Are We Sustainable?

Are We Sustainable?

"Do you use recycled materials?", "Do you pay a living wage or just minimum wage?"

These are some of the questions that our customers ask. And we appreciate such questions and customers.

As a responsible consumer, you want only to associate with sustainable brands. Brands that have a near-zero impact on the environment.

However, this is nearly impossible in the fashion industry. Being one of the most resource-intensive industries on earth, there's no such thing as a sustainable fashion company.

Every garment made, sold, shipped, washed, and ultimately discarded harms the environment in one way or the other. Hence the title of this article.

At Northbound Gear, we acknowledge that we are not sustainable. Some of our practices, no matter how hard we try, end up harming the environment.

However, not being sustainable doesn't mean we aren't responsible.

At its core values, Northbound Gear prides itself as a new-age company that's looking to make the world a better place. In short, we place responsibility over financial gain.

Bet you're wondering, "How are they responsible yet they claim not to be sustainable?" Here's what we are doing to be more responsible and ultimately move closer to being a sustainable company.


Northbound's Current Approach to Sustainability

High-Quality Products Over Trends

Trends and fashion are often used as synonyms for each other.

This is because trends play a significant influence on what types of clothes are sold in the market. However, trends tend to change quite quickly, which has resulted in many fast fashion companies producing new lines of clothing every week.

This has in turn resulted in increased textile waste — both from the production side and the consumer side.

Northbound Gear is a slow fashion company.

We don't focus on keeping up with trends. Instead, we focus on providing our clients with high-quality products that last. By focusing on only selling high-quality outdoor apparel, Northbound hopes to play a part in reducing the number of textile waste.

Contribute to One Tree Planted Program

Forest fires, illegal logging, and encroachment of forest lands contribute to the climate crisis.

While it may not be possible for Northbound to avert the climate crisis altogether, we play our small role.

Through our partnership with the One Tree Planted program, Northbound Gear has contributed to planting thousands of trees around Canada, the US, and globally.

For every purchase you make on the Northbound Gear website, a tree is planted on your behalf.

Establishment of Localized Manufacturing

Another current change we are making is the shift to localized manufacturing.

At Northbound Gear, we want to support and invest more in the development of the local community. This is why Northbound is slowly making the shift to localized manufacturing.

In 2020, Northbound introduced the "Made in Canada" collection, which includes the Northbound Gear hoodies and waterproof jeans.

While most of our products are still manufactured in overseas facilities, we are slowly moving production to local facilities.

Working With Manufacturers Who Treat Their Workers Fairly

As mentioned above, most of the Northbound Gear collections are manufactured in foreign production facilities.

However, this doesn't mean that your favorite hiking pants are a result of exploited laborers.


At Northbound, we only work with manufacturers who have a conscience. We are proud to say that our manufacturing partner pays her employees above the living wage.

The production facilities are also well constructed with enough ventilation and working space.

We are also continuously monitoring the facilities to ensure that our expectations are met.

Use of Eco-Friendly Materials in Some of our Products

2021 was a unique year for Northbound Gear.

For the first time, Northbound Gear introduced organic cotton (hoodie) and recycled polyester to some of our products.

Unlike industrial cotton, organic cotton uses minimal chemicals and is less water-intensive.

If we could, Northbound Gear would only produce products made from recycled materials.

By introducing eco-friendly fabrics into our product lines, we hope to reduce the number of virgin fibers used in the production process.

We are excited to see how the products made from recycled polyester will turn out. With the right processing technique, this material should provide our clients with high-quality performance apparel that bests any product in its class.

Our Future Plans

Elimination of Plastic Packaging

Despite all our efforts to be sustainable, some of our practices fall below the bar.

For starters, our packaging sucks.

Up until now, Northbound Gear has been using plastic packaging to ship products. However, we are about to switch to more eco-friendly packaging in the coming months.

By the end of 2022, all Northbound Gear products will be shipped in eco-friendly packaging.

Localized Shipping

In 2022, we plan to reduce emissions from the supply chain b establishing localized order fulfillment centers. With these centers, we will reduce shipping time and cut down on fuel usage and carbon emissions.

More Transparency

In the past, we have been a bit closed off when talking about sustainability practices.

However, we are continuously working to increase transparency by providing our clients with more information. Hence this post. This article is our first step to being more transparent about our practices.

In the future, we promise to be more transparent.

This includes initiatives such as publishing updated photos of the manufacturing facilities and being truthful about the materials used to produce the Northbound Gear apparel.

Now You Know How Sustainable We Are!

There you go!

An inside view into the Northbound Sustainability practices. As you can see, we are not a fully sustainable company. However, we are working towards being a responsible company.

We hope this post helped you understand how Northbound Gear is working to keep the environment healthy.

If you want to support our efforts, consider buying some Northbound Gear products made from organic cotton and recycled polyester! You can check out these products in our online shop here!

Upwards and Onwards with Northbound Gear.

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