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outdoor industry Think Tank

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•• Casey Hanisko, We Shall Travel Outdoors •• Tara Maurer, PrimaLoft Revolution

Materials •• Infinite Fibres, the Recycling Challenge •• Hemp, a Viable Future •• Biomaterials Dossier for the Outdoor Industry

Long Life •• The Repairing Business •• Hiring, the New Frontier •• Shoes, an Obligatory Second Life

Case Studies •• Salewa •• Fjällräven


by Emanuele Bompan and Pamela Ravasio

Pamela Ravasio is founder and Managing Director of Shirahime Advisory, specialises in corporate governance and responsibility (CR), with a strong link to innovation processes and digitalisation. She is an expert advisor to senior leaders and boards of directors in the SME space.

The Invisible Thread The textile industry makes a significant contribution to the global economy, with over 430 million workers worldwide. A thriving market in constant growth. But while the volume of business grows, the environmental impact hardly dicreases. The way we design, produce and use our garments has drawbacks that are becoming more and more evident. While the traditional textile system operates in an almost linear fashion (according to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than $500 billion are lost annually due to underused clothing and lack of recycling) the outdoor sector is at the forefront of embracing a circular path. From innovative fabrics made from renewable sources to the buy back and repair-as-a-business strategy, companies in the sector are anticipating a circular transition that will have to involve the entire clothing sector. This issue of Renewable Matter looks into the outdoor industry, its present, its future, and its global influence. We devoted a series of articles to understanding fabrics and materials, from recycled textiles and polymers to biofibres, like hemp. Biomaterials, states Mario Bonaccorso, are critical for the transition of the whole clothing system, especially the outdoor sector, if we really want to decarbonise the industry. But this issue looks also to the future. Below, some of the key influencing factors that will find their way into the outdoor industry as a whole, as well as into the strategies and perspectives of each individual outdoor business. Improving access to the outdoors: research shows that no other measure is as conductive to both physical and mental health of the population as access to nature. In an increasingly urban, technology-driven, home-working society, this need is likely to increase. Operating within the Planetary Boundaries: climate change, biodiversity loss and resource scarsity will mark an ever more prominent presence. Result? Shifts in seasons, supply chain disruptions, challenging access to key materials just to name a few. Authentic equality of opportunity: diversity, inclusion – from race and ethnicities to gender, class, geographic, experience and age background. The notoriously white and male outdoor industry will have to find ways to change its mindset by welcoming all those communities that by and large have not been

welcomed. Indeed if the outdoor industry is not “getting there”, the fashion industry will instead. Prospering with tough public policies: given the climate emergency’s global state and the ensuing social consequences, we can expect extremely severe public policies to come into force. Most probably they will be implemented late and with some degree of reluctance but also forcefully. The elephant in the room? The outdoor business model – like that of the consumer goods industry at large – is entirely unsuitable for the new reality. There is no doubt that reinventing itself, and its business models in particularly, will be the outdoor industry’s most significant struggle in the decades to come. This issue of Renewable Matter shows some great ideas for disruptive business models. Read the analysis of Daniele Lettig on the thriving business of clothing and gear rentals and pay-per-use involving big brands like REI (a cooperative of which the editor in chief is a proud member) or Fjällräven. Or delve into the new business of clothing repairs, where more and more companies are extending their products’ life. In fact, the data shows that just a small intervention would make such “seconds” “fit for purpose” again: 26% require merely removal of some dirt or stains; 21% fixing of a hole; 9% mending of a tear; and 7.5% a spare part such as the replacement of a broken zipper. More importantly, these efforts are both good for the environment and generate a profit, if properly marketed. There is a strong sense of transformation in this sector. The hope is that brands like Patagonia, Vaude, Fjällräven or Salewa can inspire the traditional clothing sector and offer an insight into the future of clothing. We believe they can and they will be even better in the future.



Outdoor industry ISSN 2385-1562 Reg. Tribunale di Milano n. 351 del 31/10/2014 Editor-in-chief Emanuele Bompan Deputy Editors-in-chief Pamela Ravasio, Marco Ricchetti Managing editor Marco Moro Chief editor for Edizioni Ambiente Contributors Mario Bonaccorso, Chiara Buratti, Emanuele Del Rosso (cartoon page 7), Sergio Ferraris, Daniele Lettig, Francesco Petrucci, Kim Scholze, Elisabetta Tola, Antonella Ilaria Totaro Editor Arianna Campanile Diego Tavazzi Editorial Coordinator Paola Cristina Fraschini

35|January-March 2021 Contents

Emanuele Bompan, Pamela Ravasio


The Invisible Thread

Kim Scholze


Sustainability and Outdoor: Rediscovering the Sector’s Long-Term Connection with Nature

Emanuele Bompan


We Will Travel Outdoors Interview with Casey Hanisko

Emanuele Bompan


PrimaLoft, Circular Insulation for Outdoor Apparel Interview with Tara Maurer

Marco Ricchetti


Regeneration: The Next Step for Outdoor Fashion

Sergio Ferraris


Infinite Fibres

Pamela Ravasio


Repairing as a Tribute to Living Through Great Adventures

Antonella Ilaria Totaro


The (Vital) Second Life of Shoes

Daniele Lettig


Rental: A New Frontier for the Great Outdoors

Elisabetta Tola


Back to the Future: Hemp Makes a Comeback for Outdoor Gear

Think Thank


Design & Art Direction Mauro Panzeri Layout & Infographics Michela Lazzaroni Translations Patrick Bracelli, Erminio Cella, Laura Coppo, Franco Lombini, Mario Tadiello


Executive Coordinator Anna Re

Mario Bonaccorso


Clothing Goes Green

External Relations Manager Anna Re Manager for International Relations Giorgia Marino

Pamela Ravasio


Doing Good and Talking About It: Traceability, Transparency, Innovation, and the Outdoor Industry

Case Studies Chiara Buratti

Daniele Lettig

Contact Edizioni Ambiente is a brand of ReteAmbiente via privata G. Bensi, 12/5 20152 Milan, Italy t. +39 02 45487277 f. +39 02 45487333 Advertising



Sustainability: Recycling Plastics and Manufacturing Materials at Oberalp

Fjällräven, Sustainability Through Timeless Design (and More)

Annual subscription Subscribe on-line at This magazine is made in Dejavu Pro by Ko Sliggers Published and printed in Italy at GECA S.r.l., San Giuliano Milanese (Mi) Copyright © Edizioni Ambiente 2021 All rights reserved


Antonella Ilaria Totaro


Cyclon, Bio-based Running Shoes that Will Never be Yours


Luxury Coats from Production Waste with Imbotex Lab


Re:Down, Second Life of Feathers and Down


Upcycled Clothes from Cellulose and Wood with Spinnova


Circular by Law Textile Industry Meets Circular Economy

Columns Francesco Petrucci

Cover Photo by Jeremy Bishop @unsplash

Unsplash/Jordan Heath

Regeneration: The Next Step for Outdoor Fashion by Marco Ricchetti

renewablematter 35. 2021


Repairing as a Tribute to Living Through Great Adventures by Pamela Ravasio

If each outdoor enthusiast kept their jacket, pants, base layer, for just one or maybe even two seasons longer, each of these garments would “offset” in that time 1/3 of the production footprint of a new piece of kit. But repair is much more than “just” reduction of carbon footprint. It is a discipline that requires considerable amount of skill, experience, manufacturing and product knowledge in addition to design vision.


Outdoor gear tells stories. Stories of adventures, successes and mishaps. Stories of travels, friendships, and experiences of a lifetime. Jackets, pants, hats, rucksacks are “partners in crime”. Safeguarding the essentials from tribulations, as well as from the elements, when out and about. Sometimes outdoor kit even saves lives. Adventures, though, may sometimes not leave the adventurer unscathed – and certainly not the equipment. And then what? Doing away with a damaged piece of outdoor gear is hard. What about getting rid of all the memories that are attached to the piece? Nearly impossible. Nostalgia is after all one of the strongest emotions humans experience. Or, at least, that's what we claim. Durability, Repair, and the Carbon Footprint

1. McKinsey & Company, “Fashion on climate”, 26 August 2020, 2. Greenpeace, Fast fashion is “drowning” the world. We need a fashion revolution!, 21 April 2016, 3. WRAP, “Valuing our clothes”, 2012,

But it is not only an emotionally tough decision to get rid of a well-worn and well served piece of outdoor apparel: it is an act of resignation – mending clothes is not a skill that many of us still possess – as well as a lesson in humility. Indeed, a decision with a potentially significant financial and environmental cost: the clothing industry emits yearly an estimated 2.1 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases (as from 2018).1 Knowing that every year also around 80 billion pieces

of clothing are being produced globally,2 we know that each piece of clothing emits at the very least 26.2 kilograms of GHG just until it gets to the consumer. Given that the outdoor industry tends to use more resource intensive (but also better quality) materials, this number is probably a rather conservative estimate. Interestingly, though, and very relevant for an industry producing such durable goods as the outdoor industry, extending the life of clothing by just nine months of active use, or the equivalent of one to two usage seasons, would reduce total carbon emitted, waste, and water footprint, by around 20-30%.3 In other words, if each outdoor enthusiast kept their jacket, pants, base layer, for just one or maybe even two more seasons, each of these garments would “offset” in that time 1/3 of the production footprint of a new piece of kit. That’s a very significant number for what is just a few months of lifetime extension. But there is more to this story. Some outdoor kits never make it to the user in the first place. For a plethora of reasons, the two most dominant possibly being quality issues, and unsold stock. In fact, research shows that 82% of products classified by a brand as waste can be renewed and subsequently (re-)sold.


The (Vital) Second Life of Shoes

by Antonella Ilaria Totaro

Each year, 24 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured – approximately 66 million pairs every day. Currently, 90% of these are likely to end up dumped in landfills, often within 12 months after being purchased. This is a massive waste of materials and resources. Companies are trying to remedy this problem through projects that aim to prolong shoes’ life cycle or give them a second existence.

Back to the Future:

Hemp Makes a Comeback for Outdoor Gear by Elisabetta Tola

Hemp, widely grown and used as a super-versatile fibre for millennia, was eradicated across Europe. Now it is making a comeback, with a wide range of new uses – like high-tech fibres and outdoor materials – in state-of-the-art supply chains attuned to the bioeconomy.

Elisabetta Tola is a scientific journalist, host of Radio3Scienza, and freelance contributor to several Italian and international publications. She is the CEO and founder of scientific communication agency and of the project. Tola also co-authored Semi Ritrovati – Un viaggio alla scoperta della biodiversità agricola (Rediscovered Seeds: A journey to discover agricultural biodiversity) published by Codice, 2020.

“We have a great opportunity to do a lot of research and try to change the way we work, and thus even the impact that our products have.” Christine Ladstaetter, Innovation & Special Project Manager at Oberalp Group (owner of the Salewa brand) is enthusiastic as she recounts the various experiments carried out by the company to use hemp fibres in manufacturing outdoor gear. “We have to be more and more attentive to the materials that we use and transformation processes. In recent years, there has been a growing number of people doing outdoor activities in contact with nature, and many of these people express an increased awareness of the impact that clothing and equipment have on the environment.”

In line with this type of demand from customers, Ladstaetter – who has worked at Salewa for some thirty years and has witnessed first-hand the significant technical improvements to synthetic fibres that have been optimised since the late 1990s – has coordinated a variety of experiments in the use of more natural materials, which are best when locally produced rather than imported from afar. Most of all, they have to be socially and environmentally sustainable. Given all this, hemp really seems to be in pole-position. Hemp: The Former Queen of Italian Crops Hemp is the agricultural equivalent of pigs in livestock farming: every single part of the crop is used, with waste being reduced to almost zero. Seeds, flowers, long and short fibres – whose


Introducing PrimaLoft® P.U.R.E.™ A new standard in manufacturing technology that relies on air, instead of heat from an oven, to produce our PrimaLoft® insulation. The result is a drastic reduction in carbon emissions around the world. It’s a brilliant shift in our process, that will make a huge difference for the environment. Ushering in a new era of collaboration between us and Mother Nature. Once again demonstrating what’s possible when we’re Relentlessly Responsible™ in every aspect of our business.














Profile for Edizioni Ambiente

RENEWABLE MATTER #35 - Outdoor (sample)  

While the traditional textile system still has a huge environmental impact, the outdoor sector is at the forefront of embracing a circular p...

RENEWABLE MATTER #35 - Outdoor (sample)  

While the traditional textile system still has a huge environmental impact, the outdoor sector is at the forefront of embracing a circular p...

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