Written by: Jan Carla Santos
03/03/2012 3:30 PM
Hiking is a good form of exercise and a great way to appreciate nature and the outdoors. And what better way to experience nature than with eco-gear knowing you've done your bit too to help preserve it? We've pulled together a list of our top eco-friendly favorites that are stylish and functional from head to toe.
1. Ramblers Way
The last thing you would need on a hiking trip is a wrong choice of clothing that restricts your movement and doesn't protect you from heat or cold. Ramblers Way manufactures base layers that are great for both cool and warm conditions. Up on the mountains where the temperature drops, you would need to be warmed, insulated, and protected from the cold, which is what these base layers do. They are made of 100% wool, which is what makes them lightweight, luxuriously soft, and comfortable. The superfine wool comes from Rambouillet, an American breed of sheep. The wool is windspun and worsted before being rendered their color using dyes that come from dried extracts of plant such as indigo, logwood, and osage. The whole process of making a Ramblers Way base layer takes place in America, from the processing of wool down to the very last step, which means saving the Earth from loads of hydrocarbons that would have been inevitable if they were manufactured abroad.
2. Under Armour
When you hike, you tend to sweat a lot, especially during warm weather. You need clothing that is lightweight and dries fast, which is important not only to keep you cool and comfortable, but also to keep you from getting sick. Under Armour claims that its Catalyst line features the fastest drying t-shirt the company has ever made. What makes their shirt even better is the rare anti-odor and temperature regulation technology. If you're wondering what material goes into an Under Armour t-shirt, get this: the company converts recycled plastic bottles into high-quality performance gear.
To lessen its impact on the planet, Patagonia takes back worn-out clothing and recycles it to make new clothes. The company uses organic cotton, hemp, chlorine-free wool, recycled polyester, and repurposed nylon. Among their best-selling products is their fleece, with the latter being almost synonymous to the brand's name. Patagonia fleece provides protection from the cold weather while keeping you comfortable with its lightweight material.
4. Teko Socks
Teko works by the mantra, “best socks on the planet, best socks for the planet.” Snobs can shrug it off and say, “It's just a pair of socks,” but every pair has gone through stages that have been researched to guarantee minimal footprint every step of the way. Teko uses two kinds of material for the production of their socks, “tekoPOLY” and “tekoMERINO”. The former is a product of 100% post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles, while the latter is a kind of wool that is regarded for being sustainable and organic.
5. Wicked Hemp Hiking Boots
With the different kinds of terrain that you encounter when hiking, you need a pair of hiking boots that can withstand all hiking conditions. A company that offers eco-friendly hiking boots is Wicked Hemp. The fabric is 75% hemp, which is a very sustainable plant. Recycled PVC is used for the toe and sole. This entire boot is vegan, meaning nothing on this boot comes from an animal. The boots come in two different colors and offer a lot of ankle support. You can buy men's versions
and women's versions at Amazon.
6. Earth Divas
To minimize the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays on our head, hair and face, make sure to wear a hat whenever you go outdoors. Earth Divas has a selection of hats, visors and caps that are made from natural, lightweight and breathable hemp.
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