I try my best to tread lightly on this poor, overheating earth. But the Sprinter Van miles add up and I feel that diesel guilt.
In an effort to put my dollars where the EPA won’t go, I try to shop sustainably produced products when possible. These are five pieces of apparel that are trying their best to be a little greener. And they look good, too.
Patagonia Women’s R1 Fleece Long-Sleeved Crew
The R1 Crew is the layer I’ve been searching for all my life. With an unassuming style, ultimate simplicity, and a perfectly slim but not-too-tight fit, this top never leaves my pack. In cool, shady conditions, it’s the perfect weight for either a belay or even your first warm-up. When it’s cold out, the R1 Crew is my favorite layer to climb in. Made from Polartec Power Grid, it is stretchy and super breathable. The raglan sleeves are somewhat loose, with plenty of space for my bulging pumped forearms.
While many of us associate this beloved synthetic top with a certain stank, this latest iteration resists odor thanks to it’s HeiQ Fresh odor control.
Patagonia has been racking up the environmentally friendly points since before it was cool. (The big latest news from them is that each and every shell that they make is now 100 percent recycled, which is amazing!) In keeping with Patagonia’s leading status in the industry for green outdoor apparel, the R1 comes stacked with planet loving credentials, including 93% recycled polyester, Bluesign approved fabric and Fair Trade Certified sewing.
Not all clothing needs to be made from recycled garbage for it to be “green.” Sometimes, a piece can achieve green-ness by virtue of its durability, longevity, and utility. The Oriel Legging isn’t made of recycled content, but these groovy leggings more than make up for it in durability and longevity. Most climbing leggings get shredded and pilled in half a season, but the Oriel is made from an abrasion-resistant nylon/elastane blend. This is the strongest, stretchy stuff I have ever seen in a pair of leggings. After over a year of heavy use, even getting dragged over coarse gym holds, these pants still look brand new. So, in the spirit of reducing consumption the Oriel is a true winner. The fit is great, with a wide low-profile waistband that’s comfortable under a harness, plus they sport well-placed and super handy hip pockets.
I heart this tank because it is 100% organic cotton—but there are oh so many more ways I love the Paige Tank. First, let’s talk integrated shelf bra. It keeps the boobies in place, doesn’t dig in, and is soft and breathable. I especially like the neckline, which is high enough for good coverage but doesn’t feel constricting around my neck and shoulders. The airy racerback cut is also a win for girls (like me) with lats and they need their room.The sporty Euro flair with stylish diagonal color blocking suits days at the crag or morning sipping espresso in the mountains.
The Notion SP is the hotter, younger sister to the unfortunate Notion Pant of seasons past that left many climbers with bad cases of “frumpy butt.”
The SP has a far more flattering cut through the tush and thighs, but what really gives this jogger-style pant swag is that it’s made from a soft, stretchy organic cotton. I think it is the perfect all-season weight. Not too hot for evening sessions in the summer, but enough warmth when temps are actually good for climbing. The reinforced knees are a nice nod to added durability, and after a season of use the Notion SP is going strong with no signs of wearing out soon.
The Millet K Belay Hoodie is my favorite jacket for moderate weather days, when it’s not bitter cold but I still need some insulation at the belay. This jacket is filled with Polartec Powerfill, which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled content (yaas!).
Powerfill is powerful stuff. It’s hydrophobic so it doesn’t absorb moisture, and it’s constructed down to each fiber and filament to trap my body heat like a thermos. With a trim, low-profile cut, this jacket never feels bulky and yet it is impressively warm. Although this isn’t a solution for when it gets really cold, it can double as layering piece under a heavier belay parka.