We have been focused on incorporating more sustainable materials into many of our products for years but recently we pivoted to a much stronger stance. We recently joined the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps because we think it’s important for our industry to work together to address climate issues and sustainability and as a smaller brand with fewer resources, it provides a framework and tools for us to measure our current impacts and help us set future goals. New product innovations such as tents with Solution-Dyed fabrics and a sleeping pad made with Sugarcane extract harvested in a carbon-negative process (the TwisterCane™) will help reduce energy, wastewater and chemicals. These initiatives fit into a larger plan to measure what we can and more accurately set future goals while actively working to reduce our impacts now.
We are proud to report that each of our three US facilities now purchase 100% renewable electric energy by way of several offset programs. Our Steamboat Springs warranty and repair facility has been powered by the Yampa Valley Electrical Association’s Green Choice 100% renewable energy offset program since 2006. The headquarters building we moved into in 2020 recently transitioned to the same program in partnership with the City of Steamboat Springs. And finally, as in early 2021, our Salt Lake City, UT distribution center transitioned to a 100% renewable energy offset program as well!
Product and Manufacturing
Big Agnes has incorporated sustainable practices into the manufacturing and sourcing of our products since 2007 when we launched our Re-Routt Collection and even won a few Outside magazine awards for their Green Gear of the Year. The industry as a whole has come so far since then in the availability and more affordable cost of producing high-quality recycled materials for outdoor gear as well as reduced-impact manufacturing processes
TentsIn tents, we introduced a line of Solution-Dyed Fabric tents in 2021, the first of its kinds in the camping equipment category. These tents drastically reduce water and energy consumption during manufacturing. In addition, all of our DAC tent poles used incorporate DAC’s proprietary Green Anodizing coloring and all No-See-Um Mesh used on tents are free of fire retardants. Starting in 2021 we have also collaborated with DAC to begin removal of individual poly bags from the majority of our tent poles.
Sleeping Bags, Apparel and Sleeping Pads
Big Agnes is proud to say that 100% of our down insulation and facilities are RDS Certified with Downtracker traceability. We utilize industry-leading Downtek™ with a PFC-Free, Bluesign® Certified water-repellant chemistry. In addition, the majority of synthetic bags feature recycled insulation ranging from 50-100% recycled insulation depending on the model. We are also using or integrating recycled lining and shell fabrics into our sleeping bags. In pads, our TwisterCane™ pad is made with highly-renewable sugarcane that is extracted in a process that actually removes carbon from the air. We use upcycled pad fabrics to make our pad inflation sacks and when excess materials allow, we upcycle those fabrics into tote bags.
DAC Aluminum Poles
Dongah Aluminum Corporation, our main supplier of tent poles, have been creating the lightest, strongest, and most sustainable tent poles on the market for more than 20 years. Not only are their aluminum products fully recyclable, the green anodization process reduces fuel and energy consumption while eliminating more than 130 tons of phosphoric, nitric, and sulfuric acid waste per year.
We wanted a way to give a little back to the endless amounts of inspiration found along the river and high in the mountains that surround our community. A portion of the proceeds from these chairs will support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the Yampa River fund. As part of our efforts to reduce individual poly bags, we have removed all poly bags from camp furniture frames starting in 2021.