Words by Charles Post
The first step is transparency. We must be able to recognize and come to terms with our impacts, both the good and bad, before we can clearly lay out a road map to reduce the negative impacts and increase the positive. Without this calculus, there’s no way to move forward.
At Norrøna, we’ve incorporated this mindset and approach into everything we do. Why? Because this defines us. Sustainability is at the core of our ethos and aspiration; it drives our mission and each facet of our decision-making process. You might ask, “but you’re an outdoor brand that drives revenue from making and selling apparel, gear and outdoor products?”
This is true, and there is a fine line that must be navigated with humility, honesty and transparency.
Our solution? We must be open about where we are excelling and where we recognize an opportunity to pivot and make changes for the future of our community and planet. By creating long lasting products with sustainable textiles as often as we can, designed with reparability and the lifecycle of the product in mind we can continue to reduce our negative impacts and increase areas that we can have positive impacts like through our repair centers, which keeps your gear fit for use and out of landfills.
By increasing the lifespan of a product, together, we are keeping carbon in the ground, water in our lakes, rivers and aquifers and a tremendous amount of manufacturing waste out of nature.
This is a simple yet massive lever that we will prioritize and grow into the future. And yet, success here isn’t possible without you, your commitments, actions and care for the products and gear we make for you. A grounding reminder for us is that by offering environmentally conscious, long lasting, durable, repairable and innovative products we can actively counter the wastefulness and shortsightedness rampant across the fashion industry, one widely regarded as a massive polluter, and significant driver of petroleum-based products and climate and waste related impacts. Recent reports suggest that the fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. What can we do to turn this tide?
If hypocrisy is the oil, we want to be the water, and draw a clear line between clear actions that can move this industry towards a more sustainable and regenerative future and those that are misleading, shortsighted and ultimately degrade nature and harm our planet. A massive opportunity to push the industry further down the path of environmental consciousness lies with you, our community. Consumer choices drive business, and so when you tell us that sustainability matters, that products designed so that they can be repaired time and again, and textiles and materials that are organic and recycled matter then we are supported as we double down on these efforts. This support and virtuous cycle are essential. The biggest changes we can make as a brand excel with you by our side. We want to create and support a global Norrøna community where sustainability and environmental consciousness are second nature. Join us, and let us know what you’d like to see more of, learn more about and see from us as a brand that shares your love and passion for nature.
About the author
Ecologist and surfer, Charles Post has been an ambassador with us for a few years now. However, to celebrate him and his family’s recent move across the pond to Lofoten, and some exciting projects we have planned together for the near future, we would like to reintroduce you to this extreme lover of nature.