Updating Nemo Equipment's GRN Endeavours

Nemo Equipment and their ambition to make green lightweight camping gear, especially tents, first scored a mention back in August 2008. Their recent winning of an Outside Magazine's 2009 Gear of the Year Award (for the Losi 3P Tent) prompted us to check in on their progress in crafting a recycled tent and bamboo tent poles.The Nano OZ (pictured above) is based on their lightweight waterproof/breathable (WP/B), single skin, backpacking tent of the same name, except the OZ version is made of a 100% recycled WP/B fabric. The tent's floor is also made from a 100% recycled PET cloth and and made waterproof with a polyurethane coating. The Nano Oz's aluminium poles are amde by DAC, who employ a special 'green anodizing' process (PDF) that eliminates the use of the usual nitric acid and phosphoric acid from the process. A process whereby production water is recycled.

Kate at Nemo tells us they've had a few teething troubles bringing this 2 person, 4 season tent, weighing in at 2.04 kg (4.5 lbs) to market. Seems that the OSMO OZ recycled waterproof breathable fabric has taken a fancy to sewing machine oil, causing some aesthetic issues. But she reckons they'll have it matching their high quality control standards by late Summer 2009.

Also due at a retail level later this year are their bamboo tent poles. As you can see in the accompanying pix, these have an unusual hexagonal profile. Apparently they have been working with an US manufacturer to produce a line of renewable bamboo poles. "Bamboo has been trusted in fly rod construction for over 100 years because of its strength and flexibility. The NEMO design team believes that these benefits will correlate with the essential properties of tent poles."

Another of their GRN (Green Rethinking at Nemo) projects involves crafting bags from leftover tent materials. The Ditto bags will be made from old Hypno tent cloth and manufacturing seconds of sailcloth fabric from their fabric partner, Dimension Polyant. They are hoping to manufacture the new line of Ditto bags (seen in the photo here) in New Hampshire, US.

These are the green product developments Nemo have upcoming. But that's not where their sustainable business practices conclude.

For example, once a month Nemo employees collects and documents waste that washes up on beach in North Hampton, New Hampshire. Employees are given a day per month to "pursue a green effort or volunteer with a community organization." The company donated over 150 tents to victims of the 2005 Kashmiri earthquakes. Their shipping department reuses packaging materials from goods sent to them. Nemo's tent manuals are online as downloadable PDFs as part of move to reduce printed materials. And as Kate pointed out, "We are changing our ambassador program to support athletes that have strong philanthropic/environmental goals, cohesive with ours." In this regard she mentioned Alison Gannett,their most notable ambassador. (See our interview with Alison on her Save our Snow project.)

::Nemo Equipment

Photo credits: Nemo

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Tags: Camping | Corporate Responsibility | Recycling | United States

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