Want to buy Christmas presents with the planet in mind? As Black Friday looms, we take a look at a few outdoor companies that are taking a more eco-friendly approach to the annual shopping frenzy.
Main image: Inov-8 boss Michael Price plants trees in forest near the company’s Lake District HQ.
The (in)famous annual pre-Christmas sale is almost upon us – but as with previous years, some well-known outdoor companies are adding a bit of green to their Black Friday plans.
If you’re looking to spend the cash you’ve earmarked for Christmas in a more environmentally conscious way, it’s worth taking a look at what these brands are doing – at least some of your money will find its way to some very worthy projects.
The Lake District-based brand will donate 5% of all website and in-store purchases until November 29th to peatland and wetland restoration, supporting projects like the Foulshaw Moss nature reserve, one of the few sites in England where ospreys breed.
Michelle Waller, Senior Development Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, a charity devoted to the conservation of wildlife and wild places in the county which homes the Lake District, said: “Protecting and restoring peatlands is one of our best defences against climate change because they lock away harmful CO2, so that it doesn’t leak back into the atmosphere.
“Many people might not know this, but healthy peatlands full of bogs are actually the UK’s largest carbon store – they lock away 28.5 million tonnes of CO2 in the Lake District alone.”
On the day of Black Friday, Inov-8 will also host a litter pick at its Staveley-based brand store, with staff and sponsored athletes pitching in to clean the local area of rubbish.
Michael Price, Inov 8 boss, said: “As a brand we’re committed to sustainability and I’m proud of the big steps we’ve taken in making products that last longer and reducing our environmental footprint. We’re not perfect, but we’re improving all the time.
“Focusing our efforts on Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the For Peat’s Sake campaign, rather than the overindulgent madness of Black Friday, may hit us in the pocket but there are bigger stakes at play and I’m proud that we’re taking this stand.”
Newcastle-based Montane has pledged the donate its Black Friday marketing budget (£2,500) to the Lake District’s Fix the Fells programme, which seeks to tackle the problem of erosion on Lakeland’s hills and mountains by repairing footpaths.
Montane’s Global Marketing Manager, Matthew Hickman, commented: “The popularity of the paths in the Lake District for hillwalkers, fell runners, and ultra-races coupled with unpredictable weather has led to severe erosion on the fells. If there weren’t initiatives like Fix the Fells in place, then much-loved outdoor spaces such as these soon wouldn’t exist.”
As well as the Green Friday movement, Montane also has longer-running partnerships with the European Outdoor Conservation Association [EOCA] and the British Mountaineering Council [BMC], and is helping to offset damage to Lakeland paths through its involvement in George Fisher’s Tea Round initiative, a 30-mile route with over 12,000ft of ascent that starts and finishes at the doors of George Fisher in Keswick.
For the duration of the Black Friday period, the Nottinghamshire-based brand is donating double its usual amount to the Alpkit Foundation, a charity through which the brand supports things conservation work, outreach efforts and environmental education.
A description of the charity’s purpose reads: “We make small awards to people, groups and schools that work to remove the barriers in getting outdoors and experience wild places.
“Spending time outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul. But generally people are spending less time outdoors. That is a problem we’re helping to solve. We support grass-roots direct action projects that tackle issues such as diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, participation, education, conservation and protection of our natural environment and health and well-being.”
Check out the Alpkit website for the latest product deals.