Mountain Equipment Launch Closed Loop Recycling System
The iconic British outdoor gear brand introduced recycled down in 2017 with the Earthrise range.
The company now want to take things a step further with the introduction of a fully closed loop recycling system.
This system would ensure down clothing and sleeping bags which are at the end of their life do not simply get thrown away.
Why recycle down?
Like any manufactured products, the production and disposal of outdoor gear and clothing has an environmental impact. Manufacture requires the use of energy and raw materials, and ultimately most eventually end up in landfill.
The good news is that unlike many other technical materials, down filled products can be very successfully recycled. Typically up to 95% of a down garment or sleeping bag can usually be recycled in one way or another.
This prevents it from needlessly being thrown away or incinerated, and reduces the use of resources necessary to produce new down.
The Cycle Begins
ME initiated the first step of the cycle by manufacturing their new jackets and sleeping bags with 100% recycled down. This greatly reduces the natural resources and carbon footprint required to make them.
What is a Closed Loop Recycling System?
Using recycled down is great first step towards sustainability, and caring for the planet we love to explore.
Keeping the cycle going, however, will also require that used Mountain Equipment products arrive to a recycling facility.
On their website they state that:
Ultimately we want to create a fully closed loop system, collecting enough of our own products to sustain our needs for recycled down material and in the process doing all we can to produce less impactful products.Mountain Equipment
As yet, however, it seems there is no actual plan as to how this would/could be achieved. There are no instructions for how you could go about returning any of your old down gear on the website.
There are however requests for individuals, organisations and retailers to get in touch to try and implement such a system.
The best strategy would be the option to return your old down item when you buy a new one. Perhaps in return for some kind of discount (no doubt using 95% recycled down also greatly reduces manufacturing costs). This would obviously require the collaboration of the retailer however.
Hopefully Mountain Equipment can instigate such as system soon and fully implement their Closed Loop Recycling System.
In the meantime you start your own cycle here with one of their 100% recycled down jackets from the Earthrise range.