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Environmentally Friendly  Style | Function | Sustainability

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Nordic Outdoor Sustainability Statement

Nordic Outdoor Sustainability

Sustainability

At Nordic Outdoor we hold sustainability as one of our core principles and consistently work to create a more environmentally friendly and sustainable business. With everything we do we aim to minimise the impact our actions have on the environment and develop a strong relationship with the community around us. Sustainability is at the heart of Nordic Outdoor and as the company develops we aim to make further developments in sustainable practise.Throughout the company, from our head office to each Nordic Outdoor store, we look to create a company which prides itself in creating a positive impact for the community and environment.

We understand that sustainability is a learning process and by no means are we perfect. When trying to achieve ‘total sustainability’ we are bound to make mistakes and as a company we are always keen to listen to ways in which we can improve. We have a dedicated email for all sustainability feedback and questions and are always looking for our customers to help us improve - you can reach us at sustainability@nordicoutdoor.co.uk

Before we take on any new brands Nordic Outdoor always looks to ensure their commitment to creating a sustainable business is in line with our goals. We are proud to have a strong working relationship with some of the world’s most forward thinking and sustainable outdoor brands. Working closely with our suppliers allows Nordic Outdoor to make a bigger impact than if we tried to tackle these problems alone and this sense of community and partnership is crucial to everything we do.

In the modern age people are drowning in possessions and while we survive on selling clothes, we understand that buying a quality, long lasting product is much more sustainable than buying cheap fast fashion to wear and replace. It’s a strange stance for a store to take but we would rather sell our customers less, with the mindset that what you buy in Nordic Outdoor will last for a long time. Our trained staff will never look to sell you a product that isn’t right for your needs and as a company we will never stock a product that we don’t believe in.

The staff at Nordic Outdoor share our company vision and this culture lives from the bottom up. We aim to learn all about the production process, materials used, and labour conditions for all our products so that we can pass this information on to the customer to ensure they are making the right decision for their needs and for the planet. From using recycled packaging for our online orders to offering paper free receipts in all stores we try to make as much of an impact as we can. As with everything we do this is an ongoing process where we can learn as we grow and there is always room for improvement. With the help of our suppliers and our customers Nordic Outdoor can achieve our goal of becoming a truly sustainable company.

Below you can learn more about the what we do here at Nordic Outdoor to be a more sustainable company and live up to our key tenets of Style, Function and Sustainability.

  


Recycling at Nordic Outdoor

What we do here at Nordic Outdoor

At Nordic Outdoor Sustainability is at the forefront of every conversation that we have. Every time we take on a new brand, open a new store or change a practise we are looking to find the way to do this with the least impact on the environment and with a sense of social responsibility. We have listed a few of the practises we undertake with sustainability in mind below;

Recycled Packaging

We understand that the ‘unboxing’ experience is something that everyone enjoys when making a purchase online. Everyone loves receiving something they have been looking forward to in a beautiful box with wrapping and branded baggage. However is the environmental impact worth the two seconds of joy this provides? When we ship out our online orders we look to recycle and reuse packaging as much as possible. Our stores stockpile delivery boxes we receive from our suppliers and in turn these are reused to send products to customers. Should you purchase one of our Gransfors Bruk axes or anything fragile then we will protect this with recycled cardboard we receive from our suppliers. It may not be the prettiest way to receive a parcel, but they always arrive safely and have a much smaller impact on the environment than the overuse of bubble wrap and plastic bags.

Potato Starch Carrier Bags

Providing packaging for online orders is not the only sustainability problem faced by most retailers today. One of our biggest concerns is trying to work out what the best solution is for our in-store customers to get their new purchase homesafely and sustainability. While canvas totes and paper bags are usually touted as the best option these are in fact less sustainable than an average plastic bag. The energy consumption involved in production of paper or canvas bags means that they need to be reused numerous times to even match the carbon footprint of a classic plastic bag. Amazingly you need to reuse a canvas tote 173 times to make it a more sustainable choice than a plastic bag.

From 2019 Nordic Outdoor have made the decision to replace our traditional plastic bags with new carrier bags made from Potato Starch. Just as strong as traditional carrier bags these are 100% compostable and at their end of life you simply place these in your home composting or green waste bin and leave nature to do the rest! The bag will compost within 360 days in a home compost environment and at least 90% of the material will convert into C02 while the remaining share is converted into water and biomass.

Air Fare Offsetting

Nordic Outdoor conduct business throughout Europe and for this reason we are occasionally required to fly. Whether this be attending trade shows in Germany, visiting suppliers in Sweden or attending events at our London Store. We are always looking for the most sustainable way to do business. While there is air travel involved sometimes. we have found that it's much more sustainable to visit all of our suppliers at one trade show than have every supplier fly to the UK to see us. We do however understand that taking flights has an environmental impact, and not just in terms of C02 emissions. For this reason, Nordic Outdoor will be offsetting the cost of all business-related air fares taken by our staff members from September 2019. More information on offsetting air fares can be found here

Paperless

Over 30 million acres of forest are destroyed annually and 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber is used to produce paper. We understand that paper usage is essential in running a business however we are making steps to remove as much paper from Nordic Outdoor as possible. With our stores now offering E-receipts we can reduce paper consumption massively from our stores and provides customers with piece of mind that the receipt for their purchase will never accidentally end up in the bin! We have also stopped sending paper transfer documents with our intra store transfers, instead choosing to email these to our stores.

Delivery Methods

One of the trickiest problems facing online retailer is how to reduce the carbon emissions involved with shipping products to customers. While this is a hefty problem to solve, here at Nordic Outdoor we are doing everything we can to reduce the impact our shipping causes. Our two courier companies both operate with detailed environmental policies which include eco-start delivery vans, recyclable packaging and carbon neutral commitments. You can read both sustainability statements below;

  • Parcelforce Environmental Programme
  • DPD Environmental policy

 Single-Use Free Stores

All our stores have signed a pledge to be single use plastic free.This means no single use water bottles or disposable coffee cup should be used in our stores. While this is just a small change it helps to foster a mentality where we all think about what we are using and where we can swap disposable for reusable in our everyday life. All store staff members at Nordic Outdoor have been provided with a reusable Flask from our friends at Klean Kanteen along with a Meal Kit from our friends at Light My Fire.

Community Projects

Nordic Outdoor are continually looking to get involved with local community projects designed to create a more sustainable world. In the past we have taken part in Plogging groups, provided reusable straws and meal kits for local bars and have supported numerous charities. We are always keen to work with other local groups on either charity or environmental projects and if you have an idea you’d like to pitch us then send over an email to sustainability@nordicoutdoor.co.uk

 


Our Paper Use Sustainability Statement

 You might be wondering how a company who puts such a huge emphasis on sustainability can justify sending out promotional leaflets and flyers. Like all other sustainability matters it is something we have put serious thought and many hours of research and debate into. 

After careful thought and consideration, we decided that as a business we cannot justify the ludicrous prices that some printing companies place on their recycled paper products. Of course, price isn’t the sole factor we considered when making our decision. If paying £300 for a

version of a product that normally costs £100 will ensure a significant decrease in its carbon emissions, we would do it in a heartbeat. However, unfortunately it normally doesn’t work that way.

The sad truth is that recent years have seen a huge increase in environmental dishonesty driven by commercial incentives. It can’t be denied that there are many misleading terms and practices around sustainability and it’s an area where companies need to be exceedingly careful.

One of the key myths around paper production is that recycled paper takes much less energy to produce than paper from virgin fibres. This is a bit misleading as it only refers to the re-pulping process, and completely ignores the processes beforehand. In the publication “Environmental Impacts of Wastepaper Recycling” written by Yrjo Virtanen and Sten Nilsson, they claim that as more wastepaper is collected for recycling, the efficiency of doing so reduces. Transport distances increase, carbon dioxide emissions increase, the energy used sorting increases and the volume of sludge from de-inking increases.

We also learned that the production of a leaflet from 100% recycled pulp accounts for only 38% less CO2 emissions than producing from virgin sources. Rather than pay excessive rates for at best an underwhelming benefit, we at Nordic Outdoor have taken a different approach.

Whenever we send out a leaflet campaign, we calculate the carbon cost using the above figure as a guide. We then process the equivalent number of miles on our favourite carbon offsetting website. Based on the environmental impact of the campaign, the website calculates a suggested donation amount and a relevant charity to offset the costs of our campaign. Just for good measure we double the suggested donation because we are truly dedicated to sustainable business practices. We also take special care to target very specific areas and customers when we’re flyering and leafleting. By taking special care to target areas and potential customers who are more likely to be interested in what we have to order we reduce the wastefulness that can often affect campaigns like these.

As with anything you read in our sustainability statement we are always open to suggestions. We don’t claim to be experts in the field of sustainability. We absolutely have more to learn and we love hearing new ways we can go that extra mile for our environment. If you have any suggestions or comments, we’d love for you to get in touch with us at sustainability@nordicoutdoor.co.uk


Brands

Nordic Outdoor has featured a huge range of brands since we first opened our doors. The items on our shelves change often but the values at the core of our company have remained the same since day one.

Along with an item being stylish and functional we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that the product you take from our shops has been produced in a sustainable manner.

Sustainability and the outdoor industry go hand in hand. We are highly motivated to work with the brands we stock to ensure that the impact we have on the environment is minimal. It’s important to remember that within the outdoor goods industry there are plenty of ways in which companies can cut costs at the expense of the environment.

This is why at Nordic Outdoor, the brands we stock are carefully selected to match the high standards we hold ourselves to. The onus is on us as retailers to ensure the brands that we stock are doing their bit to ensure a greener tomorrow. The brands we stock don’t tiptoe around the issues that face the outdoor industry in an increasingly sustainability minded world. Below you will find a summary of each brand we stock and the steps they take to ensure their impact on our planet is as small as possible.

Aclima Sustainability

Aclima

Norwegian wool specialists Aclima produce some of the best merino wool garments on the market right now. We’re huge fans of the brand. Their products work well and look good. What’s most important however is their absolute dedication to responsible clothing production.

Almost everything Aclima produces is made with Merino Wool. From the very offset wool is a much more sustainable material to work with than the synthetic fibres that have come to prominence in recent years.

For one wool is a renewable resource. Once the sheep has its haircut, wait a few months and it grows back! Also, it is fully bio-degradable, so natural wool waste isn’t harmful to the environment.

Like everything however there is the potential for this resource to be used in an unsustainable manner. For example, the transport of the wool, the treatment and production process and the way in which the animals are kept can all effect the impact the end product has on the environment. Luckily Aclima have taken steps at every stage of production to minimize their impact.

  • Material use is optimised to be as efficient as possible
  • Left over fabric is given away to a range of companies to avoid wastage
  • Dye-works for the wool products use closed systems to avoid polluting local waterways.

A truly sustainable company works on little ways to decrease their carbon footprint as well as the larger more obvious ways. For example, Aclima have completely switched to Forest Stewardship Council paper on all their packaging. Forest Stewardship Council paper contributes to both sustainable forestry and environmentally friendly paper production.

Aclima Sustainability Statement

Amundsen Sustainability

Amundsen Sports

Named after the legendary polar explorer Roald Amundsen, Amundsen Sports have maintained a close link to the poles. Therefore, fighting global warming through sustainable, environmentally friendly business practices are causes which are of vital importance to the company.

Amundsen Sports have moved over to using solely locally produced wool. Wool as mentioned previously is both renewable and eco-friendly. By using responsibly sourced wool, Amundsen Sports bring that up a level. This cuts out the environmental costs of transporting the wool from farm to factory to shop considerably. 

Bergans Sustainability

Bergans

Like many companies Bergans of Norway aim to get people to experience the Great Outdoors. This aim holds true for future generations and so Bergans make a huge effort to make each step of their production process as green as possible.

It would be difficult to find a company which gives as detailed a run down of its environmental considerations as Bergans does on their own website. We’ve summed up the sections below to showcase the company’s myriad sustainability steps.

  1. Materials
    Bergans have made huge progress in converting a large percentage of their materials to bluesign approved fabrics. The bluesign system ensures good management of natural resources and ensures safe working conditions. It is Bergans’ wish that by 2020 75% of all of their products will contain bluesign approved fabrics
  2. Product Design
    All Bergans’ products are rigorously tested to strict quality requirements. The end result is a product which will last a long time and therefore will not need to be replaced for many years. Less replacements, less impact on the environment.
  3. Packaging
    Packaging used in the transportation and presentation of Bergans products is produced and used in a manner that prevents waste. All Bergans packaging is compliant with the European chemicals regulation REACH.

The ways in which Bergans are striving to increase their sustainability are almost too numerous to write down in one place. From their garment recycling processes, wherein worn out garments are given a brand-new lease of life, to the way in which their products can be easily modified and repaired, few companies face up to the environmental challenges more than Bergans.

Bergans Sustainability Statement

Dale Sustainability

Dale of Norway

Dale of Norway have 140 years of experience in producing high quality woollen garments. Many of the workers in the factory are part of a generational chain of workers who have been with the company since its foundation.

We’ve mentioned the incredible qualities of wool many times on our website and this article, however Dale have a unique arrow in their sustainability quiver. Large amounts of the wool for Dale products is sourced in Norway and they are one of the few large wool companies to still base all of its production in Norway.

This gives them a huge measure of control over the quality of their products whilst also considerably cutting down on emissions.

Didriksons Sustainability

Didriksons

Didriksons have been making high quality waterproof garments for more than a century. A centuries experience can be felt in the clothes themselves and everything from material to design shows a wealth of industry knowledge and experience.

Dealing with waterproofing in the outdoor industry is a sustainability minefield. It’s extremely difficult to produce high quality waterproof clothing in a sustainable manner without making considerable sacrifices. It is with this in mind that Didriksons set out to create their garments with as little an impact on the environment as possible.

The company meets its sustainably standards in a number of ways. First off, through their careful design process, Didriksons design clothes to last. When you buy a Didriksons coat you won’t need another for a considerably long time. This reduces wastage and means less coats need to be produced.

Secondly in their choice of material Didriksons make every effort to avoid using dangerous chemical processes to ensure waterproofing. When water repellence is required, Didriksons will always use Fluorocarbon free water repellents.

Didriksons Sustainability Statement

Fjallraven Sustainability

Fjallraven

It’s no stretch to refer to Fjallraven as an industry leader in terms of quality and design. For some time, the highly regarded outdoor brand has been a household name. As an industry leader the onus on Fjallraven to maintain a sustainable production and design process is particularly high. Fortunately, in this, as in all other areas, Fjallraven set out to make a good example for its competitors.

In their own words, Fjallraven have a responsibility to leave basecamp in better condition than they found it. Outdoor companies have a vested interest in keeping our planet in good condition and Fjallraven are no different.

In every aspect of the design process from the choice of material to the packaging, Fjallraven consider the environmental impact their decisions will have. Through careful material choice, strict standards, and clothes built to last, they ensure they produce on natures terms.

Design

Fjallraven products are some of the best available in the outdoor world. The design features are carefully thought out to ensure that these products work well. Something as simple as pocket placement is carefully thought out to ensure maximum ease of use. A Fjallraven jacket will last you many years if you treat it right.

Equally as important to Fjallraven is emotional longevity. By designing a jacket that looks as good as it feels, the customer is less likely to grow bored with it after a couple of seasons. Fjallraven clothing lasts decades and will only look better with added character.

Material

Fjallravens approach to material is simple. If a recycled material is available and just as good why not use it? Understandably the company still need to balance function with sustainability. As they say themselves it doesn’t matter how sustainable a material is, if it doesn’t work they won’t use it.Fjallraven divide up their materials into the following categories: 
Excellent; like recycled wool, organic hemp and Tencel®;
Good; recycled polyester, G-1000 Eco and traceable wool;
OK, like polyamide, cotton, metal buttons;and things they will absolutely never use, such as PFCs, PVCs and angora wool.

Fjallraven Sustainability Statement

Gransfors Bruk Sustainability

Gransfors Bruk

Even small production companies like Gransfors Bruk have an impact on the environment. Gransfors therefore make every reasonable effort to streamline their production process and cut out as many harmful processes as they can.

The small number of axes they make each year coupled with the amount of work done by hand by skilled craftsmen already make the Gransfors production process much more sustainable than many other axe brands. There are several other little features and changes in the production process that ensures their environmental impact is minimal. Where most companies cool their axes using lead or oil, Gransfors use water. Instead of more modern metal wedges, Gransfors still use a traditional wooden wedge to attach the axe head to the shaft.

In the future Gransfors will only become more sustainable. There are already several new processes which are already in the course of being implemented which should considerably improve Gransfors Bruks sustainability. Gransfors already use recycled steel, vegetable tanned, chromium-free leather and wooden handles made of hickory. This makes a huge difference both at the start of the axes life and what can be done with the product when it reaches its natural end. The steel from the head is recyclable, whilst both the leather from the sheathe and the wood for the handle will decompose, so no waste is created.

Gransfors Bruk Sustainability Statement

Houdini Sustainability

Houdini

As previously mentioned, we’re pretty nutty about sustainability. The brands we’ve talked about so far all take sustainability seriously, but Houdini truly go above and beyond.

As of 2019 100% of all fabrics used by Houdini are either recycled, biodegradable or blue sign approved. This massive achievement cannot be overstated but it is just one of the many policies and practices Houdini have implemented in recent years to ensure an end to waste and sustainably grey practices in the outdoor clothing industry.

Against general wear and tear, Houdini offer a huge range of repair services. This ensures that every drop of life is squeezed from each garment. This coupled with their design philosophy and commitment to sustainable materials ensures the products have a minimal impact on the environment.

One of Houdini’s more interesting initiatives however comes at the end of a products life span. What do you do with your clothes when they’ve reached the end of their use? The sad answer is that the majority of people just chuck them in the bin. The more sustainably minded people either recycle the clothing or donate it but again this has it’s issues. Houdini sportswear is biodegradable and therefore Houdini have started using old clothing as compost.

By doing this they created the first menu made entirely with vegetables grown with recycled clothing. Employing the help of star chef Sebastian Thureson, the vegetables used for the menu were grown using composted base layers.

Houdini Sustainability Policy

Klean Kanteen Sustainability

Klean Kanteen

Just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean that it is sustainable. There is a lot of false advertising in the world regarding biodegradable and recyclable materials and solutions. Whilst paper cups are widely recyclable, the UK alone uses around 7 million per day. The energy that goes into making and recycling these cups cannot be disregarded when considering how sustainable they are. Luckily there is an easy work around.

Klean Kanteen make vacuum insulated bottles and flasks which will keep your hot drinks hot for 8 hours. You’ll need less refills and save money in the long run. These flasks are built to last with the best of materials so you can cut your consumption of plastic bottles and paper cups to 0!

Klean Kanteen Sustainability Policy

Light My Fire Sustainability

Light My Fire

Light My Fire of Sweden have been at the forefront of sustainable production for a long time. The company keeps almost all of its production in Sweden which has helped them to keep environmental costs from travel and transport quite low. Their recent move towards Bioplastics however is what we really want to shout about.

In 2019 Light my Fire made the leap to producing all their plastic products from bioplastics. A bio plastic is a plastic which is either biodegradable or is at least somewhat based in plants. At Light my Fire it’s a little mix of the two.

Light my fire currently uses three different bioplastics;

  • Ecozen – Made from European GMO-free corn
  • Terralene – Made from sugarcane and wood fibres.
  • Dryflex Green – Made from 2 separate kinds of sugarcanes

The new bioplastic range has a unique smell and texture that shows their natural roots. Alongside this new sustainable product range, Light my Fire have committed themselves to a complete overhaul of their packaging. From the displays on which the products are shown to the way they are transported to the stores from their point of origin, Light My Fire use only recycled and sustainable methods and materials.

Replacing the old packaging, each product now comes housed in a handy Circ Bag. The Circ bag is produced from recycled plastic bottles. Once you have removed your new Light My fire product from the bag itself you can reuse the bag for any number of things. They’re perfect for carrying food when camping but the uses are countless!

Light My Fire Sustainability