Berghaus are Slowly Getting their Green Haus in Order


We're still catching up on some of those outdoor gear companies that wore green on their sleeves at trade shows this year. Berghaus, despite its Germanic sound name hails from the UK. Next year they'll release to the public an outdoors inspired eco-lifestyle range under the moniker of 365Life.

It will include packs made from 55% recycled polyester, vegetable tanned leather footwear—and that pantheon of low hanging eco-fruit—T's of organic cotton. As Berghaus informed one outdoor reporter, "concerns for the wellbeing of the natural world are now reflected in the buying habits of many people from the outdoor and wider community."

Such pronouncements cause one to be a bit cynical of the motivations behind these products. But some digging around showed that the line may be backing up other eco-initiatives. For instance, last year Berghaus moved to new footwear boxes made of 100% recycled cardboard, free of adhesives and staples and printed with water based inks. They re-released some of their fleece clothing in recycled Polartec fabric. Installed a Windsave wind turbine over their head office to provide an annual 2000 kWh of renewable energy. The company also took the opportunity to have a free government sponsored Carbon Trust audit of their energy and water use, plus waste management. As well as running Green Commuter Week, where they assist Berghaus employees to embrace car sharing, bike riding, using public transport and walking to work to help reduce their personal carbon emissions.

None of these eco-endeavours are particularly cutting edge, but with Berghaus reaching official ''Superbrand' status, it may be that their exposure will propel other to emulate and exceed their efforts. ::Berghaus

[Nearly 15 years ago Berghaus were bought by the Pentland Group which also manage other iconic sports brands like Ellesse, Lacoste and Speedo. Pentland sources product for its brands from factories the world over. They have PDF reports on the social and environment footprint of their business.]

(Disclosure. In a previous life this Treehugger worked as a freelance designer for Berghaus. But has no current connection.)

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