Vaude Blue One tent. Photo credit. Vaude, via Gipfelblick
European outdoor companies, with a green bent, like Klattermusen (Sweden) and Finisterre (UK) aren't the only ones who keep winning awards. Vaude of Germany have also been busy picking up awards for their mantleshelf of late. In October 2010 Vaude won the Public's Choice Award from Utopia, the country's largest online sustainable living community. Then this month as the international sports expo ISPO they scored two Eco Responsibility awards. One for the 'most sustainable company' and another in Accessories category for their Blue One tent.
The tent is the the first ever made from Bluesign certified materials and manufacturing. Additionally the Blue One tent (pictured above) is made of 65% organic cotton and 35% recycled PET (polyester) drink bottles.
In many regards Vaude could be seen as Europe's version of Patagonia.Like the Californian outdoor apparel brand, Vaude also remains a family owned company, with a strong focus of becoming a progressive pioneer in greener outdoor products.
About the time (early 90's) that Patagonia launched their recycled drink bottle fleece (PCR Synchilla) Vaude started their Ecolog program (products made entirely of polyester so they could be recycled at their end of life) predating Patagonia Common Threads project by a decade.
Like Patagonia, Vaude has won several awards for it family friendly work practices including an on-site childcare centre. Where Patagonia is a participating company in the Fair Labor Association, Vaude is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. Both Patagonia and Vaude publish comprehensive explanations of their environmental and social programs. And the similarities continue, but we shan't belabor the point.
Various Vaude Green Shape products. Photo credits: Vaude
Vaude use their Green Shape protocol to indicate to customers just how 'eco' each product in their line is. Some are considered "On the way" whilst others need to be made from a minimum 90% organic cotton or recycled materials, dyed with Vaude's ecolour process or made to Bluesign stringent standards to get their top gong. Bluesign is an independent environmental standard that ensures non-toxic textiles and production.
16% of the entire Vaude collection for Summer 2011 (including packs, sleeping bags, tents, shoes, etc) has achieved Green Shape status. Apparel alone is 30%. The Winter 2011/2012 collection is expected to be 30% Vaude Green Shape compliant.
Vaude, via EcoTextileNews
More Vaude Green Initiatives
• Ecolog Outdoor Clothing by vauDe
• Sleep Like a Log in Vaude's Tencel Sleeping Bags
• Edelrid Climbing Ropes Reach New Heights with Eco Award and Accreditation