With 100 percent recycled content, it's an impressive standard for technical gear.
If you're a camper, then you probably know what it's like to huddle in a sleeping bag around a fire in the early morning, trying to keep warm without getting your sleeping bag filthy in the process. (It's tricky.)
Enter the Rumpl Original Puffy blanket, a marvelous invention that is a sleeping bag in blanket form and makes huddling around a campfire much easier. It was first created in 2014 and has gone through several iterations and updates since. As described on the Rumpl website,
"We utilize technical materials that have been developed for premium activewear and outdoor gear to modernize the everyday blanket... The end result is a high-quality, versatile blanket that provides 'the comfort of home', wherever that may be."
In other words, this is a blanket that can transition easily from your couch to your tent. The latest versions of the Original Puffy Blanket and the NanoLoft Puffy Blanket, however, are particularly appealing to TreeHugger because they both feature 100 percent recycled content. The transition to post-consumer materials allowed Rumpl "to virtually eliminate the use of virgin plastic in the supply chain of these products."
A press release explains that each blanket contains at least 60 discarded plastic bottles that have been reclaimed and respun into polyester thread. By the end of 2019, the company will have recycled three million plastic bottles that otherwise would have gone to landfill. CEO Wylie Robinson says Rumpl plans to continue transitioning other products to recycled materials throughout 2020.
As for the DWR finish that may concern some people for its persistence in the natural environment, Rumpl says it now uses a C4 treatment, which is a 'shorter' molecule than the traditional C8 treatment, and thus faster to break down. "That said, it’s not a perfect solution, and Rumpl has been heavily invested in transitioning to a more environmentally friendly solution as soon as possible."
Synthetic materials are far from ideal, in light of the massive microplastics problem afflicting waterways, but it's unrealistic to assume that people are going to give them up entirely. That is why it's important for companies to start using 100 percent recycled content in their products. As I wrote earlier,
"If we can transform a waste product into something that people are already buying in large quantities, while reducing demand for its virgin equivalent, it will, at the very least, buy us time – time to come up with better options for safe laundering, end-of-life disposal, recycling/upcycling, and innovation in sustainable fabrics that can perform in similar ways to synthetics."
Rumpl is setting a fine example of what's possible in the realm of outdoor athletic gear, and hopefully other companies will take note.