How to build the most sustainable ski kit
We culled through dozens of options to find the best of the best
One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to have a sustainable ski kit is to buy UnNew Outdoor™ gear at Geartrade where we have many of the brands mentioned below. The longer we can keep gear in the outdoors and out of the landfill, the better for everyone. But, like you, we at Geartrade love gear, and we are always interested in the latest innovations in outdoor gear, and in the brands that are at the forefront of sustainability.
With this in mind, we set out to build the “most sustainable” ski kit, and one thing became clear real quick: without an industry-wide sustainability standard, it’s hard to compare precise metrics between brands and even compare products within a brand.
Some brands have jumped all-in with the Higgs Index, a suite of measurement and informational tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to determine a company or product’s sustainability performance. Thanks to its wide variety of analytics, the Higg Materials Sustainability Index tool represents a relatively holistic view into businesses that prioritize the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment. When compiling this “best-of” blog post, we used this information to get a clear understanding of what is causing different types of material impacts, and different production processes that can be used to reduce those impacts.
In a recent sustainability report, Céline Mazars, material manager of Salomon’s footwear, wrote about her hopes for the industry to continue adopting the Higg Index so brands can provide consumers with trustworthy information. “If everyone doesn’t use the same tool, we won’t be able to achieve that,” she stated. Ultimately, using one common language to share sustainability efforts will allow consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions.
In addition to the Higg Index, we looked at other widespread sustainability coalitions committed to defining and standardizing metrics—like the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, the Ethical Trading Initiative, Bluesign certifications, Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps, and more—to parse out which products and companies are actually walking, err riding, the sustainability talk.
From there, we built a multi-layered kit that’ll protect you from every element snow day will throw your way this winter.
W’s Kari Traa Knute Wool Pant
W’s Kari Traa Knute Wool Long Sleeve
M’s Finisterre Eddy Base Layer
M’s Finisterre Eddy Long Johns
W’s Haglofs Astro Jacket
M’s Haglofs Elation Hood
W’s Picture Organic Seen Jacket
M’s Picture Organic Trifid Jacket
W’s Patagonia Untracked Pants
M’s Patagonia Stormside Pants
W’s Mons Royale Tech Cushion Sock
M’s Mons Royale Tech Cushion Sock
W’s Ibex Balance Bikini Brief
W’s Ibex Balance Criss Cross Bra
M’s Ibex Woolies Tech Base Layer Boxer Briefs
Non-insulated: Vaude La Varella Gloves
Insulated: Vaude Back Bowl Gloves
Headband: Dynafit Performance Warm Headband
Hat: Vaude Bormio Beanie
W’s Zeal Hatchet
M’s Zeal Portal
Ski: Salomon STH2 WTR 13
Snowboard: Jones Mercury bindings
Unisex Grown UpTurn Skis
Unisex Niche Hawthorne Snowboard
Purl Natural Ski Wax
Grass Sticks Touring Sticks
Thinksport SPF 50+ safe sunscreen
Emma Athena is an award-winning journalist and fresh-air lover. She writes about adventure and the environment, where humans and nature intersect at their most impactful moments. When she’s not glued to her keyboard or curled up with a book, she’s running in the mountains with her dog or camping with people she loves. To read more of her work and get in contact, visit emmaathena.com.