Ethical Outdoors?

Campaigning consumer magazine the ?Ethical Consumer´  has published an investigation into camping equipment (tents, rucksacks and sleeping bags) in its current issue. In all, thirty four major outdoor brands are included with German brand Vaude being considered the most ethical. For this investigation the brands were rated for their performance in the following areas: Environment, Animals, People, Politics and Sustainability. Referring to the manufacture of outdoor clothing and equipment, Martin Hearson from Behind the Label said ?There?s little evidence that the outdoor companies have taken any steps whatsoever to safeguard the rights of the workers producing them?. One of the most interesting points made by the investigation was that none of the companies, with the exception of Vaude, produce environmental reports. This is despite marketing their products at consumers who, on average, have a higher regard for the environment and love of the outdoors than normal. Also in the report, they examined the supply chain and the chemicals used in the production process. The live plucking of birds in the construction of down filled sleeping bags and jackets was highlighted as an area of concern. Summary of Brands Ethiscore The higher the score, the better the brand is. The Ethiscore is out of 20. On a positive note for the outdoors industry, the average Ethiscore of each brand is much better than most apparel companies investigated by the Ethical Consumer, although it would have been nice to see Patagonia´s Ethiscore relative to the other brands.

Brand Ethiscore
Vaude (sleeping Bags) 12.5
Dakine 12
Deuter 12
Gelert 12
Hilleberg 12
Khyam 12
MSR 12
Outwell 12
REI 12
Saunders 12
Sunnflair 12
Terra Nova 12
Vaude (tents & rucksacks) 12
Wild Country (tents) 12
Regatta 11.5
Blacks 11
Eurohike 11
Force Ten 11
Karrimor 11
Lichfield 11
Lowe Alpine 11
Mountain Equipment 11
Rab 11
Salomon 11
Spayway 11
Ted Baker 11
Vango 11
Wynster 11
Coleman 10.5
Higlander 10.5
Mountain Hardwear 10.5
Berghaus 10
Marmot 10
The North Face 8.5