We’re going to a textile show next week, the biggest technical textile show in the world, and we’re very excited to nerd out over fabrics. In fact, we’ve never BEEN so excited to nerd out over fabrics! Read on to find out what we’re hunting for.

There’s one major thing we’re on the hunt for at this show; a more environmentally friendly fabric solution.

As you might already know, the fabrics that are used to stand the outdoors are not the best for our planet. Not only are they made of plastic, but they normally also have a toxic flurocarbon coating to make them waterproof. We love the look, feel and performance of our current Heavy Duty Texturised Nylon (Cordura) fabric, we even already have a recycled version that we really like (Eco-1000)… The catch? It still has a flurocarbon coating and is only available in black, currently the minimum quantities to get custom colours are far more than we can afford.

We’re always striving to be better, we even have some recycled fabric being tested out by various people in the UK right now, maybe it will be the fabric for us, we’ll find out in a few months… but it’s always good to have options, so we’re heading to the show to discover more.

Our goal is to have all fabrics recycled, recyclable, flurocarbon free and made in Europe.

Lets talk how we began our fabric journey...

When we first started, we were very very small and buying fabric by the meter from UK resellers. We were quite limited to what was available and there were no eco friendly options. When we became slightly bigger, we were buying enough fabric to buy it by the roll, which meant we could buy direct from the mill, excitingly, this opened some options for us.

We established a relationship with two mills in Germany and were able to sample their whole range. We learnt that we could buy Cordura without a fluorocarbon coating if we ordered six rolls of the same fabric. So, when we were able to order six rolls of the same fabric, that’s exactly what we did. We had it custom dyed so the colour matched the colour we were already using, a very smooth transition. We started with olive and then rust. It’s not recycled, but it’s a small step towards where we want to be.

That’s pretty much been the ethos around our sustainability journey, because it is a journey, taking small steps towards a big goal.

What other steps have we taken?

Over the past couple of years, as well as moving to flurocarbon free olive and rust Cordura, we have changed all our plastic sheets that line our Lil Presto and Shazams, to recycled HDPE made right here in the UK. Our liner fabric went from one that was made in China to one that is made in Germany and has a non-flurocarbon coating. We’ve moved our black Cordura to a 100% recycled Eco-1000 (the one we mentioned earlier) made in Germany from European post consumer waste. We sourced a recycled zip that is made in Italy for our framebags, and, once we have run out of our current coil zip, made between China and Turkey, we will be switching to zip from the same company.

Our objective is to have all our fabrics recycled, recyclable, flurocarbon free and made in Europe. Big goal, but we’ll get there, one step at a time.

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