Earth would be proud of. 

Cotopaxi’s gear is emblematic of its “Gear For Good” philosophy, using remnant materials that would otherwise go to waste. Today, 94% of their products contain repurposed, recycled, or responsible materials and with a guarantee on their products that encourages repair rather than replacement, you are set for a guilt-free outdoor gear purchase. 

8
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Image 1
Image by Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Best for extreme gear

Hyperlite Mountain Gear

  • Pricepoint: $$$
  • Sustainability: Sustainably sourced materials and an excellent warranty and repair program.

If you are on the more serious side of adventuring and looking for specialized gear that’s also gentle on the planet, Hyperlite Mountain Gear is your best buddy.

They stock everything from ultralight backcountry quilts, alpine climbing gear, advanced hydration systems, and durable duffel bags made with responsibly sourced materials and built for longevity (music to our circular economy ears!).

Comparing Sustainable Outdoor Brands

BrandCategoryPrice PointSustainabilityOur Pick For
Outerknown Image 1
Outerknown
Clothing$$Fair Trade Certified, Regenerative Organic Certified, and B Corp Certified.Best for hip outdoor clothing
Coalatree Image 1
Coalatree
Clothing$$$Regenerative and recycled materials and a variety of local environmental initiatives.Best for urban outerwear
Rei Image 1
REI
Sleeping Bags$-$$$$Carbon Neutral, Fair Trade Certified, facilities run by renewable energy and various zero waste initiatives.Best for sleeping bag variety
Big Agnes Image 1
Big Agnes
Sleeping Bags$$$100% renewable energy-run facilities and Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps memberBest for specialty sleeping bags
Nemo Equipment Image 1
Nemo Equipment
Tents$$$Aggressive carbon impact reduction policies, bluesign® system partner, and renewable energy run.Best for specialty tents
Kammok Image 1
Kammock
Tents$$$Low-impact materialsBest for recycled materials
Cotopaxi Image 1
Cotopaxi
Gear$-$$$B Corp Certified, ethical sourcing, and waste-conscious practices.Best for packs
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Image 1
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Gear$$$Sustainably sourced materials and an excellent warranty and repair program.Best for extreme gear

Why Switch to Sustainable Outdoor Products?

Here are five compelling reasons to make your next adventure purchase a sustainable one. 

1. It Could Be Better for Your Health

Many sustainable outdoor products are made without the use of harmful chemicals and synthetic materials that can be detrimental to personal health. For instance, organic apparel avoids using pesticides, which preserves natural ecosystems and ensures that the clothes against your skin are free from toxic residues that can cause irritation.

2. Because, Mother Earth

Recycled or responsibly sourced materials can significantly lower the amount of waste in landfills and minimize resource depletion, helping to protect wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

3. For Others

Often, sustainable outdoor product companies support fair trade practices and the local economy by sourcing materials and labor within the communities where they operate. This approach helps to provide ethical employment opportunities and stimulates local communities.

4. To Be Part of Innovating the Future

Companies focused on sustainability frequently invest in research and development to create even more innovative solutions that reduce environmental impact, pushing the discovery of new materials and production methods!

5. Keep ‘em Accountable

A consumer preference for sustainability can compel more outdoor brands to do better! After all, your money talks. This creates a more competitive market that rewards those who take meaningful actions toward planet-friendly practices.

Stay in the Know

The best way to be a conscious consumer? Don’t wait for a brand to sell itself to you; educate yourself first! Stay in the loop with the best sustainable products, tips, and lifestyle recommendations by following Zestain on Pinterest, Instagram, and here on our blog! 

Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.
Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.

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